sponsored by Hitachi, Ltd.
Founded in 1997, the International Affairs Fellowship (IAF) in Japan, sponsored by Hitachi, Ltd., seeks to strengthen mutual understanding and cooperation between the rising generations of leaders in the United States and Japan. The program provides a selected group of mid-career U.S. citizens the opportunity to expand their professional horizons by spending a period of research or other professional activity in Japan. Fellows are drawn from academia, business, government, media, NGOs, and think tanks. In cooperation with CFR, the program’s sponsor, Hitachi, Ltd., assists fellows in finding suitable host organizations in Japan. A nonexclusive list of cooperating institutions in Japan can be found below.
Interested candidates who meet the program's eligibility requirements can apply online between July 1 and October 31 on an annual basis. Candidates who are selected as IAF in Japan finalists will be notified in January, with finalist interviews scheduled in Washington, DC, and New York City between January and February. Official selections and announcement of awards will be made between February and March.
The IAF in Japan is only open to mid-career professionals who have a demonstrated commitment to a career in foreign policy and have an interest in U.S.-Japan relations. The program welcomes applicants from a broad range of professional, academic, and personal backgrounds. While the IAF in Japan is intended primarily for those without substantial prior experience in Japan, exceptions have been made when an applicant has demonstrated that the fellowship would add a significant new dimension to his or her career. Knowledge of the Japanese language is not a requirement. Qualified candidates must be U.S. citizens who are eligible to work in the United States. CFR does not sponsor for visas.
Fellows are selected on the basis of academic and professional accomplishments and promise, the merits and feasibility of their specific research or action proposals, character and personal qualities conducive to promoting cross-cultural communication and cooperation, and the contribution that the proposed research or professional activity will make to the applicant’s individual career development.
The selection process is highly competitive. CFR’s Fellowship Affairs Office processes the applications, and the IAF in Japan selection committee reviews all applications to identify the most promising candidates. About one-third of the most qualified applicants are selected as finalists to be interviewed by several IAF in Japan selection committee members. Based on the overall application and the results of the interviews, the selection committee chooses approximately three to five finalists to be fellows.
The duration of the fellowship is between three and twelve months. The program awards a stipend in yen, which covers travel and living expenses in Japan. Fellows are considered independent contractors rather than employees of CFR, and are not eligible for employment benefits, including health insurance.
Tania M. Chacho, Associate Professor, Director of Comparative Politics, and Chair of Political Science, U.S. Military Academy at West Point
Perry Y. Chen, Foreign Service Officer, U.S. Embassy in London, U.S. Department of State
James D. Fry, Associate Professor of Law, University of Hong Kong Faculty of Law; and Visiting Associate Professor of International Law, Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University
Jonathan Miller, Senior Analyst, Asia-Pacific, Canada Border Services Agency; Fellow, East Asia, EastWest Institute; and Fellow and Chair of Japan-Korea Working Group, Pacific Forum Center for Strategic and International Studies
Matthew S. Winters, Associate Professor, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
A list of former fellows can be found online by visiting Historical Roster of CFR’s International Affairs Fellows in Japan.