The 21st Century Japan Politics and Society Initiative (21JPSI) had the great pleasure of hosting Ms. Emma Chanlett-Avery on Tuesday, February 26th for a day of robust engagement with students, faculty, and administrations at the Hamilton Lugar School (HLS). Ms. Chanlett-Avery is a Specialist in Asian affairs for the U.S. Congressional Research Service, where since 2003 she has provided research support to members of Congress on all things Asia—especially U.S. relations with Japan, the Korean Peninsula, Thailand, and Singapore.
During her visit, which occurred on the eve of the historic Trump-Kim summit in Vietnam, Ms. Chanlett-Avery gave a timely and wide-ranging public talk to 42 students, faculty, and members of the community on the topic of “The United States, Japan, and the U.S. Alliance System in Asia.” She also joined HLS faculty members David Bosco and Adam Liff, the 21JPSI director, for a 21JPSI-hosted lunch workshop for students to discuss Asia-focused careers in Washington, D.C. Separately, she and Dr. Liff also held a meeting with Doug Goldstein, HLS Assistant Dean for Planning and Growth, to discuss the School’s trajectory and ways to expand opportunities for HLS students to pursue policy and research internships in D.C.
In her public remarks, Ms. Chanlett-Avery gave an overview of the origins of the U.S. alliance system in Asia and discussed the vicissitudes of the US-Japan and US-ROK alliances during the Obama and Trump administrations. She also explained allies’ hopes (and concerns) about the current U.S. administration’s approach to regional affairs, especially diplomacy with North Korea. Finally, she outlined the role of the U.S. Congress in shaping U.S. Asia policy, noting how grateful she had been for past opportunities to interact with former Indiana Senator Richard Lugar, one of the namesakes of the Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies. Ms. Chanlett-Avery noted that her views and statements were her own and did not reflect official positions of the U.S. Congressional Research Service or Congress.
21JPSI’s Japan Politics and Society Speaker Series will continue on April 11th when Dr. Jolyon Thomas (University of Pennsylvania) will present his research on “Religious Freedom in U.S.-Occupied Japan and Its Contemporary Legacies” (
*The 21st Century Japan Politics and Society Initiative (21JPSI) was launched at Indiana University’s Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies in 2018. Under the leadership of Founding Director (and HLS) faculty member Adam Liff, 21JPSI aims to invigorate and expand research, teaching, and programming on contemporary Japanese politics, society, and international (esp. U.S.-Japan) relations, and to educate, raise awareness, and debate policy responses to the various political, social, and foreign policy challenges that Japan faces in this extremely dynamic era of 21st-century change. Supported by a generous $900,000 grant from the Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership, in its first five years 21JPSI will enable a new tenure-track faculty search in summer/fall 2019; two new courses on contemporary Japan; a speaker series on Japanese Politics and Society; biennial conferences on U.S.-Japan relations; graduate research fellowships, and faculty travel grants. For more information, please see https://jpsi.indiana.edu/ or write to firstname.lastname@example.org