Benjamin Self

Benjamin Self, MA

Takahashi Fellow in Japanese Studies

Shorenstein APARC
Encina Hall, Room E301
Stanford University
Stanford, CA 94305-6055

(650) 725-6445 (voice)
(650) 723-6530 (fax)

Research Interests

Japanese diplomacy, the U.S-Japan Alliance, Japan-China relations, Japan's role in the developing world, Northeast Asian security, Japan-Korea relations, U.S. Asia policy, and Japanese policy toward Africa.


Ben Self is the inaugural Takahashi Fellow in Japanese Studies at the Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center. Prior to joining the Center in September 2008, Self was at the Henry L. Stimson Center as a Senior Associate working on Japanese security policy beginning in 1998. While at the Stimson Center, he directed projects on Japan-China relations, fostering security cooperation between the U.S.-Japan Alliance and the PRC, Japan’s Nuclear Option, and Confidence-Building Measures. Self has also carried out research and writing in areas such as nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament, ballistic missile defense, Taiwan’s security, Northeast Asian security dynamics, the domestic politics of Japanese defense policy, and Japan’s global security role. 

From 2003 until 2008, Ben was living in Africa—in Malawi and Tanzania—and is now studying the role of Japan in Africa, including in humanitarian relief, economic development, conflict prevention, and resource extraction. 

Self earned his undergraduate degree in Political Science at Stanford in 1988, and an M.A. in Japan Studies and International Economics from Johns Hopkins University Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies. While there, he was a Reischauer Center Summer Intern at the Research Institute for Peace and Security (RIPS) in Tokyo. He later worked in the Asia Program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and was a Visiting Research Fellow at Keio University on a Fulbright grant from 1996 until 1998.