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What We Do

The Japan Forum for Innovation and Technology (JFIT) is a research center at UC San Diego that conducts research on Japan and its role in  Asia and the world and provides educational programs and information and networking opportunities to global scholars, businesses and policymakers. We investigate, analyze, interpret and inform on current events in the areas of Japan’s business, politics, international political economy, culture, society, innovation, technology and the health sciences from a global policy and strategy perspective.

Through our multi-disciplinary and multi-faceted research projects, we bring together people with an interest in contemporary Japan, and Japan’s role in world commerce, politics and societal issues. Our comparative angle to the study of Japan also informs a more general discourse on topics such as systems of capitalism, international business norms, social policies, geopolitics and innovation processes.

JFIT’s weekly online seminar series as well as our conferences, mid-career education programs and networking opportunities strive to create a learning community and promote an exchange of ideas, learning and collaboration. JFIT’s biweekly news mailer, the San Diego-Japan Newsflash, features news updates on Japan and San Diego / Southern California to further build connections across the Pacific.


Every Tuesday at 4:30 p.m., California time, JFIT hosts a Zoominar that invites Japan experts – professors from leading global universities, business executives, journalists, think tank scholars and other domain specialists –  to discuss current “hot topics” in Japan today.

Our goal is to bring deeper analysis and alternative views, beyond the normal media fair, to those interested in Japan’s business, politics, economics, society and its changing role in Asia. The Zoominar topics are current, and so far have ranged from Abenomics, business, corporate governance and white-collar crime, to religion, culture, society, innovation, entrepreneurship, the digital transformation and the Olympics.

Educational Programs

JFIT runs several executive programs that teach global business, international management and doing business in Japan. These range from long-term visiting scholarships (ASP) to short-term, flexible immersion programs that offer participants the opportunity to engage in their focused area of research. Whether in residence in La Jolla or virtual, the programs offer a gateway for participants to connect to and create a network in San Diego’s innovation ecosystem.

Our short-term, customized executive programs support corporate professional talent development. We run special career enhancement programs for women managers (JUMP), global managers (AIM), and mid-career “study abroad” professionals (Global Talent Program). JFIT also offers tailored corporate and educational programs in entrepreneurship and innovation, including for university study groups, business professionals and corporate global management development.


JFIT provides access to the innovation ecosystems of San Diego and Japan, for scientists, scholars, entrepreneurs, innovators and investors around the globe.

Through our 3i Program, we introduce participating corporate partners to the San Diego research communities, including faculty at UC San Diego and our affiliates in companies and innovation ecosystem players in Southern California and Japan. We open the door to networking opportunities, including at conferences and startup pitch events.

We also foster close networks with senior Pacific leaders through our Center on Global Transformation and connections through the Center for Commerce and Diplomacy.

About GPS

The UC San Diego School of Global Policy and Strategy (GPS) addresses the crucial societal challenges of the 21st century. The School’s pioneering research builds on internationally recognized expertise of the Americas and Asia, integrates analysis of public policy and markets, and explores global issues of conflict and cooperation. 

Leveraging our West Coast location and UC San Diego’s renowned programs in science and technology, GPS develops new analytic tools with real-world applications, while rigorously training the next generation of global leaders. Through collaborations across campus and counterparts around the globe, GPS shapes cutting-edge solutions for a transforming world.