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US-Japan Journalism Fellowship

2015 Program

The inaugural US-Japan Journalism Fellowship brought four American journalists to Japan in June 2015. The program began with an intensive weeklong series of meeting with politicians, foreign policy experts, government officials and Japanese and American journalists. Recurring topics included the challenge of managing China-Japan tensions, efforts to strengthen US-Japan security ties and relocate a US military base in Okinawa, and ways that Japan is coping with the aging of its population. The participants also spoke with priests at Meiji Shrine, were briefed by the CEO and workers at the factory specializing in precision metalwork, and were given tour of the parliament by a member of the Diet. The program included meetings with the following people.



Briefing and tour of Asahi Shimbun offices in Tokyo

Darius Dixon tries his hand at metal spinning during a factory tour

Site visit to Meiji Shrine in Tokyo


Political Leaders
Policy Experts
Journalists
Government officials
Site Visits

Afterwards, the fellows stayed in Japan for an additional one to three weeks, traveling to places such as Hiroshima, Nagoya, Okinawa, and Tohoku for one-on-one interviews. All together, they interviewed more than 100 people, ranging from former defense ministers to senior citizens in nursing homes. One spoke with a Diet member about how becoming infected with HIV as a youth led him into activism and eventually into a political career. Another traveled to Okinawa to interview government and civil society leaders on both sides of the dispute over the relocation of a US Marine base. A third visited cutting edge power plants to find out what the United States has to learn from Japan’s experience with sustainable energy. And another one talked with working mothers who are trying to balance the demands of family and career as well as local government leaders and activists in rural Japan who are struggling to cope with depopulation.


Articles by 2015 Fellows


2015 Fellows with Takao Ochi, Parliamentary Vice Minister of the Cabinet Office of Japan

2015 Fellows


Darius Dixon, POLITICO
Darius Dixon is from New York City but works in the Washington DC area and writes about energy policy and politics for POLITICO and for the company’s subscription Pro news service. Over the last five years, he has covered the Department of Energy, nuclear power, and the US electric grid across each branch of the federal government and spends lot of time chasing after members of Congress. Along with his current political focus, Darius has a bachelor’s degree in materials science and engineering from Carnegie Mellon, as well as master’s degrees in both materials science and geology from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, where he separately studied the science of electronic devices and nuclear waste. Darius then attended journalism school at Columbia University, earning a third master’s degree. Prior to POLITICO, he was a technology reporter for Energy & Environment Publishing’s ClimateWire unit.

Sally Herships, MarketPlace
Sally Herships is an award winning journalist who's been making radio for over a decade. Currently reporting for American Public Media's Marketplace she's also produced or reported for outlets and programs including the BBC, The New York Times, NPR, WNYC, Studio 360 and has put in many hours at Radiolab. Sally currently teaches writing for radio at Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism, Sarah Lawrence College and runs the Radio Boot Camp program at UnionDocs Center for Documentary Art. Her investigative project "The Five Percent Rule" was awarded the 2011 Third Coast Radio Impact Award and best Prepared Report for the 2011 Front Page Awards from the Newswomen's Club of NY and was an IRE finalist.

Kathleen McLaughlin, Independent journalist
Kathleen McLaughlin is a journalist based in Beijing, China for the past decade, working as a frequent contributor to The Economist, the Guardian and numerous other media outlets. She has reported across Asia and East Africa on science and medical issues, including the legacy of China’s plasma industry and resulting AIDS epidemic, China’s influence on health care in Africa and counterfeit malaria drugs and the spread of drug-resistant malaria in Asia and Africa.

Isaac Stone Fish, Foreign Policy
Isaac Stone Fish is Asia editor at Foreign Policy, where he edits, reports, and writes stories from across the region. Previously a Beijing correspondent for Newsweek, Isaac wrote stories on such subjects as the Dalai Lama’s effect on international trade, and China’s love affair with rogue states. A fluent Mandarin speaker, Isaac spent seven years living in China prior to joining FP; he has traveled widely in the region and in China. His articles have also appeared in the New York Times, The Economist, the Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Times, and he has appeared as a commentator on MSNBC, BBC, NPR, Al-Jazeera, and PRI, among others.