USF Center for the Pacific Rim

JPRI History




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 and worked 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).


bbBARBARA K. BUNDY, Ph.D., serves on the executive committee of the board of directors of the Japan Society of Northern California, and does volunteer work for PaperTigers: Books + Water, a California nonprofit organization funding book donations for children and clean, safe drinking water projects in poor rural areas around the world.

From 1988 to 2009 she was the Founding Executive Director of the Center for Pacific Rim Studies in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of San Francisco (USF). The USF Center for the Pacific Rim administered during Bundy’s tenure an interdisciplinary evening/weekend Masters degree in Asia Pacific Studies (of which Bundy was the principal architect) and an interdisciplinary Bachelor’s degree program in Asian Studies; the Ricci Institute for Chinese-Western Cultural History, an interdisciplinary research institute active at USF and in China; the Japan Policy Research Institute; and housed the home office of the Nautilus Institute for Security and Sustainability and the San Francisco office China Dialogue. Under Bundy’s leadership the USF Center for the Pacific Rim organized around 30 business, cultural, and educational programs annually to strengthen relationships between the United States and other nations around the Pacific Rim; published an online refereed journal in the humanities and social sciences, Asia Pacific: Perspectives, and occasional papers, Pacific Rim Reports; sponsored a program of visiting research fellows and scholars; and raised funds to establish two endowed chairs and endowed funds in excess of $7 million.

Bundy’s 43-year professional career in higher education always had an international focus and included serving as President and CEO of Dominican University in San Rafael (1980-87), where she was professor of comparative literature and humanities for 16 years; teaching Russian and German language and literature on the faculties of the University of California at Berkeley and Santa Cruz; and teaching a liberal arts seminar for executives in the Graduate School of Management at USF. Bundy is co-editor of two books: Human Rights in the Pacific Rim: Imagining a New Critical Discourse (Fujen University Press, 2006), and The Future of the Pacific Rim: Scenarios for Regional Cooperation (Praeger, 1994). She has also published scholarly and professional articles.

She holds a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Indiana University and a Bachelor’s degree summa cum laude in Russian language and literature from the University of Illinois. She received the Edward J. Malatesta ‘Magis’ Award for Outstanding Service from the USF College of Arts and Sciences in 2000 and in 2007 was honored by the Asia Society Northern California with their Excellence in Higher Education Award. In 2009 Bundy received the Consul General of Japan in San Francisco’s Commendation for her work in strengthening California-Japan relations, and in 2010 she received the Foreign Minister of Japan’s Commendation for her contribution to promoting U.S.-Japan relations.


CHIHO SAWADA is director of the Japan Policy Research Institute. He serves concurrently as executive director of the Asia and Pacific Peace Studies Institute (APPSI) at Holy Names University in Oakland, California. Previously he was Kiriyama Chair Fellow at University of San Francisco Center for the Pacific Rim and research fellow at the Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center, Stanford University.

Professor Sawada’s research and teaching focus on multi-track diplomacy, media studies, and human security. He is currently writing a book on war memory in the Asia Pacific, and helping build student-centered NGOs focusing on conflict resolution and international development. He is also a consultant on cultural affairs to diplomatic missions and public affairs organizations in the Bay Area.

He holds Ph.D. and M.A. degrees from Harvard University (primary field: East Asian colonial history; secondary field: European intellectual history) and a B.A. degree from University of California San Diego (major: economics; minors: visual arts and psychology). His post-doctoral training was completed at Stanford University. He has also studied diplomatic history and international relations at the Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy, conducted research at numerous other academic institutions in Asia and the United States, and served stints U.S. embassies in Beijing and Seoul.



SHEILA K. JOHNSON was born in 1937 in The Hague, Holland and emigrated to the U. S. in 1947. She received an A.B. and a Ph.D. in Anthropology, and an M.A. in English, from the University of California, Berkeley. She specialized in cross-cultural gerontology, and her dissertation, Idle Haven: Community-Building Among the Working-Class Retired was published by the University of California Press. After teaching at San Francisco, Hayward, and Sonoma State Universities, she became a free-lance writer and published numerous articles in The New York Times Magazine, Commentary, The Los Angeles Times, and elsewhere. In 1975, she published American Attitudes Toward Japan, 1941-1975, a book that she first updated and revised in 1986 for the Simul Press in Tokyo, which published it as Amerika jin no nihon kan. In 1988, Stanford University Press published a still further revised edition as The Japanese Through American Eyes, which appeared as a paperback in 1991.

Sheila Johnson was married to Chalmers Johnson, and first traveled to Japan with him in 1961. She made numerous trips to Japan between 1961 and 1993. She continues to publish articles and book reviews about women and aging in Japan. From 1994 until 2009, she was the editor for the Japan Policy Research Institute.


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Japan Policy Research Institute
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Last Updated 12 February, 2013 . For more information contact