Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey

Tsuneo Akaha

I am passionate about finding local solutions to global human security problems through collaboration with colleagues around the world.
I love being a professor at MIIS because we are a community with a common goal: make a difference in the world.
Director of the Center for East Asian Studies, Professor Akaha specializes in Japanese foreign and security policy, international relations of the Asia Pacific, international political economy, globalization, human rights, human security, and international migration. He came to the U.S. as an American Field Service (AFS) student during high school. He was a Fulbright scholar at the University of Tokyo and Seikei University (Tokyo), and a Japan Foundation Research Fellow at Hokkaido University's Slavic Research Center (Sapporo). He has been a Visiting Professor at Waseda University, Tokyo and at the University of Shimane. He has served as President of Asian Studies on the Pacific Coast (ASPAC) and of the Comparative Interdisciplinary Studies Section of the International Studies Association.

Professor Akaha is the author of Japan in Global Ocean Politics (1985) and the editor/co-editor of The U.S.-Japan Alliance: Balancing Soft and Hard Power in East Asia (2010), which won a Masayoshi Ohira Special Prize in 2011; Crossing National Borders: Human Migration Issues in Northeast Asia (2005); The Future of North Korea (2002); Politics and Economics in Northeast Asia: Nationalism and Regionalism in Contention (1999); Politics and Economics in the Russian Far East: Changing Ties with Asia-Pacific (1997); International Political Economy (1991); and Japan in the Posthegemonic World (1990). He is also a member of the editorial board of International Relations of the Asia-Pacific.

He has contributed numerous articles to such journals as the American Political Science Review, Journal of Asian Studies, Asian Survey, Pacific Review, Pacific Affairs, Pacific Focus, Asian Perspective, Journal of East Asian Studies, Journal of Asian and African Studies, Ecological Law Quarterly, Millennium, Peace Forum, Peace and Change, Brown Journal of World Affairs, East Asia Review, Politique étrangère, Mongolian Journal of International Affairs, Journal of Asiatic Studies, and Journal of Human Security. 

His current research focuses on international migration and human security issues in East Asia, regionalism in East Asia, Russia and regional integration in East Asia, and post-3/11 Japan.

Professor Akaha's objective is to help students develop skills required for critical analysis of international policy and area studies, particularly in the Asia-Pacific context. 


Japanese foreign and security policy, international relations of the Asia Pacific, international political economy, Asian studies, Asia-Pacific development, East Asia security, globalization, human rights, human security, international migration, international relations theory, Northeast Asia and security issues, US-Asia policy

Recent Accomplishments

  • Completed a year-long contract with the Open Society Foundations to serve as an International Scholar for Smolny College at St. Petersburg State University, Russia.
  • Gave an invited lecture “Russia’s Pivot to East Asia,” at the Swedish Institute of International Affairs, Stockholm, Sweden, May 27, 2013.
  • Organized the annual conference of Asian Studies on the Pacific Coast at the Monterey Institute, June 7-9, 2013.
  • Submitted a book manuscript, co-edited  with Professor Vassilieva, on "Russia and East Asia: Increasing but Informal Integration" to Routledge, UK, to be published in December 2013.
  • Elected to serve as President of Asian Studies on the Pacific Coast for a one-year term, 2013-14.
  • Published: “Russia’s Mixed Prospects in Regional Integration in East Asia,” in “Expert Opinion,” School of Regional and International Relations, Far Eastern Federal University, Vladivostok, Russia, July 2013.
  • Published: Akaha, T., and Vassilieva, A., "Cause for Optimism in Russia-Japan Relations". East Asia Forum, Crawford School for Economics and Government, Australia National University, July 2016. Available at:  http://www.eastasiaforum.org/2016/07/19/cause-for-optimism-in-russia-japan-relations/


PhD, MA, International Relations, University of Southern California; BA, Political Science, Oregon State University; BA, Political Science, Waseda University, Tokyo

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