ERC’s Most Recent Recommendations

The governments, academic institutions, and the private sector of both countries have taken tangible steps in addressing the Education Task Force (ETF)’s recommendations, in substantive ways ,and set out the ambitious goal: Double the Number of U.S. and Japanese Students Studying in Each Other’s Country by 2020. The ERC recommends continuation of these efforts as well as development of new innovative programs to encourage further student mobility. Challenges include: (1) competition from other countries for study abroad destination; 2) lack of financial resources used for student mobility (at both government and university levels); and 3) lack of understanding of the importance of the U.S.-Japan relationship in some U.S. universities. ERC is enthusiastic about the progress it is already seeing toward the doubling goal and it is optimistic about its ability to achieve the goals by 2020.

Most Recent ERC Report

ERC Interim Report at XXVIII CULCON (Provisional Japanese translation【PDF:1.8MB】, (English【PDF:1.2MB】)

About ERC

1.ERC’s Objective

ERC compiles and analyzes data to measure progress toward the ETF goal of doubling student mobility between Japan and the US by 2020, a target that was set by the Education Task Force (ETF) in 2013, and considers various measures while confirming progress made by 2020.

2.ERC Members

Members in Japan

  • Dr. Masako Egawa (Chair, CULCON panelist, Professor, Graduate School of Commerce and Management, Hitotsubashi University)
  • Tomoko Hasegawa (Director, SDG Bureau, Keidanren [Japan Business Federation])
  • Takuto Miyamoto (Director, Office for International Cooperation, International Affairs Division, Minister’s Secretariat, Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology)
  • Kazuhiro Kawase Director, Cultural Affairs and Overseas Public Relations Division Minister’s Secretariat, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA)
  • Takafumi Ota (Director, Information Service Division, Student Exchange Department, Japan Student Services Organization)
  • Suzuko Nishihara (Executive Director, Japanese-Language Institute [since 2018])

Members in the US

  • Dr. Len Schoppa (Chair, CULCON panelist, Professor at the University of Virginia)
  • Dr. Susan Pharr (Professor of Japan Politics, Harvard University, former ETF member)
  • Peggy Blumenthal (Senior Counselor to the President, Institute of International Education [IIE], former ETF outside expert)
  • Margot Carrington (Minister Counselor for Public Affairs, US Embassy Tokyo [through 2017])
  • Carolyn Glassman (Minister-Counselor for Public Affairs in charge of cultural exchange [since 2018])
  • David Sneider (CULCON panelist, partner at Tokyo office of Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP)
  • Susan Schmitt (Executive Director, American Association of Teachers of Japanese [AATJ], from 2018)

3.Background of Establishment

(1) The Education Task Force (ETF) was established on the recommendation made at the XXV CULCON held in April 2012. With former Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuoda and former US Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta as senior advisors, ETF was tasked with examining the causes behind the decrease in the number of US and Japanese students studying in each other’s country and making recommendations of mechanisms to shore up these exchanges. In June 2013, the ETF set the ambitious goal of doubling the number of US and Japanese students studying in each other’s country by 2020 and presented the ETF report compiling the ETF’s recommendations for achieving this target to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Under Secretary of State Tara Sonenshine. CULCON distributed this report broadly to many stakeholders and encouraged the implementation of its recommendations. In the annex to the joint statement made by Prime Minister Abe and President Obama at their summit meeting in April 2014, the governments stated that they share CULCON’s goal of doubling two-way student exchange (US-Japan Joint Statement by Prime Minister Abe and President ObamaExternal link).
(2) As a follow-up to the November 2014 ETF, the subsequent initiatives taken by Japan and the US to implement the aforementioned recommendations were compiled in an annual report and submitted to CULCON XXVI. Based on the recommendations made at this conference, the Education Exchange Review Committee (ERC) was established to confirm progress and conduct reviews.

4.Activities from ETF to ERC

May 2012
Education Task Force (ETF) established
January 2013
CULCON ETF meeting held in Honolulu
May 2013
ETF Round Table and Education Task Force Initiative CULCON and Waseda University’s Joint Symposium “US-Japan Relationship and Expanding Educational Exchanges: Toward Doubling US and Japanese Exchange Students” held at Masaru Ibuka Auditorium, International Conference Hall, Waseda University
June 2013
ETF Report presented to Prime Minister Abe and Under Secretary of State Tara Sonenshine【PDF:2.6MB】
January 2014
US-Japan joint ETF follow-up in Honolulu
April 2014
ETF target shared in the joint statement from the summit meeting between Prime Minister Abe and President Obama (Annex to Joint Statement)
CULCON co-chairs release statement welcoming this initiative (JapaneseExternal link) (EnglishExternal link)
May 2014
Report presented to CULCON television conference
November 2014
ETF Report 2013-2014 submitted at CULCON XXVI
Agreement to establish Education Review Committee (ERC)
April 2015
ERC established; the 1st meeting of Japanese members of ERC in Tokyo
July 2015
The 2nd meeting of Japanese members of ERC in Tokyo
September 2015
Discussion of ERC’s future approach at CULCON Executive Session
December 2015
The 3rd meeting of Japanese members of ERC in Tokyo
January 2016
First joint US-Japan ERC meeting in Honolulu
June 2016
ERC issues ERC Report at CULCON XXVII in Tokyo
December 2016
The 1st ERC Liaison Meeting (liaison meeting between CULCON panelists and ERC members)
Discussion on future approach toward 2020 from a comprehensive perspective held at Ministry of Education in Tokyo; the chairs was Teiichi Sato, CULCON advisor, and the meeting was also attended by Dr. Masako Egawa (ERC chair); Isao Kiso, ERC advisor; Makita Shimokawa, CULCON government member (Ministry of Foreign Affairs); and Koichi Morimoto, CULCON government member (Ministry of Education)
February 2017
At The 4th meeting of Japanese members of ERC in Tokyo, a report was given on TeamUp, a US initiative to promote educational partnerships between Japan and the US
May 2017
The 5th meeting of Japanese members of ERC in Tokyo
June 2017
The 2nd joint US-Japan ERC meeting at the American Center in Tokyo
January 2018
The 6th meeting of Japanese members of ERC in Tokyo
June 2018
ERC Interim Report submitted at CULCON XXVIII in Washington D.C.
Decision made that ERC would follow up on Japanese Language Education Committee’s recommendations
January 2019
The 7th meeting of Japanese members of ERC in Tokyo

5. Results

(1) The US and Japan’s leaders both pledged support for ERC at their summit meeting in 2015. Their joint statement on their vision for their two countries declared, “Broad people-to-people exchange between Japan and the United States has been a key pillar of our Alliance since its inception.” A fact sheet was also released. The ERC Report was submitted at CULCON XXVII in June 2016.

(2) The ERC Interim Report was submitted at CULCON XXVIII in June 2018.

6.Future Activities

(1) The ERC Final Report is to be submitted at CULCON XXIX in 2020.