Campus & Community

U.S.-Japan Relations announces associates

7 min read

The Program on U.S.-Japan Relations at Harvard has selected 15 associates for research projects in 2000-01. Founded in 1980, the program enables outstanding scholars and practitioners from the United States and Japan to come together at Harvard University to conduct independent research and participate in an ongoing dialogue with other members of the Harvard and Greater Boston communities.

Program associates attend classes at Harvard and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T), prepare a major research paper, and publicly present the results of their research. Among the associates are business and government officials, journalists, and scholars.

The program sponsors a weekly seminar series, an annual three-day Distinguished Visitor lecture series, roundtable discussions, and various special events.

The 2000-01 associates are as follows:

  • Margarita Estevez-Abe earned a B.A. and an M.A. in political science from Keio University, and a Ph.D. from Harvard’s government department. Her dissertation, titled “Welfare and Capitalism in Postwar Japan,” examines the role welfare programs have played in the Japanese political economy from a comparative perspective. Estevez-Abe has contributed to the forthcoming books “Varieties of Welfare Regimes” and “Varieties of Capitalism.” She held junior faculty positions in the department of policy management at Keio University, the political science department at the University of Minnesota, and will soon join the Government Department at Harvard. Estevez-Abe’s research will examine the politics of welfare reform in advanced industrial societies.
  • Hidehito Fujiwara joined the Asahi Shinbun as a staff writer after graduating from the University of Tokyo with a B.A. in Asian studies. His many assignments have included work in the Okayama and Kyoto bureaus, as well as the city news section in Osaka, the foreign news section in Tokyo, the Hong Kong bureau, and the Beijing bureau. Most recently, he served as deputy editor of the foreign news section. Fujiwara’s research will focus on the influence of the United States on international relations in East Asia.
  • Tateshi Higuchi earned a bachelor of law degree from the University of Tokyo and joined the National Police Agency. He has served as senior superintendent in the International Investigation Office and chief superintendent in the Drug Enforcement Division and the Wakayama Prefectural Police Headquarters. Higuchi’s research will examine the coordination process within the U.S. government to counter international organized crime as it relates to cooperation between the United States and Japan.
  • Masao Kondo began his work at Idemitsu Kosan after graduating from Kagoshima University with a bachelor’s degree in political economy. Among other posts, he has served as senior coordinator of Exploration, Southeast Asia and Europe; negotiation manager of the Houston office; chief coordinator of New Projects, CIS; and, most recently, chief negotiator and economist in Exploration and Production. Kondo’s research will focus on the relationship between worker productivity and Japanese-style employment.
  • Hisashi Nagahara earned his B.S. in law at Hitotsubashi University and then began working at Tokyo Gas Company. He has held positions in the personnel and purchasing departments of Sodegaura LNG Terminal and in the legal section of Tokyo Gas. Most recently, he worked in the corporate planning department of Tokyo Gas Engineering. Nagahara will examine the deregulation of Japan’s energy industry.
  • Michiro Okamoto graduated from the Tokyo University of Foreign Studies with a B.A. in literature. His career at the Yomiuri Shinbun has focused on the Middle East. He has traveled extensively throughout the region, covering Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, and Israel. Okamoto’s research at Harvard will concentrate on U.S.-Middle East policy and Japan’s interests in a post-Cold War world.
  • Koji Okuno graduated from Tohoku University with a bachelor’s of law degree. He joined the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) shortly after graduating. At JBIC, he has worked in the personnel, project and corporate analysis, loan, and administration departments, serving most recently as deputy director of the corporate finance department. In 1995, he was transferred to the Ministry of International Trade and Industry to act as deputy director of its International Policy Bureau, Europe Division. Okuno’s research will examine the difference between American and European Union approaches to the settlement of trade imbalances with Japan.
  • Takao Onuki received his B.A. in economics at Keio University and joined the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO). He has served as an economist in the External Research Institute, chief officer in the Office of International Relations, deputy director in the Export-Import Bank’s project finance department, and, most recently, as deputy manager in the business development group of TEPCO’s International Affairs Department. Onuki’s research will focus on Asia’s road to recovery since its financial crisis, and cooperation between the United States and Japan in the Asian electric power sector.
  • Keisuke Sasaki graduated from the University of Tokyo with a B.A. in law. He then joined the commerce policy division of the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI). He has also worked in MITI’s consumer affairs, budget and accounts, and general coordination divisions, and, most recently, as deputy director of its policy planning division. Sasaki’s research will compare petroleum policy in the United States and Japan.
  • Norio Sato graduated from Tokyo University with a B.A. in law. Since joining the Ministry of Finance, he has held positions as chief of the Kasaoka Tax Office, deputy director of the petroleum department of MITI’s Natural Resources and Energy Agency, deputy director of the coordination division in the securities bureau, and of the financial system planning bureau. His most recent post was deputy director of the overall coordination division in the Minister’s Secretariat. Sato’s research will focus on how to reconstruct the Japanese financial system on the basis of the experiences of the United States.
  • Apichai Shipper earned his B.A. in government and Asian Studies from Cornell University and his Ph.D. in political science from M.I.T. His dissertation was titled “Foreign Workers, Secondary Associations, and Social Activism in Japan.” He has a previous publication titled “Reconstructing Reality: Foreign Workers and Secondary Associations in Japan.” Shipper’s research will focus on foreign workers, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), and associative activism in Japan.
  • Mireya Solis earned her B.A. in international relations from El Colegio de Mexico, and an M.A. in regional studies-East Asia and a Ph.D. in government from Harvard. Her dissertation was titled “Exporting Losers: The Political Economy of Japanese Foreign Direct Investment.” She has published numerous papers on Japanese Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) including “Industrial Restructuring and Foreign Direct Investment: The Japanese Aluminum Smelting Industry” and “Sharing the Spoils of Economic Integration? Japanese Direct Investment in North America.” Solis’ research will examine the politics of Japan’s public FDI finance from a comparative perspective.
  • Norifumi Sugimoto joined the Development Bank of Japan after earning his B.A. in economics from the University of Tokyo. Starting in the loan department, he served most recently as deputy director of the planning and coordination department. He has published two articles: “Financial Analysis of City Banks in Japan” in a report for the Institute of Fiscal and Monetary Policy of the Ministry of Finance (MOF), and “Deregulation of Deposit Interest” in the annual report of the MOF’s Financial Bureau. Sugimoto’s research will compare the role of interest groups in the policymaking process in the United States and Japan.
  • Ko Terawaki graduated from Waseda University with a B.A. in economics. He has worked at a variety of divisions at Mitsubishi Trust since joining that company, including the investment advisory, securities investing, capital market, money market and foreign exchange, and systems planning divisions.Terawaki’s research will analyze the business strategies for information technology investment of U.S. financial institutions to see if their policies and practices can be applied to Japanese banks.
  • Michael Witt earned an A.B. in international relations and Japanese from Stanford. He completed a Ph.D. in political science at Harvard and is currently finishing an M.B.A. at the FernUniversitaet, Hagen, in Germany. His dissertation is titled “Networking for Profit: Information Loops and Informational Advantage in Japan.” Witt’s research will expand on his dissertation research by exploring firm networks and functionally equivalent structures in Germany and the United States.