Fellows must be American citizens between the ages of 27 and 45. They may be drawn from academia (including think tanks), government (including the executive and legislative branches at both the federal and state levels), business or the media. The program is intended for non-specialists in Japan.
In 1997, the Council on Foreign Relations established the International Affairs Fellowship in Japan, sponsored by Hitachi, Ltd., to enable a number of outstanding young American leaders and thinkers to expand their intellectual and professional horizons through an extended period of research or related professional activity in Japan. Officially known as the International Affairs Fellowship in Japan, or informally as "the Hitachi Fellowship," the program seeks to contribute to American understanding of Japan and to improved communication among emerging leaders in the two countries.
The goal of the Hitachi Fellowship is to strengthen the U.S.-Japan relationship by expanding American understanding of Japan and enhancing communication among Americans and Japanese on global problems. In this context, the program seeks to address the continuing imbalance in opportunities for Americans and Japanese to get to know each other's societies and cultures. Tens of thousands of Japanese come to the United States each year to study and work, but only a small number of Americans study or work in Japan. Although this imbalance is difficult to redress on a quantitative basis, the Hitachi Fellowship program seeks to have a positive impact by giving Americans with great leadership capacity the opportunity to gain an in-depth understanding of Japan and to develop close relationships with their Japanese counterparts.
To achieve these objectives, great emphasis is placed in the design of the program on ensuring (1) that the selection process attracts the best qualified candidates; (2) that the selected fellows spend an adequate period of time in Japan to achieve the program's purposes; and (3) that they have the opportunity to work together with leaders in their respective fields in Japan.
The basic term of the fellowship is one year, with a minimum of three months to pursue a program of the fellows' own design consisting of policy oriented research or related professional activity. To assure that the fellows spend their time in Japan fruitfully and come into contact with their professional peers, the Council assists Fellows in arranging affiliation with academic, governmental, or private sector institutions in Japan appropriate to their professional interests. Hitachi, Ltd. assists the fellows, as requested, in locating housing and getting settled in the Japanese environment. Fellowships cover living expenses in Japan plus international transportation, health and travel insurance, and necessary research expenses.
Application for fellowships is primarily by invitation, on the recommendation of a individuals in academic, government and other institutions, who have occasion to know young persons particularly well suited for the experience offered by this fellowship. Others who inquire directly and who meet preliminary requirements may also be invited to apply without formal nomination. Those invited to apply will be forwarded application materials.
For more information, please visit the fellowship website: http://www.cfr.org/about/fellowships/iaf_japan.html.
Address all inquiries to:
Membership & Fellowship Affairs
Council on Foreign Relations
58 East 68th Street
New York, NY 10065
For immediate inquiries or questions regarding the Program, please call Elizabeth Mathai at +1-212-434-9489 or email: Fellowships@cfr.org.