No. 37 — September 29, 2000

Feature Article


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The Japan Economic Institute was at a crossroad in mid-1984. It had shed its longtime reputation as an advocate for Japanese trade interests and was well on its way to earning a name for itself as the expert source in the United States of analysis and information on Japan and transpacific relations. However, continued funding of JEI by the Japanese government was in doubt. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, JEI's link to Tokyo, had to determine whether it still could justify giving a not-insignificant amount of money to an organization that it knew would not necessarily promote in its reports and other activities the positions of the government or the business community on issues of interest to American audiences. For whatever reasons, the Foreign Ministry decided to extend its financial support for JEI's operations.

Ironically, the second half of the 1980s and the first year or two of the 1990s were the time when JEI's expertise was most in demand. A high-flying Japanese economy, held aloft by soaring asset values, created unprecedented tensions in bilateral relations against the backdrop of widespread concern in the United States about the nation's continued economic superiority. The perception of impeded access to Japanese markets for competitive American suppliers combined with the actions, real or suspected, of corporate Japan in the United States compounded the stresses. These issues and their fundamental cause played to JEI's analytical and informational strengths.

The bursting of Japan's economic "bubble" at the start of the 1990s and its chronic underperformance for most of that decade spelled trouble not only for the world's second-largest economy but for JEI as well. American interest in Japan-related issues gradually waned, eroded in somewhat equal measure by the sense that U.S. businesses continued to confront the same old problems in Japan, the belief that more promising market opportunities were emerging elsewhere in Asia and the reality of a resurgent American economy.

In such an environment, the demand for JEI's type of knowledge and insight contracted. However, neither this fact nor dissatisfaction with the organization's output was the reason that the Foreign Ministry decided to end its financial support, forcing JEI to shut down. Funding for the company simply was a casualty of shifting spending priorities in an era of increasingly tight Foreign Ministry budgets.

In this, the final, JEI Report, William J. Barnds, JEI's president from early 1985 until the spring of 1990, discusses with Arthur J. Alexander, its current president, the organization's heyday. Mr. Alexander then looks back on his 10-year tenure and elaborates on the challenges that JEI confronted during the 1990s and how it attempted to overcome them.


The Heyday Years: A Discussion With William J. Barnds
Currently, Retired
Formerly, President, JEI

Mr. Alexander: Let me start off by asking when did you get to JEI?

Mr. Barnds: I came in February 1985 and stayed until April 1990. I had known Bob [Robert C.] Angel [the organization's chief executive from 1978 to mid-1984] in New York City in the mid-1970s, when he was working on his doctorate at Columbia University. In fact, he was the rapporteur for a discussion group that I ran when I was at the Council on Foreign Relations. Then, he came to Washington. We occasionally had lunch, and I went to some of the functions that he hosted at JEI. When he left JEI, I noted his departure but knew very little about the circumstances.

I had decided to leave the Hill. I had worked for two years for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, when Sen. Frank Church [D, Idaho, 1957-1981] was the chairman, and then four years for the House Foreign Affairs Committee. I had been the staff director of the Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific when Rep. Stephen T. Solarz [D, N.Y., 1975-1993] was the chairman. I was eligible to retire. The Hill is a young man's game, and I was getting older.

One day, one of my colleagues who also was leaving told me that he'd met with people from the Embassy of Japan about the presidency of JEI. He thought that it would be the perfect job for me since I was an economist, and he asked if he could tell them that I would talk to them. So, I had lunch with Economic Minister Peter Y. Sato and Counselor Yuji Ikeda. We discussed the outlines of what the embassy wanted, what I wanted, what I thought I could do, what type of person they were looking for and what they thought about JEI's future.

A few weeks later, I found out indirectly that the embassy was quite serious about me but wouldn't make a formal offer unless they thought I would accept it. I knew Ed [Edward J.] Lincoln [JEI's executive vice president until mid-1984] and talked with him about the job. I asked him about the situation at JEI as well as about the long gap in leadership that had began when he and Bob left in mid-1984. There were a number of vacancies on JEI's professional staff, and it was pretty clear that the organization couldn't go on too much longer without filling them.

I had a good talk with Ed, who said that he thought that whatever frictions had existed under Bob's presidency now were better understood by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Ed thought that if someone with stature whom they trusted took the job, the embassy would pretty much let that person run JEI. That proved largely to be the case.

Mr. Alexander: You were still working on Capitol Hill when you heard about the job?

