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The Japan-US relationship is often described as the most important diplomatic and cultural relationship in the Asia Pacific region. One of the keys to the long alliance and friendship has been the development of frank and open discussions on a wide range of policy issues; those discussions presume well-informed experts on both sides who are familiar with the issues and assumptions of their partners. The NVJ program addresses a pressing need to develop a new generation who can actively participate in the dialogues.

New Voices from Japan provides capacity strengthening and speaking opportunities in the United States for promising young Japanese policy experts working on topics of importance to both the US and Japanese academic and policy communities. Their topics include national security; foreign policy; Japanese politics and diplomacy; Japanese business and economy; energy and environment; development, gender, and human rights; immigration; and the challenges of aging societies. The dialogue tour in the US includes meetings for participants to speak at public lectures, brown bag seminars and small group discussions with policy professionals. We welcome expressions of interest in hosting NVJ speakers from academic and policy institutions in the US.

The training for NVJ speakers prior to and during the tour stresses building skills in communicating ideas orally, writing strong position papers through developmental editing, and presenting research in forms appropriate for a range of relevant American audiences. Through these activities, the program facilitates cross learning between the Japanese and US academic and policy communities.

The program is funded by the Sasakawa Peace Foundation. In Program Year 2015 and 2016, the tour for engagement and dialogues is planned for September and late January.