European Association for Japanese Studies


Immediate Past President

The EAJS has grown to become the largest academic association in the field of Japanese Studies outside of Japan. It plays an important role linking national associations of Japanese studies in Europe and, at the same time, forms a nexus between Japan specialists in Europe and those in Japan, East Asia, and the United States. It is a great honour to have been nominated as candidate for president of the EAJS, and I am highly grateful. During my tenure as EAJS presidents, I would like to work towards establishing networks with other area studies associations in Europe and Japan. In my own work, I have cooperated intensely and fruitfully with scholars working on China and South Korea, but also on Latin America and Africa. I would like to strengthen the perspective on Japan as part of the East Asian region also within the EAJS and hope to initiate contacts and scholarly conversations that allow EAJS members to engage in interdisciplinary studies of Japan in a global context while at the same time widening and deepening our understanding of Japan.

At the same time, I would like to initiate discussions within the EAJS and between Japanese Studies and other area studies in Europe about ways to further develop areas studies and to ensure a sustainable and productive future for our field. As a social scientist and a Japan specialist, I am also keen on expanding the Association’s networks with associations in the disciplines in social sciences and the humanities, thus contributing to interdisciplinary exchange and supporting joint research initiatives which highlight the continuing relevance of regional expertise for scholarly inquiry.

As treasurer of the EAJS since 2011, I have been responsible for the EAJS office, EAJS legal and tax issues, and especially for fund raising. In that role, together with the staff in the EAJS office, I have been responsible for annual grant applications to the Japan Foundation and the Toshiba International Foundation to generate funding for the EAJS office, but also for activities such as the EAJS Ph.D. Workshops, the Toshiba International Foundation Fellowships, and the triennial EAJS International Conference. I also want to emphasize building networks with funding organizations to increase the amount of funding the EAJS can distribute for research fellowships and training workshops, especially for young scholars.

Curriculum Vitae

Verena Blechinger-Talcott (*1966), is Professor of Japanese Politics and Political Economy at Freie Universität Berlin, Germany.

Previous appointments include: Visiting Professor, Institute of Social Science, University of Tokyo (2008), Assistant Professor, Department of Government, Hamilton College, Clinton, NY

(2003-2004), Advanced Research Fellow, Program on US-Japan Relations, Harvard University (2002-2003) and Research Fellow (1997-2002) and Deputy Director (2001-2002), German Institute for Japanese Studies (DIJ), Tokyo.

At FU Berlin, she is currently Vice President for International Affairs. She has also served as Dean of the Department of History and Cultural Studies (2009-2011) and as Associate Dean (2007-2009). She has built and led, from 2012 to 2020, the Graduate School of East Asian Studies (GEAS), which was created in the German Federal Government’s Excellence Initiative. From 2009 until 2020, she was Head of FU Berlin’s Center for Area Studies.

She is a member of the German-Japanese Forum, a government advisory body on German-Japanese relations, a member of the Editorial Advisory Board of Japan Forum (since 2011) and of the International Editorial Advisory Board of Social Science Japan Journal (since 2013). She also is a member of the Advisory Board of the German Institute for Japanese Studies (DIJ) in Tokyo.

Her research interests include Japanese politics in comparative perspective, especially the relations between state and market in Japanese politics and international relations. Most recent research has focused on the relationship between business and society as well as on Japan’s international trade and global commodity chains.


List of selected publications

The author of many articles and book chapters, Verena Blechinger-Talcott’s publications include

Schulze, Kai and Verena Blechinger-Talcott (eds.) (2019): “Dimensions of Sino-Japanese Rivalry in a Global Context”, Special issue Pacific Review, Vol. 32, No. 5.

Vosse, Wilhelm, Blechinger-Talcott, Verena, and Reinhard Drifte (eds.) (2014): Governing Insecurity in Japan. The Domestic Discourse and Policy Response. London: Routledge.

Blechinger-Talcott, Verena, Chiavacci, David and Christoph Brumann (eds.) (2013): Ein neues Japan? Politischer und sozialer Wandel seit den 1990er Jahren [A New Japan? Political and Social Change since the 1990s], Special Issue, Asiatische Studien/Études Asiatiques LXVII, 2/2013.

Blechinger-Talcott, Verena, Krauss, Ellis and Christopher Hughes (eds.) (2007): Managing the MedUSA: comparing the political economy of US-Japan, US-German, and US-UK relations.” Special issue Pacific Review, Vol 20, No. 3.

Blechinger-Talcott, Verena (1998): Political Corruption in Japan: Causes, Consequences, and Reform [“Politische Korruption in Japan. Ursachen, Hintergründe und Reformversuche”], Hamburg: Institute of Asian Affairs.