Thomas French

Thomas FrenchThomas French

Research Interests
US-Japan Relations, UK-Japan Relations, Self-Defense Forces, Occupation Japan, Japanese military, History, Politics.
Educational Qualifications
Bachelor of Arts (BA Hons.) (09/2004 Royal Holloway, University of London)
Master of Arts (MA) (09/2005 Durham University)
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) (12/2010 University of Southampton)
Academic Experience
02/2008-02/2010 University of Winchester / Lecturer
04/2011-03/2012 Nagoya University of Foreign Studies / Visiting Lecturer
04/01/2012- Ritsumeikan University, College of International Relations / Associate Professor
Selected Publications
  • The Economic and Business History of Occupied Japan: New Perspectives, Routledge, 2018
  • National Police Reserve: The Origin of Japan’s Self Defense Forces, Brill / Global Oriental, 2014
  • Using Geospatial Data to Study the Origins of Japan’s Post-Occupation Maritime Boundaries, Asia Pacific Perspectives, Volume XIII, Number 1, Spring/Summer 2015, pp. 28-56
  • ‘Contested ‘Rearmament’: The National Police Reserve and Japan’s Cold War(s)’, Japanese Studies, Volume 34, Number 1, May 2014 pp. 25-36
Exploring Kyoto’s cultural and culinary landscape, watching sumo, reading, playing board games / war games. Kendo 1st dan, represented Royal Holloway as a foil fencer, played rugby union for the city of Carlisle’s youth teams for 7 years.
Q1What are your current teaching areas and current research themes?
I currently teach (or have taught) the following classes at undergraduate level:
Introductory Seminar (1st year and above)
Politics for Global Studies (1st year and above)
Modern Japanese History (2nd year and above)
Japanese Politics (2nd year and above)
US-Japan Relations (2nd year and above)
US Politics and Foreign Policy (3rd year and above)
Advanced Seminar (Modern World History) (3rd year and above)

I teach the following courses at postgraduate level:

Japanese Politics and Foreign Policy
Japan in East Asia
Advanced Seminar

Alongside my already existing research on the Allied Occupation of Japan (1945-1952) and the Self Defense forces, I am currently working on a major Japan Society for the Promotion of Science ‘Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research’ (KAKENHI) research project on UK-Japan peacetime military connections entitled ‘Old Friends, New Partners: a History of Anglo Japanese Military Relations: 1864-2017’.

You can find out more about my research and ‘KAKENHI’ grant here:

Q2What do you think the biggest appeal of the JDP is for students?
Aside from the quality of instruction, career opportunities and the chance to live for two years in both DC and Kyoto, you can be a pioneer as a student in the first ever joint undergraduate degree run between Japan and the US.
Q3What do you expect future JDP students to learn and experience during their studies in the JDP?
Aside from the theories, histories, and other content you will study in class you will also learn to view the world from multiple perspectives and standpoints through having lived for an extended period in both the US and Japan. The language skills and cultural competence you will acquire will set you apart in today’s increasingly globalized employment market and will greatly benefit you if you choose to go on to further study. Living two cities as interesting and attractive as Kyoto and Washington DC will also broaden your horizons and give you a host of fantastic experiences unique to our program.