Center for Japanese Studies 50th Anniversary
Hybrid Japan

Sadako Ogata and Japan's International Relations:
Diplomacy and Foreign Aid
November 14, Friday

US-Japan: Global Responsibility and Development Assistance (Video Archive)
All 50th Anniversary Events Video Archive

On Friday, November 14th, 2008, the Center for Japanese Studies presented an event on Japan's international relations, featuring Dr. Sadako Ogata, president of the Japanese International Cooperation Agency and a UC Berkeley graduate (1963), as keynote speaker. Greeted and introduced by Robert Scalapino (Professor Emeritus, UC Berkeley), her former mentor and professor, Dr. Ogata provided an insightful overview of Japan's global responsibility and development assistance in her keynote speech. She spoke on the history of Japan's early development assistance, explaining that in the 1950s, Japan focused their assistance on Asian recovery and economic growth, while being reserved in security matters, choosing to remain consistent with their pacifist posture. However, after receiving criticism for not sharing enough of the world's economic and security burden, particularly during the Gulf War, Japan began increasing their involvement in international military and peacekeeping operations. She notes that today, Japan's main contributions to the international War on Terror and reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan are in economic and social development and infrastructure enhancement. Japan has also been increasing their development assistance to Africa, focusing on poverty reduction and economic development. Dr. Ogata suggests that this symbolizes Japan's growing strength as a "soft power," and while "soft power" alone cannot bring peace and prosperity to the world, neither can "hard power" alone. She further stated that, in order to tackle the problems associated with the effects of globalization, new governing structures and systems for development assistance will have to be created. Ogata concluded that these times require the United States and Japan to join hands to benefit a world in transition that is awaiting their contribution.

Following the keynote lecture was a panel discussion featuring Shinichi Kitaoka (Professor, University of Tokyo), Takatoshi Ito (Professor, University of Tokyo), and T.J. Pempel (Professor, UC Berkeley) who presented on Japan's international relations, focusing on its diplomacy and foreign aid. The discussion was moderated by Steven Vogel (Professor, UC Berkeley).

Sadako Ogata: After receiving a Ph.D. from UC Berkeley's Department of Political Science in 1963, Sadako Ogata began her career in international politics as an instructor at Sophia University. In 1979, she was selected by the Japanese government to head the nation's efforts in assisting Cambodian refugees fleeing the Khmer Rouge. She was later elected United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in 1990 and served three terms ending in 2000. As the president of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Ogata presides over the agency's merger with the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JIBC) in October of 2008.

Ogata is the recipient of numerous awards for her humanitarian service. In 1994, Liberal International awarded her the Prize for Freedom. She became the first female recipient of the Liberty Medal for her efforts as the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Ogata was also awarded the Chancellor's Distinguished Honor Award from UC Berkeley in 1999, the Fulbright Prize for International Understanding in 2002, and the Great Negotiator Award from the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School in 2005.

Event Program

Sadako Ogata

Location: Lipman Room, Barrows Hall, UC Berkeley
Time: 3:00pm-6:00pm

Opening Remarks

Duncan Williams (Chair, Center for Japanese Studies)


Steven Vogel (Political Science, UC Berkeley)
Robert Scalapino (Professor Emeritus, Political Science, UC Berkeley)

Keynote Speech

"U.S.-Japan: Global Responsibility and Development Assistance"
Sadako Ogata, former United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and President, Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA), UC Berkeley Class of '63, Ph.D.

Panel Discussion

Shinichi Kitaoka (Political Science, University of Tokyo)
Former permanent representative of Japan to the United Nations

Takatoshi Ito (Economics, University of Tokyo)
Author of The Japanese Economy and the Political Economy of Japanese Monetary Policy

T.J. Pempel (Political Science, UC Berkeley)
Author of Regime Shift: Comparative Dynamics of the Japanese Political Economy

Moderated by Steven Vogel

Co-sponsored by: IEAS Shorenstein Fund, Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, Consulate General of Japan, San Francisco