WASHINGTON--The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars welcomes Dr. Kuniko Ashizawa as a Wilson Center Japan Scholar. Ashizawa will spend four months in residence at the Wilson Center, beginning in September 2010, working on a research project examining Japan's contributions to peacebuilding efforts in Afghanistan.

Kuniko Ashizawa is a senior lecturer in international relations at Oxford Brookes University in the United Kingdom. Previously, she was a lecturer in the department of political science at the University of Pristina in Kosovo and a visiting scholar in the graduate school of international relations and Pacific studies at the University of California, San Diego. Her publications include "When Identity Matters: State Identity, Regional Institution-Building, and Japanese Foreign Policy," International Studies Review; and "Japan, the U.S. and Multilateral Institution-Building in the Asia-Pacific: The Case of APEC and the ARF," in T.J. Pempel and Ellis S. Krauss, Beyond Bilateralism: U.S.-Japan Relations in the New Asia-Pacific (Stanford University Press, 2004).

During her time at the Wilson Center, Ashizawa will focus on Japan's approach toward international "peacebuilding," with a particular emphasis on the country's ongoing reconstruction assistance to Afghanistan (and related economic assistance to the western border regions of Pakistan). Her project will consider the origin of Japan's growing activism in international peacebuilding over the past decade, articulate characteristic features of Japan's overall approach toward international peacebuilding, and evaluate Japan's peacebuilding activities in terms of their contribution to overall peacebuilding efforts of both international actors and recipient countries, and how their impact affects Japanese foreign policymaking.

The Japan Scholar program is the centerpoint of the Woodrow Wilson Center's activities related to Japan and U.S.-Japan relations. This scholarship competition is open to men and women currently residing in Japan, or of Japanese citizenship. Applications are accepted from individuals in academia, business, journalism, government, law, and related professions. Candidates must be currently pursuing research on key public policy issues facing Japan, including U.S.-Japan relations and East Asian political, security, and economic issues.

Successful applicants will spend 2-4 months in residence at the Wilson Center, where they will carry out advanced, policy-oriented research and writing designed to bridge the gap between the academic and policy communities.

The Japan Scholar Program is made possible by the generosity of the Sasakawa Peace Foundation.