The Japan Policy Research Institute (JPRI) was founded in 1994 by Dr. Chalmers Johnson and Steven C. Clemons to promote public education about Japan, especially Japan’s then growing significance in the Pacific Rim and world affairs. The founding editor was Dr. Sheila K. Johnson. Despite the name, JPRI has never focused exclusively on Japan. Over the years it has been also been a “Pacific Rim Institute” publishing works on countries across this vast region—for example, Australia, Burma, China, the two Koreas, the United States, and occasionally even the countries of Latin America.

During its first decade JPRI was a member-based organization, and subscribing members received a monthly publication. These mailings were comprised of “Working Papers,” “Critiques,” “Occasional Papers,” and books. Working Papers were basically research papers, either free-standing or chapters from forthcoming books or dissertations; Critiques shorter opinion-oriented pieces; Occasional Papers more historical works, memoirs, or other essays. Books distributed free of charge to members included Okinawa: Cold War Island, edited by Chalmers Johnson, along with a number of important titles by George Hicks, Ivan Hall, and others. In late 2003, JPRI switched to internet publication and, since its web site is open to all, no longer required membership.

It was also in this first decade that Chalmers Johnson began work on his best-selling book Blowback: The Costs and Consequences of American Empire (originally published in 2000). Blowback would become the first book of a trilogy that Professor Johnson published in partnership with The American Empire Project—an initiative that has brought together great thinkers such as Noam Chomsky, Andrew J. Bacevich, and Howard Zinn.

From 2006 to 2012, JPRI was based at the USF Center for the Pacific Rim, which was founded by Dr. Barbara Bundy—former president of Dominican College in San Rafael, California. In 2009 Dr. Chiho Sawada, who had begun his study of Japan and the Asia Pacific under Chalmers Johnson and founding JPRI Board member Dr. John W. Dower, was appointed director and editor-in-chief.

Since 2013, the JPRI editorial office and archive have been hosted by the Asia Pacific Peace Studies Institute (APPSI) at Holy Names University in Oakland, California. JPRI continues its core activity of producing policy-relevant research and publication, but also, as it did in its early years, will actively sponsor conferences and workshops, public events, and student-centered peace projects to foster dialogue and cooperation among scholars/students, government officials, journalists, business leaders, NGO activists, as well as the general public.


The Japan Policy Research Institute (JPRI) is dedicated to research and public education on Japan and the entire Pacific Rim, with the aim of advancing intercultural understanding and international reconciliation as well as more peace-oriented and environmentally sustainable policies throughout this region.

JPRI seeks to produce high-quality research and publications, as well as to sponsor conferences and public events in order to foster dialogue and cooperation among scholars/students, government officials, journalists, business leaders, NGO activists, and the general public.