Embassy of Japan
April 29, 2014
On April 29th, 2014 (Japan Time), the Government of Japan announced the foreign recipients of the 2014 Spring Imperial Decorations. Among 55 foreign recipients is Professor Kent Eyring Calder, Director of the Edwin O. Reischauer Center for East Asian Studies at Johns Hopkins University, who will receive the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon, in recognition of his significant contributions to the development of Japan studies in the United States and the enhancement of mutual understanding between the two countries.
After graduating from the University of Utah with a degree in Political Science, Professor Calder received his A.M. and Ph.D. from Harvard University. From 1974 to 1979, he stayed in Japan to conduct research and built a wide range of networks in the political, government, and private sectors. In 1979, Professor Calder became the first Executive Director of Harvard University’s Program on U.S.-Japan Relations, and Lecturer on Government at Harvard. In 1983, he became Assistant Professor at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University, and was promoted to tenured professor at Princeton in 1989. From 1989 to 1993, and again in 1996, Calder also served as Japan Chair at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, where he facilitated U.S. government policy towards Japan and promoted understanding of Japan among officials from the U.S. government, Congress, and military.
From 1997 to 2001, Professor Calder served as Special Advisor to the U.S. Ambassador to Japan. In that capacity he helped strengthen Japan-U.S. relations and foster mutual understanding. He is highly praised for his accomplishments in Japan. He is respected as a role model for successive Special Advisors to the U.S. Ambassador to Japan. Since 2003, he has served as the Edwin O. Reischauer Professor of East Asian Studies and Director of the Edwin O. Reischauer Center for East Asian Studies at SAIS/Johns Hopkins University.
Professor Calder is a leading scholar of Japan studies in the United States and has published several books on the domestic politics of both countries, focusing on the Japan-U.S. alliance and the legacy of the LDP’s long-term rule. He actively writes about Japanese politics and consistently works to promote understanding towards Japan in the United States. Professor Calder’s work in Japanese politics is highly regarded in both Japan and the United States and he has received numerous awards, including the Masayoshi Ohira Prize (1990), the Arisawa Hiromi Prize of the American Association of University Publishers (1990), and the Mainichi Asia-Taiheiyo Grand Prize (1997). As a fluent speaker of Japanese, he is a frequent commentator in the Japanese media.
Professor Calder has been giving lectures on Japan-U.S. relations for over 34 years. In addition, he has greatly contributed to educating U.S. policymakers who are involved with Japan affairs by hosting symposia and publishing articles. He has taught hundreds of students, many of whom have become Japan experts in the United States and policy makers in the Japan-US field. Professor Calder has played an important role in promoting people-to-people exchange and building trust, which serve as the basis of the Japan-U.S. alliance.
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