JUSFC Meet Our Grantees Series: Maureen and Mike Mansfield Foundation

June 20, 2017 

In 2014, JUSFC awarded the Mansfield Foundation an institutional grant for its U.S.-Japan Space Forum (USJSF), comprised of space policy experts from the governments of the United States and Japan, private sector, and think tank and academic communit

ies. The Foundation held meetings in Montana, Washington, D.C., Seattle and Tokyo, inviting informal discussion and dialogue about concerns and perspectives from all sides.

“The Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission helped us establish this program,” Mansfield Foundation Director of Programs Ryan Shaffer noted. “The Foundation’s support for the bilateral relationship closely aligns with JUSFC’s mission. This grant makes this type of programming possible, further enriching and strengthening the U.S.-Japan relationship. The Obama Administration and Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe established a ‘Comprehensive Dialogue’ between the two countries (which continues under the Trump administration), bringing both countries together on space policy. Noting the increasing role of private sector innovation in our national space capabilities, the U.S.-Japan Space Forum provides a platform for private sector and other non-government experts to respond and contribute to this official dialogue, Shaffer explained.

Based on its series of meetings and discussions, the USJFC released Recommendations for the Japan-U.S. Comprehensive Space Dialogues in July 2016. The Mansfield Foundation also published the report in Japanese.

USJSF presenting its findings at the American Center Japan in Tokyo, 2017

Although their JUSFC grant has concluded, the Space Forum continues moving forward. This year its group met with four of Japan’s most important space entrepreneurs.

“Adding voices like theirs to our dialogue, we continue to foster relationships and ideas that are enriching space policy discourse within each country and between our two governments,” Shaffer adds. “Programs like this aim to facilitate good policy, but they are also hugely important investments in the trust and familiarity at the working-level that make the U.S.-Japan relationship as strong and enduring as it is today.”

JUSFC is the chief instrument of the U.S. Government for maintaining expertise on Japan throughout U.S. academic and professional institutions in four areas: Exchanges and Scholarship; Global Ch

allenges; Arts and Culture; and Public Affairs. For more information on JUSFC’s institutional grants, please visit this page. The deadline for this year’s grants is July 3.


USJSF meeting at the National Bureau of Asian Research (NBR) in Seattle, 2016