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SEPTEMBER 2010: Senate confirms longtime JPRI Supporter and Board Member Robert "Skipp" Orr as U.S. Executive Director to the Asian Development Bank

The U.S. Department of the Treasury announced on September 17, 2010, that Robert M. "Skipp" Orr was confirmed by the United States Senate to serve as the U.S. Executive Director to the Asian Development Bank (ADB), with the Rank of Ambassador. Given this official position, Ambassador Orr must now resign from the JPRI Board of Advisors. We at JPRI heartily congratulate "Skipp" for the Senate confirmation, wish him the very best tackling his new challenges in international development, and hope that he returns to JPRI after a very successful tenure at the ADB.

For the full text of the Treasury Department announcement click here.

AUGUST 2010: JPRI Founding Board Member Junnosuke Masumi Passes Away at 84

Junnosuke Masumi, an internationally known scholar of Japanese politics, passed away in Tokyo on August 13, 2010.

Masumi was born in 1925 in Nagasaki. A graduate of the Faculty of Law of the University of Tokyo (1948), Masumi was one of Japan's best known and most widely published political scientists specializing in the political history of modern Japan. From 1952 to 1989 he was professor of political science at Tokyo Metropolitan University, where he also served as dean of the Faculty of Law (1973-1977). In 1982 he was elected for a two-year term as president of the Japanese Political Science Association. He has also studied and taught at the University of California on its Berkeley, Los Angeles, and San Diego campuses; at the University of Michigan; the University of Washington; and the University of Hawaii. During 1990-91 he was a fellow of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars attached to the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC.

Masumi is the creator of the concept "1955 system," referring to the nature and foundations of the Liberal Democratic Party's uninterrupted control of political power in Japan from 1955 to 1993. Also, in his early book jointly written with Robert Scalapino, Masumi pioneered the study of factions within the Liberal Democratic Party (see Parties and Politics in Contemporary Japan , simultaneously published in English and Japanese by the University of California Press and Iwanami Shoten in 1962). His most important work is his monumental Nihon seito shiron (Narrative History of Japanese Political Parties) (University of Tokyo Press, 1965-1980, 7 volumes). Masumi is also the author of some eight other multi-volume works, including Yutopia to kenryoku (Utopia and Political Power) (University of Tokyo Press, Expanded ed., 1986, 2 volumes); Nihon seijishi (The Political History of Modern Japan) (University of Tokyo Press, 1988, 4 volumes); and Hikaku seiji (Comparative Politics) (University of Tokyo Press, 1990-93, 3 volumes). In the latter work, Masumi compares the political systems of Western Europe and Japan (vol. 1), America and Russia (vol. 2), and East Asia and Japan (vol. 3). His Postwar Politics in Japan, 1945-1955 and Contemporary Politics of Japan since 1955 have been translated into English by Lonny E. Carlile and published respectively by the Center for Japanese Studies, University of California, Berkeley (1985) and the University of California Press (1995).

JUNE 2010: JPRI Founding Board Member Hans H. Baerwald Passes Away at Age 82

Hans Baerwald, UCLA professor emeritus and an internationally known scholar of Japanese politics, died at his home in Pope Valley, California, on June 2, 2010.

Baerwald's lifelong connection with Japan began with his birth in Tokyo to a German businessman and his wife, June 18, 1927.  During his childhood, he "learned by hearing" and became fluent in both Japanese and German and, as a result of several years in the American School in Japan, he added English to his other linguistic abilities. 

In 1940 the family immigrated to the United States where Baerwald, then thirteen, attended Berkeley High School and subsequently U.C. Berkeley. At the age of eighteen he was drafted into the U.S. Army where he received further Japanese language instruction and, as a Second Lieutenant, became a language officer in Government Section of the American Occupation Forces in Japan. In this capacity he was charged with implementing the "Political Purge," the removal and exclusion of undesirable personnel from Japan's political service, a complex process in a tumultuous period about which he has written extensively.

Returning to Berkeley in 1949, he graduated the following year with an interdisciplinary degree, "Group Major on Japan". Subsequently, he entered the doctoral program at Berkeley and in due course returned to Japan to gather research materials for his doctoral dissertation. 

After completing his doctorate, Baerwald accepted a position as Assistant Professor of Asian Government and Politics at Miami University, Oxford, Ohio. He moved to the Department of Political Science at UCLA in 1962 where Japanese studies ultimately became his sole teaching responsibility. He helped found the Southern California Japan Seminar, served as Vice Chair of his Department, Director of the Education Abroad Program Study Center in Tokyo, Director of the Japan Exchange Program, and Director of its successor, the Japan Research and Exchange Program. He was Principal Investigator of a $1 million endowment from the Japan Shipbuilding Industry Foundation and received grants from the Ford Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the Japan Foundation. 

In addition to numerous research papers and monographs, he is the author of "The Purge of Japanese Leaders Under the Occupation", "Japan's Parliament: An Introduction," and "Party Politics in Japan," each of which has been translated and published in Japanese.

In November 1989 Baerwald was awarded the Order of the Sacred Treasure, Gold and Silver Star, by the Japanese Government on behalf of the Emperor of Japan in recognition of his contributions to bettering U.S.-Japanese relations in the academic field.

He is survived by his wife, Jennifer, his daughters Andrea Lindgren and Jan Baerwald, his son David Baerwald, and his grandchildren Melissa Crehan, Kim Morton and Beker Baerwald.  

In his memory, gifts may be made to the UCLA Foundation for the Hans Baerwald Graduate Fellowship in Japanese Studies, c/o Maura Resnick at the Terasaki Center for Japanese Studies, 11282 Bunche Hall, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1487.

MARCH 2010: President Obama picks JPRI Board member, Robert M. “Skipp” Orr, for key post at Asian Development Bank

On March 22, 2010, President Barack Obama announced that he would nominate Robert M. “Skipp” Orr as United States Executive Director, Asian Development Bank, with the Rank of Ambassador. Dr. Orr is currently Chairman of the Board of the Panasonic Foundation, and also a member of the Board of Trustees of J.F. Obirin University and a member of the Board of the East-West Center Foundation. From January 2002 until March 2007 Orr was President of Boeing Japan. We at JPRI would like to congratulate “Skipp” and wish him the very best with new challenges ahead in international development.

JANUARY 2010: JPRI partners with UC Berkeley for Strait Talk Peace Project

JPRI at the USF Center for the Pacific Rim is pleased to announce a new partnership with the UC Berkeley chapter of Strait Talk to present peace-building policy workshops and public talks during the week of April 5-9, 2010. "Strait Talk is a non-partisan dialogue program that seeks to transform international conflict by connecting young people from both sides of the Taiwan Strait and the United States and empowering them to strive for peace." ( More details about April events will be posted soon!

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