The JETs on Japan Forum is a new partnership between USJETAA and Sasakawa Peace Foundation USA (Sasakawa USA) that features selected articles of JET alumni perspectives on U.S.-Japan relations. The series aims to elevate the awareness and visibility of JET alumni working across diverse sectors and provides a platform for JET alumni to contribute to deeper understanding of U.S.-Japan relations from their fields. The articles will be posted on USJETAA’s website to serve as resource to the wider JET alumni and U.S.-Japan communities on how alumni of this exchange program are continuing to serve as informal ambassadors in U.S.-Japan relations.
Submissions are encouraged from mid-to-senior level professionals who are established in the current fields OR current/recent graduate degree students in both masters and doctoral programs. Click here for mores information on how to submit a proposal for consideration.
JETs on Japan Forum Issue No. 3
In issue 3, Jacobs demonstrates the significance of U.S.-Japan collaboration across the space, science, and technology sectors. He offers an overview of U.S.-Japan science and technology (S&T) relations over the years, showing how the relationship has grown from its formalization in 1988 to include policy coordination on issues like research and development (R&D) projects and space exploration as well as top-level cooperation on critical and emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence and quantum information science. The article identifies opportunities to expand the U.S.-Japan S&T relationship to address strategic questions and regional issues such as China’s technological rise and shows how deep U.S.-Japan cooperation on S&T issues benefit society beyond the national security policy space, including expanded soft power and a larger innovation sector in both countries. The author draws on his experience in science and technology policymaking and his knowledge of the U.S.-Japan relationship to offer a unique perspective on this important track of the U.S.-Japan relationship.
D'Mitri A. Farthing, Jr.
JETs on Japan Forum Issue No. 2
In issue 2, Farthing discusses three myths commonly encountered about the U.S.-Japan security alliance and demonstrates why those myths are false. The year 2020 marked the sixtieth anniversary of the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty, which the United States government itself recognizes as the “cornerstone of U.S. security interests in Asia and fundamental to regional stability and prosperity” (Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, 2020). This treaty and the resulting partnerships form the bedrock of peace in the Indo-Pacific region, and yet duringhis time on the JET program, he has encountered multiple individuals from the United States, Japan, and elsewhere who have a fundamental misunderstanding of the nature of the U.S.-Japan security alliance. As the world changes and certain states, including the United States, become more isolationist, particularly in the COVID-19 era, it is important to clarify these misunderstandings and continue to promote the bilateral relationship that has proven critical to U.S. and Japanese security and promoted prosperity across the entire Indo-Pacific region.
Mary J. Eberhardinger, PhD
JETs on Japan Forum Issue No. 1
In issue 1, Dr. Eberhardinger demonstrates the significance of the role of gift-giving in the omiyage industry in Japan. The role of gifts in the omiyage industry is situated and argued as an extension of U.S.–Japan grassroots public diplomacy. The article also serves as a truncated exploration into how gifts function to strengthen everyday political, professional, and personal relationships between the U.S. and Japan. Implications drawn in this article will seek to address why the question concerning a philosophy of gifts matters for friendship and relations between the U.S. and Japan. By exploring a position on non-reciprocity or asymmetry in the giving and receiving process, this article will offer the eventual takeaway that a true gift across cultures, specifically between the U.S. and Japan, is one with no expectation for return. The author’s experience living in Japan for two-and-a-half years will shed light on the observations and suggestions for readers to ponder when they find themselves overseas with the choice to give or not give.