Joseph Nye receives honorary doctorate from Japan’s Keio University

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Harvard University Distinguished Service Professor Joseph S. Nye Jr. has received an honorary doctorate from Keio University, the oldest institute of higher education in Japan, in recognition of what the university described as his central his role in redefining U.S.-Japanese relations, both as a U.S. government official and as a leading academic thinker on political power in Asia.

Nye, the former dean of the Harvard Kennedy School, has held numerous senior positions in the U.S. State Department, the Pentagon, and the National Security Council. He is a member of the board of Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and chair of the Pacific Forum of the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C.

In announcing Nye’s award, Keio University said it was conferring the degree “in appreciation of his significant contributions to the advancement of Japan-U.S. relations, and his outstanding achievements in academics and education.”

The announcement said: “Professor Nye led the rebuilding effort of Japan-U.S. relations under a new international security environment in the post-Cold War era, and has contributed to the advancement of Japan-U.S. relations as a U.S. government official. Such movement of the U.S. made an important impact on Japan’s ‘National Defense Program Outline’ and ‘Japan-U.S. Joint Declaration on Security’ between the leaders of the two countries, and accelerated the redefinition of the Japan-U.S. alliance. Even after retiring from government service, Professor Nye has been strongly involved in Japan-U.S. relations through testifying at a congressional hearing and writing articles for Japanese and U.S. newspapers and magazines, and has contributed largely to its advancement.”

The award was presented to Nye in a ceremony on Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2010, at the Mita Campus of the university. Keio University has 11 campuses in Japan and is frequently described as one of the best universities in Asia. Its alumni include three recent Japanese prime ministers and numerous Cabinet members.