JUSFC Hosts 40th Anniversary Discussion on Japan Studies

April 14, 2016 

To commemorate its 40th anniversary and to address the rising concern within academic circles that Japan Studies as a field may be in “crisis”, the Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission convened a discussion on April 2, 2016 at the Association of Asian Studies annual meeting in Seattle.

The discussion, chaired by University of Hawai’i professor Patricia Steinhoff, featured experts, Professors T.J. Pempel (University of California, Berkeley), Leonard Schoppa (University of Virginia), Patricia Maclachlan (University of Texas, Austin) and Dyron Dabney (Albion College). Professors Pempel, Maclachlan and Schoppa also serve as Presidentially-appointed Commissioners on the Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission.

The group discussed trends in Japan Studies, potential interdisciplinary approaches to the teaching of Japan and the Japanese language, and recommendations on creating a demand for and diversifying Japan Studies in the United States. Over 75 academics, students and representatives from public policy organizations attended the event and engaged in a lively discussion on how to make the field more accessible by generating greater interest.

The Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission is marking its 40th anniversary through 2016. The Commission has spent the last four decades supporting the U.S.-Japan relationship through public policy, arts, culture, and educational exchanges.