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 select group of mid-career professionals the opportunity to carry out research while affiliated with appropriate institutions in Japan and to establish long-term professional and personal ties through their activities. Fellows are drawn from academia, business, government, media, NGOs, and think tanks. In cooperation with CFR, the program’s sponsor assists fellows in finding suitable host organizations in Japan. A nonexclusive list of cooperating institutions in Japan can be found below. CFR cannot guarantee placement at any specific agency or organization.
- Applicants must be U.S. citizens.
- Applicants must be mid-career professionals.
- Applicants must have a strong record of professional achievement.
- Applicants must have an interest in U.S.-Japan relations.
- Applicants must hold at least a bachelor’s degree.
- Although the program 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.
The duration of the fellowship is between three and twelve months. The program awards a stipend in yen that 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.
Selection as an IAF in Japan is based on a combination of the following criteria:
- scholarly qualifications
- professional experience
- merits and feasibility of a project proposal that relates to U.S.-Japan relations
- character and personal qualities conducive to promoting cross-cultural communication and cooperation
- contribution that the fellowship will make to the applicant’s career development
The selection process is highly competitive. Based on the overall application and the results of the interviews, the selection committee chooses three to five finalists to be fellows. CFR will work with the selected fellows to place them in suitable host organizations. Placements are made at the discretion of host organizations. CFR cannot guarantee placement at any specific agency or organization.