Mr. Barnds: I already had told the committee that I was going to leave, so it wasn't the JEI presidency that caused me to resign. I had decided that it was time to go. In fact, I had applied for a Woodrow Wilson Center fellowship but wouldn't have heard about that for a couple of months. I had a couple of other irons in the fire, but the JEI possibility looked very attractive. It would be my first opportunity to run an organization, which was interesting. It also would enable me to focus my efforts more narrowly. Working on the Hill, I had covered everything from India and Pakistan through Japan and China. In this life, you can be broad but shallow or deep but narrow, but not broad and deep. Indeed, sometimes you wake up in the middle of the night fearing that you're going to be narrow and shallow.

Mr. Alexander: You mentioned that JEI had a number of vacancies.

Mr. Barnds: That's right. After I had accepted the job in principle but before I actually started work at JEI, I had a meeting with Susan [MacKnight] to go over some things. She set up a lunch for me to meet the staff, even though I already knew a number of them.

One of the things that struck me was the question frequently put to me when people learned that I had accepted the job: "What are you going to change there?" I always responded by asking why that was the question instead of, "What will you do there?" Then, I'd suggest that maybe what needed to be done was to continue what JEI had been doing and try to do that a little better. I certainly did not feel bound by the past. I assured the staff that while I would not promise not to make any modifications, I would promise a full discussion that included everybody before I made any significant changes.

Mr. Alexander: Were there things that you wanted to change after you had been at JEI for a while?

Mr. Barnds: The first issue I faced was whether the publications needed any basic changes. I decided that I had to become more familiar with them as well as with the subscribers. My plan was to accomplish that while I went about the task of recruiting the people needed to complete the professional staff, which at the time included only Susan, Michael Chinworth and Jon Choy. We needed a senior economist, and we first hired Randall Jones and then, two years later, Doug Ostrom. The government relations analyst position was filled by Sheri Hoptman [Ranis] and Eileen Doherty a year later. It wasn't too long before we needed an editor to replace Elinor Berg, who went to the World Bank, and we hired Pat Murdo. So, filling those jobs basically occupied about a third of my time during the first several months. JEI was fully staffed by the fall of 1985, and I think we had a strong organization.

The second issue that I really targeted as a priority was expanding the distribution of JEI publications. I was surprised that we didn't have more subscribers. We got a graphic artist to design a brochure, and I began to work with the Japan-America Societies around the country, the Japanese Chambers of Commerce and various organizations that had some connection with Japan, asking them if we could mail some JEI subscription information to their members. It was not an easy task because the return on that type of solicitation is not terribly high. In the space of three or four years, though, we doubled our subscriber list. This meant that not only were more people reading JEI publications, but also that JEI was becoming recognized in places where it had not been known before.

One of the most remarkable things about JEI publications is that they are not copyrighted. Professors, analysts and other people, therefore, could reproduce them and use them in their own work. That factor, I think, greatly expanded the influence and the reach of JEI, although its impact is impossible to measure.

Mr. Alexander: A citation search I did indicated that JEI publications were cited in about 200 different journals over a period of five years or so. Were there also outreach programs going on?

Mr. Barnds: JEI had really two such programs. One was here in town, and one was nationwide. The Washington program consisted simply of sandwich lunches to which we invited speakers who would address U.S. government people, Capitol Hill staffers, think-tank researchers, businesspeople, members of the Japanese community and the like. We continued that activity and increased the frequency of the colloquia.

Later, we started a program of dinner seminars around the country that featured prominent speakers. The Foreign Ministry gave us special funds for this activity, which we often sponsored with local Japan-America Societies.

Mr. Alexander: Were these dinner seminars started at your suggestion or the Foreign Ministry's?

Mr. Barnds: We had talked about it, but I would honestly have to say that the Foreign Ministry took the initiative. In a general way, though, they let me determine the program's structure.

Mr. Alexander: JEI also was hosting agriculture conferences?

Mr. Barnds: JEI and, before it, the Trade Council had been doing those meetings for many years with Donald Lerch, who was an agricultural consultant here in Washington. Usually, we hosted one in a different place each year. We developed the seminar program based on a state's agricultural exports to Japan and related issues. We ran seminars in California, Virginia and elsewhere in the South and in one or two locations in the Midwest. They were usually organized by Don with the cooperation of the state departments of agriculture, which would invite people interested in the subject. The Japanese Consulate General in the area also would get involved. The standard format was a one-day conference that often included a luncheon address by Japan's ambassador to the United States.

Mr. Alexander: Did money for these conferences come from the Foreign Ministry or the Agriculture Ministry?

