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CHALMERS JOHNSON
STEVEN CLEMONS

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CHALMERS JOHNSON was the founder and president of the Japan Policy Research Institute from 1994 until his death in November 2010. He taught for thirty years (1962-1992) at the Berkeley and San Diego campuses of the University of California and held endowed chairs in Asian politics at both of them. At Berkeley he served as chairman of the Center for Chinese Studies and as chairman of the Department of Political Science. His B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. degrees in economics and political science are all from the University of California, Berkeley.

He first visited Japan in 1953 as a U.S. Navy officer, and lived or visited there with his wife, the anthropologist Sheila K. Johnson, every year between 1961 and 1998. Chalmers Johnson was honored with fellowships from the Ford Foundation, the Social Science Research Council, and the Guggenheim Foundation; and in 1976 he was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He wrote numerous articles and reviews and some sixteen books, including Peasant Nationalism and Communist Power on the Chinese revolution, An Instance of Treason on Japan’s most famous spy, Revolutionary Change on the theory of violent protest movements, and MITI and the Japanese Miracle on Japanese economic development. This last-named book laid the foundation for the “revisionist” school of writers on Japan, and because of it the Japanese press dubbed him the “Godfather of revisionism.”

He was chairman of the academic advisory committee for the PBS television series “The Pacific Century,” and he played a prominent role in the PBS “Frontline” documentary “Losing the War with Japan.” Both won Emmy awards. His most recent books were Blowback: The Costs and Consequences of American Empire (New York: Metropolitan Books, 2000); The Sorrows of Empire: Militarism, Secrecy, and the End of the Republic (New York: Metropolitan Books, 2004); and Nemesis: The Last Days of the American Republic (New York: Metropolitan Books, 2007); and Dismantling the Empire: America's Last Best Hope (New York: Metropolitan Books, 2010).

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STEVEN CLEMONS is Washington editor-at-large for The Atlantic, editor of AtlanticLIVE (the events branch of The Atlantic), and a Senior Fellow at New America, where he previously served as Executive Vice President. Publisher of the popular political blog The Washington Note, Mr. Clemons is a long-term policy practitioner and entrepreneur in Washington, D.C. He has served as Executive Vice President of the Economic Strategy Institute, Senior Policy Advisor on Economic and International Affairs to Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) and was the first Executive Director of the Nixon Center.

Prior to moving to Washington, Mr. Clemons served for seven years as Executive Director of the Japan America Society of Southern California, and co-founded with Chalmers Johnson the Japan Policy Research Institute. He is a Member of the Board of the Clarke Center at Dickinson College, a liberal arts college in Carlisle, Pa., as well as an Advisory Board Member of the C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience at Washington College in Chestertown, Md. He is also a Board Member of the Global Policy Innovations Program at the Carnegie Council on Ethics and International Affairs and on the advisory board of the Robert Bosch Foundation Alumni Association.

Mr. Clemons writes frequently on matters of foreign policy, defense, and international economic policy. His work has appeared in many of the major leading op-ed pages, journals, and magazines around the world.


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Last Updated 14 December, 2015 . For more information contact info@jpri.org.