East-West Center Announces Scholarship Partnership with Okinawa Prefecture


NAHA, OKINAWA  (Sept. 20, 2014) – At the East-West Center’s 2014 international alumni conference that concluded yesterday  in Naha, Okinawa, Center officials announced a new partnership with the Okinawa Prefecture Government that will continue an established scholarship program that allows several Okinawan students each year to pursue graduate degree or leadership program study at EWC and the University of Hawai‘i.

From left: Hidemasu Goya, Robert Nakasone, EWC Adjunct Project Specialist, and Sayaka Sakuma


"We are happy to announce the new partnership between the Okinawa Prefecture Government and the East-West Center for the Obuchi  Scholarship Program,” said EWC Dean of Education Mary Hammond.  “This partnership allows us to continue this valuable scholarship program, which for the last fourteen years has promoted strong educational ties between Japan and the U.S., and particularly Okinawa and Hawai‘i.”

Under the partnership agreement, Okinawa Prefecture Government will contribute 2.5 million yen ($30,000) per year to the scholarship program. With the Okinawa Prefecture and EWC jointly supporting the Obuchi Scholarship, award decisions are based on financial need, high education achievement, leadership experience and available funding.

As result of the partnership, one doctoral student in urban and regional planning, Ms. Sayaka Sakuma, and one Asia Pacific Leadership Program fellow, Mr. Hidemasu Goya, have received scholarship awards this fall.

Obuchi Scholarship applications are currently being accepted through Nov. 3 for the academic year beginning Fall 2015. See: EastWestCenter.org/obuchi

Named in honor of former Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi of Japan, the Obuchi Student Scholarship program was first announced when President Bill Clinton visited Okinawa for a G-8 meeting in the year 2000. Since then, the Obuchi program has brought around 50 Okinawan participants to the East-West Center to engage in multilateral educational and research activities.