Masaru Tamamoto

Senior Fellow

Expertise: Japan-China relations; Japan international relations; Japan politics and society; Japan-US relations; National identity issues

Masaru Tamamoto is a research associate in the Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Cambridge.  He divides his time between England and Japan. 

Born in Tokyo, Tamamoto was educated in Japan, Switzerland, Egypt and the United States. He is a graduate of Brown University and holds a Ph.D. with distinction in international relations from Johns Hopkins University.

He has been a visiting scholar at Cambridge, advanced research fellow at Harvard, MacArthur Foundation fellow in international peace and security at Princeton, and visiting fellow at Tokyo University.

He was a director of the Japan Institute of International Affairs in Tokyo, where he was the founding editor of JIIA Commentary, an English language online journal. He was a visiting professor at Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto. He taught at American University in Washington D.C., where he was Director of the Center for Asian Studies. There he designed the world’s first international dual degree program.


Ph.D. with distinction, International Relations, Johns Hopkins University

M.A., Johns Hopkins University

Independent Research, American University in Cairo

B.A., International Relations, Brown University


"Will Japan Ever Grow Up?" Far Eastern Economic Review, July 10, 2009.

"Conformist Japan And A Liberal World Order," Forbes, June 16, 2009.  "Where Japan Went Wrong: Insights from a Japanese Scholar," Oriental Outlook (Shanghai), June 2, 2009.
His commentary on Japanese foreign and security policy appears in "Powers and Principles" (Lexington Books, May 28, 2009) edited by Michael Schiffer and David Shorr.
"Japan's Crisis of the Mind," The New York Times, March 1, 2009.
"How Japan Imagines China and Sees Itself," Japan Institute of International Affairs, 2006 and World Policy Journal Vol. XXII, No. 4 Winter 2005/06.
Japanese Discovery of Democracy, JIIA Commentary, The Japan Institute of International Affairs, April 26, 2006.
"How Japan Imagines China and Sees Itself," World Policy Journal, Winter 2005/2006.
Review. John Swenson-Wright, "Unequal Allies? United States Security and Alliance Policy Toward Japan, 1945-1960." Pacific Affairs, Fall 2005.
"Sino-Japanese Pride and Prestige," Far Eastern Economic Review, June 2005.
"After the Tsunami, How Japan Can Lead," Far Eastern Economic Review, January/February 2005. "The Uncertainty of the Self: Japan at Century's End, " World Policy Journal, Summer 1999. An expanded version appears in Michael Matanduno and John Ikenberry, eds. The Emerging International Relations of the Asia Pacific Region (Columbia University Press, 2004).
"A Nationalist's Lament: The Slippery Slope of Koizumi's Foreign Policy" in The People vs. Koizumi?: Japan-U.S. Relations and Japan's Struggle for National Identity, Asia Program Special Report, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, February 2004.
"Ambiguous Japan: Japanese National Identity at Century's End," (Chapter 5) in International Relations Theory and the Asia-Pacific. G. John Ikenberry and Michael Mastanduno (eds), (Columbia University Press, 2003).
"Groping for an International Political Role: Japan and Humanitarian Intervention in Self-Determination Conflicts, " The Ritsumeikan Journal of International Studies, March 2001.
Reprinted in Dean Collinwood, ed., Global Studies: Japan and the Pacific Rim, sixth edition (McGraw Hill, 2001).
"Japan and Its Discontents: A Letter from Yokohama," World Policy Journal, Fall 2000.
"The Making of a Liberal Japan: A Silent Revolution, " SAIS Policy Forum Series, November 1999.
"Seiki matunihon no nationaru aidentiti" (book chapter, 1999)
  "Japan's Search for Recognition and Status" (Chapter 1) in Japan's Quest: The Search for International Role, Recognition and Respect
edited by Warren S. Hunsberger, 1997
"Japan's Search for Recognition and Status" in Warren Hunsberger, ed., Japan's Quest: The Search for International Role, Recognition, Respect (M.E. Sharpe, 1997).
"Reflections on the Postwar Japanese State: Amorphous yet Dominant," Daedalus, Spring 1995.
"Village Politics: Japan's Prince of Disorder," World Policy Journal, Spring 1995.
"Japan's Willful Innocence: Political Thought and International Relations Since 1945, " Occasional Papers, Program on U.S.-Japan Relations, Harvard University, 1994.
"The Ideology of Nothingness: Meditation on Japanese National Identity," World Policy Journal, Spring 1994.
"The Japan that Wants to be Liked: Society and International Participation" in Daniel Unger and Paul Blackburn, eds., Japan's Emerging Global Role (Lynne Reinner, 1993).
"The Japan that Wants to be Liked: Society and International Participation" (book chapter) in Japan's Emerging Global Role, edited by Daniel Unger and Paul Blackburn, Lynne Reinner, 1993.
 "After Communism: Democracy, Authoritarianism, Anarchy or More Communism?" (Association of Third World Affairs, 1992).
"A New Order in Asia?: Japan's Uncertain Role," World Policy Journal, Fall 1991.
"Japan Plays Follow the Leader" in Jo Dee Catlin Jacob, ed., Beyond the Hoppo Ryodo: Japanese-Soviet-American Relations in the 1990s (American Enterprise Institute, 1991).
"In Search of Post-Containment Stability in the Pacific" in Preparing for a Pacific Century (Commission on U.S.-Japan Relations for the Twenty First Century, 1991).
"Trial of an Ideal: Japan's Debate on the Iraqi Crisis," World Policy Journal, Winter 1990-1991. Revised and reprinted in Wolfgang Danspeckgruber and Charles Tripp, eds., The Kuwait Crisis and its Implications for the Emerging Order (Westview Press, 1996); and in Herbert Blumberg and Christopher French, eds., Persian Gulf War: Views from the Social and Behavioral Sciences (University Press of America, 1993).
Chikyu-kajidai no nichibei kankei (coeditor, 1991)
"Japan's Search for a World Role," World Policy Journal, Summer 1990.
Revised and reprinted in Henry Bienen, ed., Power, Economics and Security (Westview Press, 1992); and in Glenn Hastedt and Kay Knickrem, eds., Toward the Twenty-First Century: A Reader in World Politics (Prentice-Hall Canada, 1994).
MASARU TAMAMOTO spoke on Japanese national identity and northeast Asian security at the Quadrilateral Conference on Asian Security organized by CSIS-Pacific Forum and the Shanghai Institutes of International Affairs. Shanghai, May 10-12, 2009.
Spoke about "Japan's Politics of Cultural Shame" at an East Asian Institute Lecture at the University of Cambridge, January 28, 2008.
Delivered the Alumni and Friends Lecture on "Japan and the World: Perspectives of a Changing Country" on January 22, 2008 at the MCI Management Center Innbruck, Austria University of Applied Sciences.