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.

Professor Akaha specializes in Japanese foreign and security policy, international relations of the Asia Pacific, and international migration and human security in East Asia. 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. He is currently the ASPAC representative on the Council of Conferences of the Association for Asian Studies.

Professor Akaha is the author of Japan in Global Ocean Politics (1985) and the editor/co-editor of Russia and East Asia: Informal and Gradual Integration (2014); 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 and Asian International Studies Review.

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, 
Global Asia, 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 migration and human security in East Asia.

Recent Accomplishments

Elected to serve on the Council of Conferences of the Association for Asian Studies for 2016-2018.

Published: ​“Putin’s Russia and Today’s Japan: Attitudes and Challenges,” Global Asia, Vol. 11, No. 3 (Fall 2016) (with Anna Vassilieva)

Published: ​“Russia and Japan: From Distant Neighbors to Future Partners,” in Victoria Panova and Artyom Lukin, eds. Russia and Japan: Looking Together into the Future, Vladivostok: Far Eastern Federal University, 2016.

Published: ​“Hokuto-ajia Chiiki ni okeru Chiiki Togo Katei” (The regional integration process in Northeast Asia), in Taizo Iida, ed.,​ Hokuto-ajia no Chiiki Koryu: Kodai kara Gendai, soshite Mirai e (Regional exchange in Northeast Asia: From ancient times to the present and the future), Tokyo: Kokusai Shoin, 2015.

​Published: ​“The ‘Comfort Women’ Issue: The Moral, Legal, and Political Challenges in Japan-South Korea Relations,” in Mahendra Gaur, ed., Studies on Japan, Country-specific Study Project, Vol. 3, New Delhi: Foreign Policy Research Center, 2015. 

Published: "Cause for Optimism in Russia-Japan Relations, East Asia Forum, Crawford School for Economics and Government, Australia National University, July 2016 (with Anna Vassilieva)​. Available at: http://www.eastasiaforum.org/2016/07/19/cause-for-optimism-in-russia-japan-relations/

Published: ​“’Comfort Women’: A Lasting Barrier to Japan-South Korea Reconciliation,”​​ Global Asia, Vol. 10, No. 3 (Fall 2015). 

Co-edited (with Anna Vassilieva): Russia and East Asia: Informal and Gradual Integration, London: Routledge, 2014.



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

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