Emory Report

Feb. 8, 1999

 Volume 51, No. 19

Busy week scheduled for first Halle Fellow's visit Feb. 12-19

As the world watches and worries about East Asia's financial crisis and security threats, the Halle Institute for Global Learning hosts its first Distinguished Halle Fellow, prominent Japanese public policy expert Yukio Okamoto. The Tokyo-based business consultant and advisor to the former Japanese Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto will be on campus Feb. 12-19 to present a public lecture on the importance of the continued political and economic partnership between the U.S. and Japan at the Goizueta Business School Monday, Feb. 15, at 7 p.m. in room 130.

"As those of us involved in U.S.-Japanese relations recognize, Yukio Okamoto is a unique figure on the Japanese political and business scene," said William Clark Jr., president of the New York-based Japan Society and a former U.S. ambassador and assistant secretary of state. "He is clearly one of the most talented of his generation in government service--and today he retains the Japanese government's friendship and respect despite a career change that allows him a more independent voice on foreign and domestic affairs. His selection as Emory's first visiting Fellow for the Halle Institute sets a very high standard; I'm sure the Emory community will learn much from his stay."

A second public event, a seminar and panel discussion on critical East Asian security affairs, will feature Okamoto as well as Mary Bullock, Agnes Scott College president and China scholar, and former Emory President James Laney, who also served as ambassador to Korea.

Okamoto is a well-known figure among U.S. foreign policy experts, having served as a high-ranking official with the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs for more than two decades before leaving government service to begin his own consulting firm. From 1996 until mid-1998, he also served as Prime Minister Hashimoto's special advisor on Okinawa. Fluent in English and well-versed in both academic and policy debates, Okamoto is viewed as an informed, independent observer who is equally at home speaking with Japanese media or with international news sources.

In addition to his public appearances, Okamoto is expected to engage in a series of wide-ranging academic discussions across the Emory campus. Among the topics he may discuss: pressing U.S.-Japan issues, the ongoing U.S. military presence in Okinawa, among them; Northeast Asian security questions; the Asian economic crisis; and domestic political challenges within Japan. Over the course of his visit he will participate in senior-level courses in the economics, political science and history departments, in the Executive MBA program at the business school, and in selected courses at Georgia Tech.

Other highlights of his visit include informal luncheon discussion groups with law and business school faculty; a special Halle Institute faculty colloquium on comparative issues of globalization in Japan, Europe and the United States; and a visit to the Emory Center for International Programs Abroad to discuss new Emory-abroad initiatives in Asia.

During his stay Okamoto also will meet with representatives from CNN and other Atlanta-based media outlets, with senior officials of The Carter Center--including President Jimmy Carter--and with the Japanese consul general.

-Faye Goolrick

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