Joint University of Tokyo-Yale Program To Promote Japanese Studies in U.S.
New Haven, Conn. — The University of Tokyo (Todai), Japan’s premier educational and research institution, and Yale University are launching a joint initiative designed to promote Japanese Studies in the United States.
The initiative, titled the Todai–Yale Initiative for Japanese Studies and Related Humanities and Social Sciences (or, less formally, the Todai–Yale Initiative), is the latest of many ongoing academic and student exchanges between the two universities. University of Tokyo President Hiroshi Komiyama and Yale President Richard C. Levin will sign documents formally establishing the initiative on November 2 in New York City.
The Todai-Yale Initiative will bring researchers from Japan to the Yale campus, where they will both further their own research and contribute to the field of Japanese studies on campus.
“The creation of a research base in the U.S. is an important part of the University of Tokyo’s plan to promote globalization of Japanese Studies and the first step towards bringing the discipline into the 21st century,” said Komiyama. “And since Todai and Yale have a century-long history of academic exchange, it was only natural for us to work with this great university.”
Levin added, “We welcome Japanese scholars to Yale and look forward to collaborating with them on research in many areas of humanities and the sciences, as well as adding new knowledge and understanding to the broad field of Japanese Studies.”
The three Todai researchers who will travel from Tokyo to Yale this fall are Junko Kato, professor of Graduate School of Law and political science; Takuji Okamoto, associate professor of the history and philosophy of science, the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences; and Koji Yamamoto, research associate of political science in the Institute of Social Science.
Kato specializes in comparative politics and political economy. She has published two books in English, “The Problem of Bureaucratic Rationality” (Princeton University Press, 1994), which was awarded the prestigious Masayoshi Ohira Memorial Prize, and “Regressive Taxation and the Welfare State” (Cambridge University Press, 2003). She received her Ph.D. from Yale in 1992.
Okamoto’s specialty is the history of science. Along with his research on the history of physics in America, he has surveyed the history of science and technology of Japan and has written several articles on electric engineering and physics in prewar Japan.
Yamamoto studies the contemporary Japanese political process. His major areas of interest include election and voting behavior, competition among political the policy arena and electoral systems in democracies.
Dr. Kato, Dr. Okamoto and Mr. Yamamoto are the latest in the long line of Japanese scholars who have studied, taught or conducted research at Yale. Kan’ichi Asakawa, the notable Japanese historian and the first Japanese person to teach at Yale, earned his Ph.D. from Yale in 1902. He became an instructor at Yale in 1907 and a full professor in 1937.
In the future, the Todai-Yale Initiative will sponsor workshops, seminars, a series of lectures on topics in humanities and social sciences, as well as multiple collaborative efforts. A newly formed not-for-profit corporation, Friends of Todai, Inc., will seek donations from Todai alumni as well as other individuals and organizations with an interest in U.S.–Japan relations. Friends of Todai, Inc. will aim to provide the University of Tokyo with financial assistance in support of all its academic and educational activities in the United States.
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