Sasakawa Peace Foundation USA (Sasakawa USA) is a non-partisan 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to deepening the understanding of and strengthening the relationship between the U.S. and Japan for the benefit of a free and open international community. Its activities mainly focus on security and diplomacy, through exchanges, dialogue, analysis, publications, and networking.
We offer paid internships during the fall, winter/spring, and summer semesters.
Thank you for your interest in interning with Sasakawa USA. We are currently looking for a Communications Intern for the winter-spring 2021 term. Please see the details here.
General Job Description
Sasakawa USA hires interns to work alongside our programs, research fellows, and communications staff. Internship responsibilities will vary by position, season, and experience level.
Interns may assist program staff and research fellows in conducting limited background research for new and ongoing programs, assisting in event planning and logistics, attending think tank events and conferences, and drafting notes and event summaries. Interns may also assist the communications team in drafting content for our social media accounts and websites, editing and designing promotional materials, and monitoring U.S.-Japan and Asia/Indo-Pacific related news.
For an example of a past intern description, read the Summer 2020 Internship posting here.
Sasakawa USA internships are available to current students or recent graduates. The general requirements of applicants will change depending on the season, but strong candidates typically are current graduate students or recent graduates with a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in Japanese Studies, International Relations, Security and Diplomacy, or a related field. Japanese language ability is preferred (especially reading and writing skills), but not required.
Interns must be authorized 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.
Research and Communications Intern (Summer 2019, 2020)
Current position: Sophomore at Bates College, majoring in Sociology
“I had the opportunity to work at Sasakawa USA as a Research and Communications intern for the summer 2019 as well as summer 2020. Currently, I am a Sophomore in Bates College, majoring in Sociology. As a Research and Communications Intern at Sasakawa USA, I assisted with publicizing U.S.-Japan related news and Sasakawa USA’s events on various social media platforms. I also assisted research that provides timely analysis of the key issues in U.S.-Japan relations by collecting data, translating materials, and working closely with the research group. Additionally, I was able to attend U.S.-Japan related events and speaker series to give a descriptive summary and report to Sasakawa USA. Sasakawa USA also provided me with an opportunity to publish my own article as well. Working at Sasakawa USA as an intern helped me gain professional skills such as building connections, translating, writing, and gathering data effectively. Not only did Sasakawa USA give me practical skills, but it allowed me to understand the core of U.S.-Japan relations. Working with advocates of the U.S.-Japan alliance allowed me to see the complex process of building strong and long-lasting ties between the two counties.”
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 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! “