In Memoriam

Frances Rosenbluth

We mourn the tragic passing of Frances Rosenbluth, Damon Wells Professor of Political Science at Yale University. Her research transformed how we think about Japanese politics and a wide range of research questions in comparative politics and political economy. As the Program’s Distinguished Visitor in 201617, she presented a talk titled, “The Future of Women: Why Time Is Money and Power.” A prolific scholar, her many books include Financial Politics in Contemporary Japan, Japan’s Political Marketplace; Japan Transformed; Politics of Oligarchy; Women, Work, and Politics; Forged through Fire: War, Peace, and the Democratic Bargain; and Responsible Parties: Saving Democracy from Itself. She cared deeply about mentoring students and supporting research on Japan. Most recently, she joined a group of scholars to establish the Japanese Politics Online Seminar Series (JPOSS). We express our deepest condolences to her family, friends, students and colleagues.

Yukio Matsuyama, 1930–2021

We note with great sadness the passing of Yukio Matsuyama at the age of 91 on October 30, 2021. A distinguished journalist at Asahi Shimbun, he had served as Chair of the Editorial Board, and Chief of the New York and General America Bureau (in Washington, D.C.), and wrote many best-selling books on U.S.-Japan relations and contemporary Japanese politics and society. For the past several decades, he was a great supporter of the Program on U.S.-Japan relations as an Associate and Distinguished Visitor (1991–92), and served as an applicant interviewer every January. The letter by former Program director Susan Pharr pays tribute to his valuable contribution. An obituary by former Associate Toshiaki Miura can be read here. We offer our condolences and sympathy to his family and friends.

Theodore Bestor, 1951–2021

We mourn the recent passing of Professor Theodore Bestor, who had suffered from cancer over the past few years. He was the Reischauer Institute Professor of Social Anthropology and Japanese Studies, and had also served as the Chair of the Department of Anthropology and Director of the Edwin O. Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies. Over the past two decades, Professor Bestor served on the Program’s Faculty Advisory Committee, and has been a valued source of advice and support. He was featured in our Program seminar series speaking on topics that ranged from Japanese cuisine to the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami disaster, and his lectures always drew enthusiastic crowds and sparked lively discussion. He will be long remembered for his influential scholarship and active contribution to the Harvard community. We extend our deepest sympathy to his friends and family.

Richard Cooper 1934–2020

We mourn the loss of Professor Richard Cooper, who passed away at the age of 86. He was Maurits C. Boas Professor of International Economics at Harvard University. He has been an enthusiastic supporter of the Program on U.S.-Japan Relations, and a longtime member of our Faculty Advisory Committee. Prof. Cooper had a remarkable career as an international economist as well as in public service. He was a member of the Trilateral Commission, the Council on Foreign Relations, the Executive Panel of the US Chief of Naval Operations, and the Brookings Panel on Economic Activity. In the US government, he served as chairman of the National Intelligence Council, Under-Secretary of State for Economic Affairs, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for International Monetary Affairs, and senior staff economist at the Council of Economic Advisers. He was also chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, and Vice-Chairman of the Global Development Network. He has been a frequent participant and contributor to the Program’s seminars, which examined Japan’s role in the global economy. We express our deepest condolences to Professor Cooper’s family and friends.