Board Members

Kyoji Yanagisawa

Former Assistant Chief Cabinet Secretary

After graduating from The University of Tokyo, he took up a position as Deputy Vice-Minister at the Ministry of Defense, and served as director at the National Institute for Defense Studies. He served as the Assistant Chief Cabinet Secretary for the Koizumi, Abe (first administration) , Fukuda, and Aso administrations from 2004 to 2009. During this time, he was in charge of national security and risk management. Today he is the director at the International Geopolitics Institute Japan.

Mike Mochizuki

Professor of Political Science and International Affairs,
George Washington University

After receiving his Ph.D. from Harvard University, he taught at the University of Southern California and Yale University. Professor Mochizuki worked as a senior fellow at the Brookings Institute, as well as co-chairman at the Asia-Pacific Policy Center at the RAND Corporation. From 2001 to 2005, he was the director of the Sigur Center for Asian Studies at the Elliott School of International Affairs at The George Washington University. He is the Japan-U.S. Relations Chair in Memory of Gaston Sigur and co-directs the "Memory and Reconciliation in the Asia-Pacific" research and policy project of the Sigur Center.

Selected Publications
The Japan-U.S. Alliance and China-Taiwan Relations: Implications for Okinawa (co-editor and author, 2008)
Japan in International Politics: The Foreign Policies of an Adaptive State (co-editor and author, 2007)
The Okinawa Question and the U.S.-Japan Alliance (co-editor and author, 2005)
Crisis on the Korean Peninsula: How to Deal with a Nuclear North Korea (co-author, 2003)

Tomohiro Yara


After graduating from the University of the Philippines, hestarted working as a reporter for the Okinawa Times. In 1992, he started reporting on the issue of US military bases in Okinawa. From 2006 to 2007, he also worked as a fellow at the East-West Center at the University of Hawaii. After retiring from the Okinawa Times, he started working as a freelance journalist.

Jiro Yamaguchi

Professor of Political Science, Hosei University

Born in 1958. Professor Yamaguchi focuses on the study of Public Administration and Contemporary Politics. After graduating from the University of Tokyo, he started working as an adjunct professor at Hokkaido University. He attended Cornell University as a Fulbright Scholar. Professor Yamaguchi worked as at Oxford University's St. Anthony College and at Warwick University as a visiting fellow. From 1993 to 2014, he taught at Hokkaido University before joining the faculty at Hosei University.

Kiichi Fujiwara

Professor of International Politics, Graduate School for Law and Politics, Tokyo University.

Born in Tokyo in 1956, Professor Fujiwara focuses on international politics, comparative government, and modern politics in Southeast Asia. After receiving his Ph.D. from Tokyo University, he attended Yale University on a Fulbright scholarship. He worked as an assistant professor at Chiba University, before joining the Institute of Social Science at the University of Tokyo. Since 1999, he works as Professor of International Politics at Graduate School for Law and Politics at Tokyo University.

He served as the former chairman of the Japan Association for Comparative Politics.

Kuniko Ashizawa

Professorial Lecturer, American University and George Washington University

Kuniko Ashizawa teaches international relations at the School of International Service, American University, and at the Elliott School of International Affairs, George Washington University. Her research interests include Japan’s foreign policy, regional institution-building in Asia, and global governance. She has published a number of academic journal articles and book chapters, including in International Studies Review, Pacific Affairs, the Pacific Review, and Journal of Peacebuilding and Development. Her book, Japan, the U.S. and Regional Institution-Building in the New Asia: When Identity Matters (Palgrave McMillan, 2013), received the 2015 Masayoshi Ohira Memorial Prize. Ashizawa was a visiting fellow at various research institutions, including the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, the EastWest Center in Washington, the Reischauer Center for East Asian Studies, SAIS. She received her PhD in international relations at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University

Kumiko Haba

Professor Emeritus at Aoyama Gakuin University, President of International Studies Association(ISA)Asia Pacific

President of the EUSA Asia Pacific Tokyo Conference(2017). Vice President of ISA (2016-17), Vice President of ISA Asia Pacific (2018-21). She is a member of Bureau of Commission of History of International Relations(CHIR, Paris). She is the Director of Institute for Global International Relations (IGIR)(2016-), Jean Monnet Chair of the European Union(2005-), Member of Science Council of Japan(2012-18), now Associate Member of SCJ(2018-24). She was a Visiting Scholar at Harvard University(2011-12), European University Institute(EUI), Italy(2008), University of Paris(2004), University of London (1996-97) , and Hungarian Academy of Science (1995-96, 2002). Her Specialty is International Politics, Comparative Studies of Regional Collaboration between EU and Asia, Immigrants/Refugee/Minority questions, and Cold War and Peace, History of International Relations. She wrote 73 books: including 17 English books & Proceedings, Editor, Co-Editors, and Co-writers, and 220 articles.


Sayo Saruta

Attorney at Law (Japan/the State of New York)

After graduating from Waseda University, she joined a NGO, which included helping out a refugee camp in Tanzania. Since passing the BAR exam in Japan in 2002, she specialized in international human right's law. After receiving her Master's degree from Colombia University Law School, she passed the BAR exam in New York State in 2009. In 2012, she received her second Master's degree in International Relations from American University in Washington, DC. In the past, she has worked with Amnesty International and Human Right Watch.