Mr. Barnds: It was a Foreign Ministry project. I think that many things that got going back in the days of the Trade Council took on a life of their own. We kept doing them because they had been done before, they were working well and they seemed to be sensible things to do. With the turnover of personnel at the embassy every couple of years, a program that had been started 20 years before might continue — sort of on autopilot — with no one knowing exactly why it had been started.

Mr. Alexander: You mentioned that the frictions that had been present when Bob Angel and Ed Lincoln left seemed to have dissipated. Were there problems when you headed JEI?

Mr. Barnds: On only one occasion did we have a problem that created some difficulty for the embassy. Once, a weekly report included a statement that was factually inaccurate and rudely critical of the Japanese prime minister. You can make the one mistake or the other but not both at the same time. The Foreign Ministry's position was that it could defend JEI to other bureaucracies but that it would be very hard to defend it on the floor of the Diet. The language about the prime minister not only was rude, it also had come from a source that we never were able to document — a phantom article from a Tokyo newspaper that no one ever managed to locate.

We thought we had pretty rigorous controls in place. The editor obviously read each piece. Susan also did. I read them after Susan did, but sometimes last-minute things slipped through. For example, there was another instance when JEI's interpretation of a U.S. government policy was different from what the embassy was sending back to Tokyo, and this made it a little sticky for them.

Mr. Alexander: So, during the four or five years of your presidency, there were less than a handful of such problems?

Mr. Barnds: That's the only one of significance. There were a couple of occasions when the embassy called to say that JEI was mistaken about this or that. But, more often, if we were writing on a rather obscure subject and having trouble finding information, we would call the embassy to request that they get it from the relevant ministry or business association in Tokyo.

Mr. Alexander: Did the number of very emotional incidents in U.S.-Japan relations that occurred in the late 1980s — such as the backlash on Capitol Hill against the surging bilateral trade deficit or the worry about the "buying of America" by corporate Japan — affect what was going on at JEI?

Mr. Barnds: They certainly affected the general atmosphere and probably caused us to be doubly careful about getting our facts right. Basically, what we were doing was providing information, analysis and some forecasting — but not advocacy. JEI didn't say what the U.S. government or the Japanese government should do. This meant that JEI was not acting as a mouthpiece for Tokyo. I think that this independence was widely recognized, as indicated by the dozen or so subscribers to JEI publications in various agencies of the U.S. government.

JEI was the only show in town for a long time. I noticed a gradual change during my years there with the increase in the number of newspaper and magazine articles and television shows about Japan and the Japanese economy. More and more books were written on those subjects. I would say that, whereas in the mid-1980s, JEI was the only regular and reliable source of information, or certainly one of the few, that was no longer the case by the end of the decade.

Mr. Alexander: The Foreign Ministry ran other institutions around the world that were modeled after JEI, more or less. At one point, the ministry sponsored some conferences in Tokyo. Were you involved in any of those?

Mr. Barnds: In 1987, the Foreign Ministry did what it had done about every five years up until then, which was to invite the heads of all of these organizations to a meeting in Tokyo to discuss the problems that we might have in common. While the other groups were in one sense like JEI, they were much smaller, and none of them produced anything like JEI's portfolio of publications. So, to some extent, our problems were similar, but JEI really had so much more in terms of funds and personnel that we were less similar to those organizations than they were to each other.

Mr. Alexander: And you never had any other contact with them other than this single meeting? There wasn't a sense of being sister organizations?

Mr. Barnds: I think I exchanged a few letters with some of the people I met at the meeting in Tokyo, but that was about it.

Mr. Alexander: Did you promote JEI as a media contact?

Mr. Barnds: I didn't do a great deal to promote that function. I certainly responded when the opportunity came along, and once I became known as a source of this kind of information, I would get invitations from time to time. I generally got several calls a week from journalists, and other staff members got many such calls as well.

Mr. Alexander: Did you go to Japan once a year or so?

Mr. Barnds: I went to Japan at least once a year and sometimes more often. On occasion, I would be invited to a conference elsewhere in Asia to give a paper or a speech in connection with my previous writings or activities, and I would usually stop in Tokyo and touch base with the people there.

Mr. Alexander: Was there a regular fund or budget for other staff members to go?

Mr. Barnds: Until I came on board, I don't think that other staff members had gone to Japan. One of the things that I pushed very hard — and which the embassy and the Foreign Ministry considered reasonable — was the idea that the JEI professional staff would have increased stature if it were known that they went to Japan at least every few years. So, we did get travel funds added to the budget, and I think that most people went to Japan a couple of times.

