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Stanford, Japan have historical, academic ties
STANFORD -- When the emperor and empress of Japan were planning their trip
to the United States, Stanford was a natural stop on their itinerary. Not
only does Stanford have historical ties to Japan that date back to the
university's founding, but it also has an exceptionally strong academic
program in Japanese and Asian studies as well as a large number of major,
ongoing research collaborations with Japanese scientists and scholars.
- Five students from Japan were among the 559 members of Stanford's
founding class in 1891. By 1900, there were 19 Japanese students studying on
campus. Currently, 198 Japanese students are enrolled at Stanford and more
than 1,000 Stanford alumni live in Japan.
- In 1902 Jane Stanford visited alumni in Japan, had an audience with the
emperor and later contributed to the development of the law library at the
University of Tokyo.
- Yamato Ichihasi, who received his bachelor's and master's degrees in
economics from Stanford, returned to campus in 1913 as professor of Japanese
history and government. Stanford's first endowed professorship was the Chair
in Japanese History and Civilization, given by Viscount E. Shibusawa in 1920.
Currently, the campus has eight chairs endowed by Japanese individuals or
- During Emperor Hirohito's visit to San Francisco in 1975, the late
Stanford paleontologist Myra Keen was one of the few people invited for a
private audience to discuss the identification of shells in the emperor's
- Six years later then-Crown Prince Akihito visited Stanford briefly,
going to the observation platform at the top of Hoover Tower as part of a
short driving tour during a flight layover in San Francisco.
- When Stanford opened its Japan Center in Kyoto in 1989, the ceremony was
attended by His Imperial Highness Crown Prince Naruhito.
- Stanford has a strong program in Japanese studies that includes about 50
courses. It offers degrees in East Asian studies, with an emphasis on
Japanese studies, and in Asian languages, with an emphasis on Japanese.
- The Stanford Japan Center in Kyoto includes the Kyoto Center for
Japanese Studies (a consortium of nine American universities) for students
interested in serious study of Japanese language, history, culture and social
organization; the Stanford Center for Technology and Innovation, a
study/internship program for Stanford students that focuses on technology,
research development and organizational structure; and a research division
that facilitates scholarly collaboration between Stanford faculty and their
counterparts in Japan.
- The Inter-University Center for Japanese Language Studies in Yokohama,
administered by Stanford, is a consortium of 15 major academic institutions
in the United States and Canada.
- The Asia/Pacific Research Center of the Institute for International
Studies examines the organization and operation of Japanese research and
development efforts, comparative health care systems and policies in the
United States and Japan, and Japan's political economy, among other projects.
- The Center for East Asian Studies oversees and coordinates Stanford's
teaching programs dealing with China and Japan.
- The U.S.-Japan Technology Management Center educates U.S. scientists and
engineers on Japanese technology management and promotes the flow of
technical information between U.S. and Japanese researchers.
Major research collaborations
- For more than a decade, Japanese physicists have done research at the
Stanford Linear Accelerator Center under the umbrella of the U.S./Japan
Agreement on Cooperation in High Energy Physics. Groups from Nagoya and
Tohoku universities are currently involved in studies of the properties of
massive Z particles produced by the Stanford Linear Collider. Physicists from
Japan's National Laboratory for High Energy Physics have been making major
contributions to the Final Focus Test Beam, a $20 million research and
development facility that is testing advanced techniques needed for the next
generation of linear colliders.
- At the Asia/Pacific Research Center, faculty from throughout the
university study institutions, policy and economic advancement in both Japan
and the United States. Specific programs include:
- The Comparative Health Care Policy Research Project, which has assembled
a team of health care experts and economists from Stanford and Japan to study
the medical, technological, economic and policy implications of the shift
from pediatric to geriatric health care systems in Japan, the United States
- The Project on Asian Regionalization, which is examining the growing
ties of interdependence within Asia - led by Japan's emergence as the
region's informal economic leader - and their implications both for the
countries of Asia and for the world order.
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