Campus & Community

Program on U.S.-Japan Relations names 16 fellows for academic year

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Harvard’s Program on U.S.-Japan Relations was founded in 1980 on the belief that the United States and Japan have become so interdependent that the problems they face urgently require their cooperation. The program enables outstanding scholars and practitioners to come together to conduct independent research and participate in an ongoing dialogue with other members of the Harvard and Greater Boston communities. These fellows, who enjoy the status of University take part in the seminars, colloquia, and other functions of the program; attend classes and other activities at Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; prepare a major research paper; and publicly present the results of their research.

The following fellows will be in residence at Harvard during the 2002-03 academic year:

Hideo Aono, Mitsubishi Trust and Banking Corp.: After earning a B.A. in economics from Tokyo University in 1981, Aono joined the Mitsubishi Trust and Banking Corp., where he has served as an economic forecaster and dealt in a variety of financial securities. His most recent position was deputy general manager of Mitsubishi Trust’s Personal Banking Division. His research at Harvard will examine how Japanese banks can learn from the experience of American retail banks to revive their businesses.

Verena Blechinger, German Institute of Japanese Studies: At Munich University, Blechinger earned an M.A. in Japanese studies, political science, and law in 1991 and a Ph.D. in political science in 1997. Since then, she has served as a lecturer at Münster and Tokyo universities and as the deputy director of the German Institute for Japanese Studies in Tokyo. The author of many journal articles and book chapters, Blechinger is currently preparing for publication a book manuscript titled “Corruption in Japan.”

Shinju Fujihira, Tufts University: Fujihira earned a B.A. in government at Cornell in 1993 and a Ph.D. in politics at Princeton in 2000 before assuming his current position as assistant professor of political science at Tufts. At Harvard, Fujihira will complete a book manuscript titled “Conscripting Money: Democracies, Dictatorships, and War Finance in the 20th Century,” an article on Japan’s current fiscal crisis, and essays on Sino-Japanese relations in the post-Cold War world.

Ryoichi Ikemoto, Idemitsu Kosan Co.: Ikemoto earned a B.A. in Persian language and culture at the Osaka University of Foreign Studies in 1995. After completing his studies, he joined the oil company Idemitsu Kosan, where he served as an assistant manager in the fuel sales sections of the company’s Yokohama and Tokyo branches. His research will examine how U.S. policy toward the Middle East has changed over time and how that policy will influence the region in the future.

Hiro Inoue, Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry: After graduating from Tokyo University with a B.A. in law in 1994, Inoue entered the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry (then MITI). He worked in the Agency of Natural Resources and Energy and the Minister’s Secretariat before assuming the post of deputy director of the Global Environment Office. At Harvard, Inoue will focus on what kind of international frameworks and national policies are necessary to tackle the problem of global warming.

Shinichi Kamiyama, Tokyo Gas Co.: Kamiyama joined Tokyo Gas Co. in 1987 after earning a B.A. in economics from Aoyama Gakuin University. Recently, he has been responsible for salary planning and labor relations in the company’s personnel department. A certified international investment analyst, Kamiyama will investigate how American and Japanese management have responded to globalization to look for ways to restore the Japanese economy and contribute to the stability and development of the international economy.

Gregory Kasza, Indiana University: Kasza earned a B.S. in foreign service from Georgetown University in 1971 and a Ph.D. in political science from Yale in 1983. He taught at Whitman College before moving to Indiana University, where he is now a full professor of political science and East Asian languages and cultures. His most recent book was “The Conscription Society: Administered Mass Organizations” (Yale University Press, 1995), and he is now working on a volume that will place Japan’s form of government and select aspects of its policy toward welfare, civil liberties, and industry in comparative perspective.

Shoji Kawamura, Tokyo Electric Power Co.: At Waseda University, Kawamura earned both a B.S. and an M.S. in civil engineering in 1984 and 1986. He served in the Transmission and Substations Construction Office at Tokyo Electric Power Co. before becoming the manager of the Metropolitan Area Planning Group of the Plant Siting and Regional Relations Division. Kawamura will explore how Japan and western countries can introduce their power technologies to industrializing countries without damaging the environment.

Yutaka Kijima, Development Bank of Japan: Having earned a B.A. in law at Tokyo University, Kijima joined the Development Bank of Japan (DBJ) in 1986. He served in the treasury and planning coordination departments and the Kansai branch of DBJ before becoming deputy director of its manufacturing and technology department. At Harvard, Kijima will consider the different industrial competitiveness policies and innovation strategies of the United States and Japan in order to take a fresh look at Japan’s competitive position.

Hiroyuki Obara, Ministry of Finance (MOF): Obara joined the Ministry of Finance after earning a B.A. in economics from Hitotsubashi University in 1987. Having served a stint in the Bank of Japan, he worked as a deputy director in MOF’s International Finance, Finance, and Budget Bureaus before becoming deputy director of the Financial System Stabilization Division. His research will examine how to dispose of nonperforming loans in order to stabilize Japan’s financial system and make possible a full economic recovery.

Toru Odaka, Japan Bank for International Cooperation: Odaka graduated from Tokyo University’s faculty of law and joined the Export-Import Bank of Japan (JEXIM) in 1988. After serving in JEXIM’s London representative office and as assistant director of its budget and funding and payroll divisions, he became deputy director of the Russia, Central, and Eastern Europe Division in the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (into which JEXIM merged). Odaka will study the possibility of Japanese involvement in natural resource projects in Russia.

Akira Saka, National Police Agency: Saka earned a B.A. in law at Tokyo University in 1981 and an M.A. in policy science at the Graduate School of Policy Science of Saitama University in 1986. He served as director of MITI’s Latin American Office, the National Police Academy’s Traffic Police Department, and, most recently, the National Police Agency’s Security Systems Planning Office. At Harvard, Saka will look into the possibility of introducing to Japan the countermeasures against cyber-attacks taken by the United States.

Atsushi Suginaka, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries: Suginaka earned a B.A. in law at Tokyo University in 1990 and an M.A. in public administration at Syracuse University in 1996. He served as deputy director of the Ministry of Health and Welfare’s Mental Health and Welfare Division before becoming deputy director of the Forestry Agency’s Policy Planning Division. Suginaka’s current research project investigates how the United States and Japan can cooperate in the fight against global warming regardless of the implementation of the Kyoto Protocol.

Robert Weiner, University of California, Berkeley: Having graduated with a B.A. in East Asian Studies at Harvard in 1992, Weiner went on to earn a Ph.D. in political science at the University of California, Berkeley, in 2002. He taught both American and comparative politics while pursuing his graduate studies at Berkeley. He has published a paper titled “Political Realignment in Kagoshima,” and his many works in progress include the book manuscript “Anti-Competition in ‘Competitive’ Party Systems.”

Kenichi Yamamoto, The Asahi Shimbun: Yamamoto joined The Asahi Shimbun after earning a B.A. in sociology at Tokyo University in 1993. He worked as a staff writer in the Utsunomiya and Mito branch offices before joining the Asahi’s City News Department, where he investigated a bid-rigging scandal in Hokkaido. At Harvard, he will compare the public works decision-making processes of western countries with those of Japan to determine whether those processes can’t be improved.

Yoshiko Yamashige, Seijo University: Yamashige earned a B.A. in economics and an M.P.A. at International Christian University in 1986 and 1988 before earning a Ph.D. in economics at Johns Hopkins University in 1996. Since then, she has taught as a lecturer and associate professor of economics at Seijo University. Building on her previous studies of public inputs, Yamashige’s current research project examines the roles of economic and social infrastructures in economic development.