Mr. Alexander: Were there any other shifts or changes?

Mr. Barnds: We broadened the scope of the material we covered to include more information on Japan's relations with other Asian countries. Obviously, how much we could do on that subject was limited because it wasn't our primary reason for being, but we did branch out in that direction. I think in the course of this period, we also did a good bit more in terms of both financial industry analysis and technology analysis. It was a fairly natural development because Japan was starting to deregulate its financial system and was challenging America technologically, so these were issues that people were interested in.

One of the things I noticed was the number of topics on which JEI had to produce an annual JEI Report — for example, on fiscal policy. And, as anyone who has done this sort of work knows, it's very hard after the second or third year to gear yourself up to do it. You have to come up with a slightly different angle so that readers won't think that they are just reading a repeat of the previous year's report. By and large, JEI staff responded to that sort of challenge very well and rather imaginatively.

One other thing that occurred was the reestablishment of the appointment of a Keidanren [Japan Federation of Economic Organizations] staff member as a visiting economist. That had lapsed at the end of 1983. While I was at JEI, Keidanren approached us to reestablish the practice of sending someone here for two or three years. It certainly made it a lot easier for JEI to go back through the Keidanren channel to get information from Tokyo. It probably also was very good for the training of the visiting economists, although I think that it was very difficult for many of them to write reports in English, especially during their first six months or so here. The Keidanren appointments gave JEI not only another channel for information but also another perspective.

Mr. Alexander: Did JEI's funding by the Foreign Ministry generate suspicion or was it accepted?

Mr. Barnds: By the time I got to JEI, of course, the lobbying had ended, and the organization had come to be known as a source of analysis and information on Japan. There remained, I think, some suspicion over whether the Japanese were trying to put pressure on JEI — not to give in to advocacy or lobbying but to cast things in a favorable light or play up the good news while minimizing the bad. I never found this to be the case during my tenure. And, as I said, I think the fact that various U.S. government agencies subscribed to JEI publications is the best answer to that question.

I stressed again and again to the staff that JEI was not an advocacy organization. We didn't say what the policies of either the American or the Japanese government should be.

We did have one very interesting occurrence. We got a notice from the Department of Justice saying that since JEI was funded by a foreign government, it probably was producing what legally would be defined as political propaganda. The notice directed JEI to state on each report that it was funded by the Japanese government. My response was that if such a disclaimer was a legal requirement, JEI would comply, but that I didn't think that our publications were propaganda, as defined under the terms of the law. I sent the Justice Department a sample of our publications and received not simply a phone call but also a letter saying that after a review of the reports, they agreed that the materials clearly were not political propaganda and, therefore, that JEI was not required to label the source of its funds. It should be noted, though that in its solicitations, JEI made no secret of the fact that it was funded by the Japanese government.


The Final 10 Years: A Review By Arthur Alexander
President, JEI

This last JEI Report is dated almost exactly 10 years from the day that I joined JEI — October 1, 1990. As I look back over its 40-plus years, I see three distinct phases of the history of the organization and its predecessor, the United States-Japan Trade Council. The first phase embodied the original plan of Nelson Stitt and Noel Hemmendinger to create a lobbying organization to represent Japanese trade interests. As part of that objective, informational, nonpropagandistic pamphlets and reports were produced to inform an American audience about bilateral trade issues, but most resources were devoted to the tools of lobbying: public relations and advocacy. That phase lasted until Mr. Stitt's death in early 1976 and the subsequent suit by the Justice Department to require more adequate disclosure of the Japanese government's funding of the organization.

The second phase started with Mr. Hemmendinger's departure and the hiring of Bob Angel. The beginning of his tenure was marked by the end of the Trade Council's lobbying and advocacy work and an exclusive emphasis on the informational and analytical functions that already were present. This transformational phase lasted until frictions developed with the Embassy of Japan in 1984 over the apparent breach of the arm's-length relationship between it and the renamed JEI.

The departure of Bob Angel and Ed Lincoln initiated the third phase, with William J. Barnds assuming the president's job in 1985. Internally, affairs have been relatively stable since then. The most significant changes have occurred in JEI's external environment. The defining events of the last 15 years have been the sharp rise in Americans' interest in things Japanese, followed by declining general interest in Japan among the U.S. public, especially in the years since the early 1990s.

