- What are you focusing on during your fellowship period?
My area of research is contemporary U.S. strategy in East Asia. Specifically, by identifying the goals and approaches of the Obama administration’s strategy in East Asia and how various initiatives pursued under the so-called U.S. rebalance to Asia are influencing East Asian security, I hope to assess the possibilities and limits of achieving “peaceful change” in the region.
- Could you explain briefly what exactly you have been doing during the International Fellowship period?
I conducted research as a visiting scholar at the Sigur Center for Asian Studies which is a research institute at the George Washington University. Washington D.C. was an ideal location to closely follow cutting-edge policy debates unfolding in think tanks and academic institutions.
My hope was to fully appreciate the thinking behind U.S. foreign policy and defense policy by exchanging views with policy experts and government officials. To this end, I participated in numerous public events, private workshops and roundtables.
In addition, I attended classes at the George Washington University to gain expertise and learn methods of analysis from leading academics in the field. In the latter part of my stay in the United States, I was affiliated with theWoodrow Wilson School at Princeton University as a visiting researcher. This enabled me to participate in meetings hosted by the university, collect materials housed by the university, and exchange views and engage in discussions with leading scholars. I also accessed the National Archives and the Nixon Presidential Library to collect primary source materials on the foreign and defense policies of the United States in the 1970’s, that provide interesting implications for understanding contemporary U.S. foreign engagement.
- Please give your feedback on the International Fellowship Program.
The International Fellowship Program offers a great sense of security to researchers studying abroad. Thanks to the staff at the secretariat, who provided consultations, the range of my research expanded greatly, and the generous support was very helpful because I had taken my family with me to the United States. I am grateful to the International Fellowship Program for giving me the opportunity to spend my twenty-two months of sabbatical leave in the United States without having to worry about my family or my research.
Furthermore, the opportunity to meet other chronological peers helped us to build a network before we went abroad. Being one of only 7 fellows in the second cohort, I expect the small number to be an advantage in establishing links with peers and fellows from other cohorts.
- How do you want to build on your studies in the US after returning to Japan?
As my research can be divided into sub themes such as “The Obama Administration’s East Asian policy and China,” “The role of net assessment and competitive strategy in US defense policies” and “America’s grand strategy,” I hope to engage in policy debates at home and abroad by publishing papers also in English and making presentations at conferences held at various places.