Shorenstein Journalism Award Panel Discussion: Continuity and Change in the U.S.-Japan Alliance

Date and Time

May 6, 2016 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM



Open to the public.

RSVP required by 5PM May 04.

Announced earlier this year, Yoichi Funabashi is the 2015 Shorenstein Journalism Award recipient. As part of the annual ceremonies, Funabashi will deliver remarks on the U.S.-Japan alliance, followed by comments from three Japan experts.

The postwar alliance of the United States and its former wartime foe, Japan, is one of the most enduring relationships of the postwar era. It remains a cornerstone of the foreign policy of both nations. But it is also an alliance in the midst of change. In both countries, domestic politics affects the security alliance, as well as the impact of economic turmoil and the challenges of slowing growth. Populism in the United States is already challenging the need for the alliance. Similar questions are raised by the hollowing out of Japan’s postwar moderative conservativism which long supported the alliance. Both the U.S. rebalance to Asia and Japan’s “proactive pacifism” are now in question. 


Yoichi Funabashi

Co-founder and Chairman, Rebuild Japan Initiative Foundation

former Editor-in-Chief, Asahi Shimbun (2007-2010) 


Susan Chira

Deputy Executive Editor, former Foreign Editor and Tokyo Correspondent

New York Times


Michael Armacost

Shorenstein APARC Distinguished Fellow, Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center, Stanford University

former U.S. Ambassador to Japan


Daniel Sneider

Associate Director for Research, Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center, Stanford University

former Foreign Correspondent, San Jose Mercury News

Yoichi Funabashi is an award-winning Japanese journalist, columnist and author. He has written extensively on foreign affairs, the U.S.-Japan Alliance, economics and historical issues in the Asia-Pacific.

He has a distinguished career as a journalist. He served as correspondent for the Asahi Shimbun in Beijing (1980-81) and Washington (1984-87), and as U.S. General Bureau Chief (1993-97). In 2013 he won the Oya Soichi Nonfiction Award for his book on the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Accident ‘Countdown to Meltdown,’ he won the Japan Press Award known as Japan’s “Pulitzer Prize” in 1994 for his columns on international affairs, his articles in Foreign Affairs and Foreign Policy won the Ishibashi Tanzan Prize in 1992 and in 1985 he received the Vaughn-Ueda Prize for his reporting on international affairs.

As co-founder and chairman of the Rebuild Japan Initiative Foundation (RJIF) he oversaw the “Independent Investigation Commission on the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Accident” (Routledge, 2014) that was ranked in the top 24 policy reports produced by a think-tank in the ‘2012 Global Go-to Think Tank Ranking.’ Since its establishment in 2012, RJIF has published several influential reports on a broad range of key policy challenges facing Japan and the Asia-Pacific.

He received his bachelor of arts from the University of Tokyo in 1968 and his doctorate from Keio University in 1992. He was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University (1975-76), a visiting Fellow at the Institute for International Economics (1987), a Donald Keene Fellow at Columbia University (2003), a visiting professor at the University of Tokyo Public Policy Institute (2005-2006) and a distinguished guest professor at Keio University (2011-2014). He previously served on the board of The International Crisis Group, and is a member of the Trilateral Commission. He is a former contributing editor of Foreign Policy, and sits on the editorial board of The Washington Quarterly.

Funabashi’s complete profile can be found here.

The Shorenstein Journalism Award, which carries a cash prize of $10,000, honors a journalist not only for a distinguished body of work, but also for the particular way that work has helped American readers to understand the complexities of Asia. The award, established in 2002, was named after Walter H. Shorenstein, the philanthropist, activist, and businessman who endowed two institutions that are focused respectively on Asia and on the press: the Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center (Shorenstein APARC) in the Freeman Spogli Institute at Stanford University, and the Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics, and Public Policy in the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Event media contact: Lisa Griswold,

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