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UCLA Japanese Studies

May 19, 1991

Your editorial "Bashing a 'Japan-Basher' " (May 10) raises the important issue of the Japan-United States Friendship Commission's funding for university programs and professors critical of Japan. We worked for several years with the University of California at San Diego in a joint library development program and we are naturally disturbed to hear that UCSD has not been funded for next year. This is particularly true because a part of our agreement with UCSD specified that they would concentrate on contemporary materials in the fields of international relations, trade, business, economics and public policy, while UCLA focused on law, political science, sociology, modern history and related traditional fields. UCSD's loss is therefore our loss also. Indeed, it is a loss for the entire Southern California region, which suffers from an acute shortage of library resources on Japan.

There is one point in your editorial that needs to be corrected, however. You state that UCLA "concentrates only on traditional Japanese studies" while UCSD works on the "cutting-edge stuff" relating to Japan. This is not quite accurate. UCLA has a number of significant "cutting-edge" programs dealing with the contemporary Japan-U.S. relationship, including its Center for International Business Research and Education, its Center for Pacific Rim Studies, its Japanese law program and its Japan research and exchange program. Japanese studies at UCLA are definitely "into the 20th Century."

FRED G. NOTEHELFER, Professor and Director, UCLA Japan Research and Exchange Program

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