Mansfield Foundation Seeks Applications for New U.S.-Japan Network for the Future Cohort

The Maureen and Mike Mansfield Foundation was created in 1983 to advance the Mansfields' life-long efforts to promote understanding and cooperation among the nations and peoples of Asia and the United States. To advance this mission, the foundation, in partnership with the Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership, has issued a Call for Applications for its U.S.-Japan Network for the Future initiative, which was launched in 2009 with the aim of fostering a new generation of Japan specialists.

The purpose of the program is to identify and support U.S.- and Japan-based professionals who demonstrate an interest in and potential for becoming Japan specialists and policy intellectuals. The resulting network includes Japan specialists from all regions of the United States and Japan with diverse expertise and perspectives. Participants should be able to constructively participate in the bilateral policymaking process and contribute to better understanding of U.S.-Japan relations. The program seeks to nurture a new generation of scholars and professionals working in the following policy areas: U.S.-Japan security relations; U.S.-Japan economic relations; regional cooperation; issues where the two countries confront common domestic challenges (such as aging societies and income inequality); and issues where the two countries have opportunities to work together to resolve global challenges (such as climate change and food security).

To be eligible, applicants must be currently and actively involved in the U.S.-Japan dialogue. The program is targeted at scholars with a professional interest in Japan and at professionals with a strong engagement with Japan and work experience in policy-relevant fields. In addition to having an interest in public policy, successful applicants must be able to demonstrate their interest in and potential for becoming future leaders in the U.S.-Japan relationship.

U.S.-based applicants must be a citizen or permanent resident of the United States with working knowledge of the Japanese language. Japan-based applicants must be a Japanese national who is able to contribute to discussions in English. Priority will be given to candidates in the early- to mid-career stage.

Participants must be fully dedicated to the two-year program and be able to participate in all scheduled meetings, including a two-day workshop in Washington, D.C. (June 2019); a two-day retreat in Montana (September 2019); a week-long meeting in Washington, D.C. (January 2020); a week-long Japan study trip (June 2020); and a June 2021 public symposium.

Over the course of the program, participants will be expected to develop their network of contacts; engage with other network members; engage others in the academic and policy fields and share what they have learned about Japan; prepare for and actively participate in the program’s meetings, workshops, and study trip; participate in group activities and support the program’s larger goals and objectives; conduct independent research on key issues of particular interest to them; produce op-ed pieces and commentary/blog posts on important policy issues in U.S.-Japan relations; and produce and seek to publish or otherwise disseminate a brief policy paper. Network participants will present their papers and discuss current issues in the region during the last meeting, the June 2021 public symposium in Washington, D.C.

Financial support for those selected is limited to travel, accommodations, and meal expenses associated with participation in program meetings and study trips.

For complete program guidelines and application instructions, see the Mansfield Foundation website.