Declining Interest in Japan - The shift in U.S. attention to Japan is captured by several indicators. For example, a study of America's images of Japan in which JEI participated extracted from the Vanderbilt Television News Archives the nightly news spots mentioning Japan that were broadcast by the ABC, CBS, CNN and NBC television networks from 1983 to April 1995. The number of such news stories peaked at 117 in 1989 at the height of Japan's "bubble economy." Every three evenings, on average, a news segment on Japan appeared on a major television channel. By 1995, the frequency of such network news coverage had fallen to less than one-third of the 1989 figure. This decline was mirrored by a similar drop-off in media calls to JEI staff.

Since JEI receives funds from a foreign source, it is required to file a semiannual report under the Foreign Agents Registration Act with the Justice Department. One of the required pieces of information is a detailed compilation of media contacts. This document, therefore, provides extended data on media interest in Japan and transpacific relations. This interest peaked in 1991 and then fell almost continuously, except for a bounce at the end of 1997 and in early 1998 (see Figure).

A sense of drama or crisis seems to be the driving force behind popular interest in Japan. This was brought out most clearly in October 1997, when the United States threatened to bar Japanese ships in a dispute concerning access of foreign ships to Japanese ports; television camera crews lined up in the corridor of JEI's office for interviews. The next month, when Yamaichi Securities Co., Ltd. failed, the media descended once again.

Many of the calls from journalists and other media representatives 10 years ago were to staff members to obtain simple facts about Japan — for example, its gross domestic product, inflation rate or trade balance. The reduced count of media calls may be explained partly by the fact that in the last decade, such questions have been answered by JEI's reference librarian and were not counted as media contacts. Furthermore, that type of information is easily available from Internet sources. In recent years, JEI has fielded calls that required more substantive information. Examples of citations in print and electronic media as well as interviews for the last fiscal year are shown in the Table.

Selected Media Contacts, April 1, 1999-
March 31, 2000

News Organizations Quoting JEI

Associated Press
The Economist
Financial Times
International Herald Tribune
Investor's Business Daily
The Japan Times
Journal of Commerce
Kansas City Star
Kyodo News
National Journal
Nihon Keizai Shimbun
USA Today
The Washington Post

Radio and Television Organizations
Interviewing JEI Staff

British Broadcasting Corp. (BBC)
Cable News Network (CNN and
National Public Radio
Public Broadcasting Service
Radio Free Europe
Voice of America

Just as the attention of the media shifted elsewhere, readers of JEI's publications also seemed to lose interest. Circulation peaked in 1989 and then began a slow but steady decline. By 1995, it had fallen to half the peak number. As Bill Barnds noted, the primary method for soliciting new subscribers was through direct mail to groups with a demonstrated interest in Japan. The response rate to those mailings dropped by two-thirds just between 1991 and 1992, following almost the same curve as the number of media calls to JEI staff.

The Stable Core - In addition to its general interest audience, JEI also has had a stable core of subscribers who depended on JEI Report for information and analysis of events in Japan and in U.S.-Japan relations. On trips around the country, I often encountered people who mentioned specific staff members by name. Jon Choy, Doug Ostrom and Barbara Wanner each seemed to have a fan club of readers who looked forward each week to new reports from their favorite author.

When JEI announced the coming end of operations, I received more than 30 personal letters describing the loss of a valuable resource. Correspondence came from academics, journalists, financial analysts and U.S. government officials. I must admit to having had mixed feelings of pride and dismay when staff of the Department of the Treasury, the Department of State, the American Embassy in Tokyo and the Central Intelligence Agency told me how much they depended on JEI's reports and how much they would miss them. It also is with some pride that I note JEI Report subscribers among senior officials at both the Treasury Department in Washington and the Ministry of Finance in Tokyo.

One indicator of the core readership is the use of JEI publications in university courses. We usually know of these only when specific reproduction permission is requested, although I suspect that many other professors regularly use our reports without making such requests. Among the academic institutions that have assigned various JEI Reports are the College of William and Mary, Columbia University, George Mason University, The George Washington University, Georgetown University, Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Michigan State University, the University of Arizona, the University of Michigan and Vanderbilt University.

Information Dissemination - JEI's central mission has been to provide information and analyses about Japan and U.S.-Japan relations to an American audience. As noted, this has been accomplished through the organization's publications program and its interactions with representatives of the media. JEI also has used other methods, including lectures and seminars, teaching, its Web site and computer-accessible data bases.

