Sasakawa USA is dedicated to strengthening U.S.-Japan relations through education, programs, and research. We offer paid internships during the fall, spring, and summer semesters in our Research, Education, and Communications programs.
Sasakawa USA is seeking applications for a program intern to assist a Research Fellow from January to May 2020. The internship is open to current graduate students or recent graduates with a bachelor’s or master’s degree in Japanese Studies, International Relations, Security and Foreign Affairs, or a related field. Strong preference will be given to candidates with a demonstrated background in U.S.-Japan relations, Asia-Pacific security and defense, maritime security, or Pacific Islands. Japanese language ability is preferred.
We hire interns to work with our Research, Programs, and Communications teams. Research programs at Sasakawa USA focus on security, economics, business, trade, cybersecurity, and other common challenges between the U.S. and Japan. Our Programs team seeks to improve public understanding of the U.S.-Japan relationship in the United States and strengthen people-to-people ties between the two countries through delegations, roundtable discussions, and public forums. The Communications team keeps our social media accounts and websites up-to-date, edits and designs promotional materials, and manages our media relations efforts.
Intern tasks vary by position and timing. Interns may assist in event planning and logistics; attend conferences and think tank events; draft content for Sasakawa USA’s social media accounts and websites; and conduct research on U.S.-Japan issues.
For a sample job description, please visit: Sasakawa USA Internships.
Sasakawa USA internships are available to current students or recent graduates earning a bachelor’s or master’s degree in Japanese Studies, Communications, International Relations, or a related field. Interns must either have authorization to work in the United States or be sponsored (on a case-by-case basis) by independent agencies offering educational/cultural internships.
An internship at Sasakawa USA can be a great stepping stone toward a career in U.S.-Japan relations. Past interns have gone on to careers in education, government, the military, and embassies and think tanks. Read about the experiences of a few of our previous interns below.
Education and Communications Intern (January-May 2018)
Current position: Coordinator for International Relations, Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program
“I interned for Sasakawa USA during my last semester in college. Currently, I am working in Mie Prefecture in Japan as a Coordinator for International Relations on the JET Program, a position in which I coordinate sister city relations, organize international-themed events, and translate local government documents into English. As a Communications and Education Intern for Sasakawa USA, I assisted with publicizing Sasakawa USA events and Japan-related news on various social media channels, drafted reports on Sasakawa USA social media analytics, contributed research for a publication on North Korea, and helped at a wide range of events aimed at educating the public about Japan and U.S.-Japan relations. My internship at Sasakawa USA gave me practical professional experience working in the field of U.S.-Japan relations. Since the team is so close-knit, I was able to gain experience working on many projects across different divisions, allowing me to not only boost my communication and writing skills, but also my research, event planning, and social media skills.”
Research Intern (February-August 2017)
Current Position: Program Assistant, The Maureen and Mike Mansfield Foundation
“My experience interning at Sasakawa USA allowed me to gain an inside view on D.C. policy culture.”
“As a research intern at Sasakawa USA, I spent most of my time assisting the research department and resident fellows with their work. This included a range of items, such as compiling news sources, writing up analysis relevant to requested research topics, and attending events to summarize in written and spoken presentations. Alongside my research tasks, I also assisted with Sasakawa’s events by providing logistical and admin support. My experience interning at Sasakawa USA allowed me to gain an inside view on D.C. policy culture, as well as provided me with the skills necessary in my own career path. ”
Research Intern (November 2017-September 2018)
Current Position: Student, Keio University, Japan (third year) focusing on International Security Studies at the Faculty of Environment and Information Studies & Assistant, The Canon Institute for Global Studies in Tokyo
“At Sasakawa USA, I was working with the Research Team and helped conduct various operations and projects. On a regular basis, I helped in planning the logistics for Sasakawa USA’s Policy Lunch events. I was also in charge of researching Japanese defense capability and collecting/compiling material for the gamebook for the Table Top Exercise (TTX) which took place in February 2018. In addition, I was assigned to translate some Japanese documents into English. Moreover, during the time at Sasakawa USA, I was actively participating in conferences and events hosted by nearby think tanks and universities which helped me gain more knowledge on U.S. policies towards Asia. The 11-month internship was very useful for me as I came to understand two key points: U.S. perspectives towards Japan and Asia, as well as the role of Washington. Before coming to the United States, I thought the U.S.-Japan alliance was composed mainly of both security and economics. However, through my internship, I was able to recognize the other aspects of U.S.-Japan alliance such as grassroot people-to-people ties, cultural collaboration, energy, and military relations. Being in Washington, D.C. for almost a year, I was able to decide how I wanted to proceed my studies on international security.”
Research Intern (Summer 2017)
Current Position: Reporter at Yomiuri Shimbun, Washington, D.C. Bureau
“The wide range of assignments gave me unparalleled opportunities to deepen my knowledge of the U.S.-Japan and U.S.-Asia relations.”
“At Sasakawa USA, I provided research-based memos to senior management officials on Japanese government’s cybersecurity policies and crisis management mechanisms for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. I also developed presentation materials on U.S.-Japan relations for Ambassador James Zumwalt, and drafted memos to Legislative Assistants and the East-West Center for the Congressional Staff Program on Asia. Internally, I helped coordinate four Policy Lunches featuring ROK Ambassador Ahn Ho-Young along with other influencers and researched the U.S.- Japan both bilateral and multilateral joint exercises for the Japan-U.S. Military Program (JUMP) to promote the program at the Japan-U.S. Military Statesman Forum Reception. The internship at Sasakawa was my first job in Washington, D.C. My colleagues and supervisors introduced me to the network of Asia policy professionals in D.C. who became my professional contacts and friends. The wide range of assignments gave me unparalleled opportunities to deepen my knowledge of the U.S.-Japan and U.S.-Asia relations as well. I had a blast throughout my internship! “