When CULCON (Conference on Educational and Cultural Interchange) recognized the potential impact of the JET alumni community in strengthening the U.S.-Japan relationship, the Japan Foundation CGP became a critical partner to help establish a non-profit organization for JET alumni. Now in its fourth year, the United States Japan Exchange and Teaching Program Alumni Association has been keeping JET alumni across the United States and overseas engaged with Japan and serving as a resource and point of contact for the alumni network. USJETAA is grateful to the Japan Foundation CGP for its support in building a strong network of active and engaged JET alumni, who share their passion for Japan in their personal and professional lives.
Ms. Paige Cottingham-Streater is the Chair of the USJETAA Board of Directors.
During my Abe Fellowship years, 2006-2007, I made several trips to Japan for field research on trade policy. In a comparison of trade policy enforcement strategies, I analyzed the effectiveness of using the World Trade Organization dispute settlement. Interviews with government officials provided key insights into the decision process to weigh diplomatic and economic interests. The flexibility of the grant supports multiple stages of research, so that I could alternate between research in Japan and time in the United States reading and analyzing data. Several years later, the research started on the Abe Fellowship was published as my book, Why Adjudicate? Enforcing Trade Rules in the WTO. More recently, presenting in the Abe Forum offered me the chance to connect the research from my fellowship to current debates on trade policy in a public forum.
CGP is a longstanding partner of the National Association of Japan America Societies (NAJAS) and our 38 member Japan-America Society (JAS) network. Japan-America Societies promote mutual understanding between the peoples of the U.S. and Japan, at the local level. CGP’s support focuses on capacity building in the network, making it unique among our funding partners. CGP support has helped JAS to hire staff, develop skills and disseminate knowledge throughout our network. CGP support has helped NAJAS undertake important initiatives like our mentorship program for newly hired executive directors at Japan-America Societies. We are truly grateful to the dedicated and thoughtful approach that CGP takes to supporting NAJAS and our network.
Mr. Peter Kelley is President of National Association of Japan America Societies.
The Abe fellowship was innovative in several ways. Most of the names I saw as recipients of the Abe fellowship at the time were world-class leading Japan specialists from a range of disciplines. But here I was – a non-Asia expert and not a Japan or US/Japan specialist either, looking at a third world country in the relationship in a dynamic Asia. …There’s a kind of consistency and long-lasting professional network that I could not have built without the Abe Fellowship.
Dr. Satu Limaye is the Director of East-West Center in Washington, DC and the Director of the Asia Matters for America initiative.
Often fellowships evaluate scholars on the basis of what they’ve already done. The Abe fellowship is unusual in the sense that it is forward looking. It looks at what the plans are for the future. The aim was to think outside the box and allow unusual projects to come to fruition, however difficult or complicated they might be.
Dr. Frances McCall Rosenbluth is the Damon Wells Professor of Political Science, Yale University. Her Abe Fellowship project on childcare and fertility resulted in the edited volume The Political Economy of Japan’s Low Fertility (Stanford University Press, 2006).
During an online class in March 2016, students in the Reischauer Scholars Program (RSP) spoke with students in Stanford e-Japan. An RSP student asked the Stanford e-Japan students how the fifth anniversary of March 11, 2011 was being commemorated. The Japanese students not only described commemorations but also their emotional recollections, including the deaths of relatives. The openness of the Japanese students and the extraordinary empathy that the American students demonstrated made the SPICE staff proud to promote cross-cultural education. CGP, through its support of programs like the RSP, has enabled SPICE to foster the most important “voices of the field”—those of our youth.
Dr. Gary Mukai is the Director of the Stanford Program on International and Cross-Cultural Education (SPICE), Stanford University.
The overarching purpose of my project was to provide well-informed and objective assessments of emerging U.S. economic and foreign policy proposals in a U.S.-Japan alliance context and to maximize opportunities for constructive debate in a timely matter. The resulting monograph, Uncommon Alliance for the Common Good: The United States and Japan After the Cold War, combined research using English and Japanese sources with interviews of former and current officials from both countries. Policymakers and students are now benefiting from this work. We are grateful for the support from CGP that helped make this initiative possible.
Mr. James Schoff is currently a Senior Fellow in the Asia Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
I report, research and write about the intersection of work, gender equity, policy and life, and how the cultural expectations and organizational structures around work shape our experiences, choices and the trajectories of our lives. The US is in the middle of an overwork crisis that is often characterized as a "personal choice". I seek to understand the behavioral and systemic factors that both drive overwork and can help improve work-life conflict. The Abe Fellowship for Journalists has enabled me to report deeply on the ground in Japan to better understand the work-til-you-die karoshi culture, to explore parallels with the US, and to spend time with young activists, victim families and labor unions seeking change and a better way to work and live, and examine the movement as a model as I research how societies transform.
Ms. Brigid Schulte is a journalist and author of New York Times bestselling book, "Overwhelmed: How to Work, Love, and Play When No One Has the Time", currently the director of the Better Life Lab at New America.
Promoting awareness and recognition of Japan was the primary mission as a coordinator for the Japan Outreach Initiative (JOI) Program. The unique opportunity gave me a chance to work in education with the K-12 schools and economic development with the Governor’s office and the Chamber of Commerce. JOI Program provided me with the skills of working in diverse environments. Now I am known for highly developed collaborative communication skills and recognized as a dedicated and accomplished administrative director with leadership ability to manage faculty, staff, students, and budgets. Leadership ability for managing the current office and programs is definitely earned when I was participating in the JOI program.
Mr. Takeo Suzuki is Executive Director of the Center for Global Education, The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.