In the past year or so, for example, JEI staff have given more than 50 talks around the country. Unlike in earlier times, recent budgets have not included funding for such trips. Instead, we have had to depend on the "kindness of strangers." Two in particular stand out. Japan-America Societies across the country have been frequent sponsors. More recently, the American Committees on Foreign Relations have supported eight JEI lectures on Japan in locations that ranged from Casper, Wyoming to San Francisco. Other talks were promoted by such business groups as the National Association of Purchasing Managers and the Los Angeles Society of Securities Analysts. A series of lectures on the Japanese economy also was organized by the Japan Information and Culture Center in Washington, an arm of the Japanese Embassy.

Academic seminars were given at Columbia University, Montana State University, the University of Minnesota, the University of Pittsburgh, Washington and Lee University, Yale University and at most of the Washington, D.C.-area universities. In addition, over the last several years, Doug Ostrom and I have taught courses at George Mason University, The George Washington University, Georgetown University and the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.

U.S. government agencies, including the State Department and the CIA, and international organizations like the World Bank and the International Finance Corp. have invited JEI staff to present lectures on Japan's economy and its political situation. In Japan, I have been invited to give talks at Keidanren on half a dozen occasions.

Starting in the early 1990s, JEI began to explore ways to make its publications available electronically. Reports were offered on diskettes, but that generated virtually no response. We also sought ways to place the information on various on-line networks. At first, interest was nonexistent. As the Internet developed, however, such data bases as Lexis-Nexis and Dialog carried JEI publications, and the on-line usage rate rose significantly to thousands of hits each year.

A revealing feature of the relative popularity of JEI's publications is that most hits are on the Japan-U.S. Business Report, which is devoted to transpacific business transactions. Apparently, on-line users plug in company names as search items. This finding suggests that most people interested in Japan today are responding to the booming trade and investment opportunities on both sides of the Pacific and are less interested in the more analytical, academic style of JEI Report.

In 1997, JEI created its own Web site and made its publications available on-line. Use rose slowly, but recently, almost 25 percent of JEI's subscribers have received their reports electronically.

Relations With the Japanese Government - Over the last decade, JEI's relationship with the Foreign Ministry and the embassy in Washington, which has frontline oversight responsibility for the company, has been at arm's length but cordial. JEI may be unique among the organizations sponsored by Japanese institutions in terms of the degree of its independence, especially its freedom to decide what would be covered in JEI Report and how these issues would be presented. I can count on the fingers of half a hand the instances of even mild criticism of what was written during my tenure at JEI. Readers often have expressed surprise at what JEI was allowed "to get away with."

A key question is whether JEI has operated with internal controls so as not to offend the hand that fed us. As often was said by those who did not believe that such independence was possible: "You don't have to tell a geisha how to behave." This issue, however, is much broader than JEI and the Japanese government. Most research in the United States is sponsored by someone other than the individual actually doing the work. In general, JEI has relied on the process of critical review by a knowledgeable audience. Indeed, based on their track records, some organizations in Washington are not trusted to provide unbiased information.

My chief response, therefore, to the question of JEI's independence, objectivity, reliability and accuracy is to suggest a reading of what JEI has written. It is readily available and free for criticism. A review of the Social Science Citation Index indicated that over a two-year period, JEI Report was cited in more than 40 academic journals spanning economics, political science, international relations, security, and Japanese and Asian affairs. The frequent interviews of JEI staff by the media and the number of talks and seminars given also attest to the value assigned to JEI's work. In addition, we have conducted research studies for both the Japanese and the American governments that subsequently were published in JEI Report. The point of this litany is to present evidence that JEI has been perceived by its readers and the broader public as well as by its sponsor as an objective and informed source of analysis on Japan-related issues.

Where Are They Now? - Former JEI professional staff members have gone on to a wide variety of positions. Most have maintained a connection to Japan and Asia. Several joined the State Department, one as a foreign service officer. A former economist has spent many years with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development in Paris. Others have university teaching positions or research appointments at think tanks. The Washington area's cluster of trade associations and law firms specializing in trade issues have attracted several other staff members.

A Last Word - In the final analysis, any organization is its staff. I would like to note my personal appreciation to my colleagues who, week in and week out, have produced seamless analyses. They have given me the equivalent of a 10-year education. In particular, I want to remark on the conscience and the backbone of JEI, Susan MacKnight. In addition to her own work, she has helped turn writing into prose, corrected errors of fact and interpretation, and maintained an institutional tone of integrity. The long-term continuity of the organization owes much to her dedication and effort.

The views expressed in this report are those of the author
and do not necessarily represent those of the Japan Economic Institute.

This is the final issue of JEI Report.
All members of the JEI staff wish to thank subscribers to the publication
for their loyalty and support over theyears.

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