Phyllis Yoshida

Phyllis Genther Yoshida is the Senior Fellow for Energy and Technology at the Sasakawa Peace Foundation USA. Prior to joining Sasakawa USA, she served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Asia, Europe, and the Americas at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), coordinating bilateral relationships and serving as the Lead Shepherd of APEC’s Energy Working Group. She also served as DOE’s Director of the FreedomCAR and Fuel Partnership, a government-industry cooperative research partnership.

Dr. Yoshida has written extensively on Japanese and international science, technology, and energy issues. She also has held policy and research positions over her career at the U.S. House of Representatives, the Japan Economic Institute, George Mason University and the U.S. Department of Commerce. As Director of the Department of Commerce’s Asia-Pacific Technology Program, she received the Commerce Department’s Gold Medal for expanding U.S. access to foreign science and technology and Silver Medal for work creating the International Intelligent Manufacturing Systems Partnership.

She received her BA from Carleton College, and MA and PhD from the George Washington University. She was the first recipient of Japan’s GARIOA/Fulbright Fellowship, under which she studied in 1983-1984 at the University of Tokyo and conducted research on Japan’s automobile industry.



Japanese energy policy; Japanese science and technology policy; Japanese political economy; U.S.-Japan economic relations; Japan-U.S.-Asia energy and technology relations; International energy and climate issues.

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Cooperation Among Innovative Societies Promotes Competitiveness

In this Commentary, Dr. Phyllis Genther Yoshida argues that global competition in trade and investment will increasingly be replaced by competition in innovation. As the world’s first and third largest economies and funders of research, the United States and Japan must fully tap and utilize the knowledge that comes from coordinating and cooperating more strategically bilaterally and multilaterally on the components of innovation. Doing so will help protect the economic and national security positions of not only the United States and Japan, but also our like-minded partners.

Japan Should Take a Leadership Role to Address Climate Change: Ambitions for G-20 Action

Dr. Phyllis Genther Yoshida is the Senior Fellow for Energy and Technology at Sasakawa USA. In this Commentary, she advocates for Japan to take on a greater global leadership role in fighting climate change. In particular, she sees a role for Japan by demonstrating decoupling domestically and internationally, which to a large extent, means decarbonizing the energy and transportation sectors while providing expanded economic opportunities and energy access. 

Japan’s Energy Conundrum

Sasakawa USA is pleased to bring together an outstanding group of senior scholars, all with extensive knowledge and experience, to analyze and explain the many facets of Tokyo’s energy situation and its intersection with the U.S.-Japan relationship. Japan’s Energy Conundrum provides insights into how Japan is seeking to resolve its current energy conundrum in the aftermath of the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake and Tsunami.

Japan’s Plutonium Question

Japan must reassess the appropriate supply-demand balance of its plutonium stocks upon completion of its new energy plan. Japan has about 47 tons of separated plutonium onshore and stored in France and Great Britain for reprocessing into commercial fuel with a small amount reserved for research purposes.

U.S.-Japan Nuclear Cooperation: The Significance of July 2018

In July 2018, the U.S.-Japan Agreement for Cooperation Between the Government of Japan and the Government of the United States on Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy will extend automatically. Its extension means Japan can receive U.S.-origin special nuclear material, retain advance consent for reprocessing, and is bound by the non-proliferation criteria and practices set out in the agreement. Such agreements are known as “Section 123” Agreements.