Seiji Manabe, 2015, Japan

Program on U.S.-Japan Relations, Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University - Cambridge, MA

Why I chose Fletcher: I am a Lieutenant Colonel in the Japanese Air Self-Defense Forces. I have served more than fifteen years in the Japanese Air-Self Defense Force as an F-4 Super Phantom fighter jet pilot. After graduating from the National Defense Academy in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan, I went to the U.S. (Texas, Mississippi and Georgia) to attend  fighter jet pilot flight trainings. Before coming to Fletcher, I had the opportunity to work at Misawa Air Base,the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Joint Staffs Office.  The Fletcher School is very famous in Japan, especially the International Security Studies program, and I have had a lot of opportunities to see Fletcher alumni who are leaders in the diplomatic and military fields not only in Japan but throughout the world.  Joining the Fletcher community, I can enhance my knowledge of security issues, build a network with others who have similar interests, and share my own background in military affairs. I believe working with highly motivated Fletcher students will improve my ability to work with and lead global teams, and allow me to make lifelong friendships.

On the MA program: Fletcher's Master of Arts degree (MA) is a one-year program for mid-career professionals on sabbatical or leave of absence from government ministries, international organizations, and other institutions. The MA program allows mid-career individuals to gain new skills and knowledge while immersed in a diverse environment in which  we have the opportunity to explore current political, business, and legal issues. Additionally, MA students are thoroughly integrated into the life of the school, attending classes with students in the MALD, MIB, LLM and Ph.D programs. Exchanging ideas, opinions and perspectives with my classmates has enhanced my knowledge of security issues and has developed my professional skills.

Favorite food
Lobster and Clam Chowder

Favorite musician or band
Boston Symphony Orchestra

Favorite city
New Orleans

Most memorable international experience
Pilot Training as SUPT 02-09 pilot student, United States Air Force

Global issue that brought you to Fletcher
The Middle East peace process

Fields of Study

  • International Organizations
  • International Security Studies

Education before Fletcher

  • Bachelor of Arts, Electronic Engineering, National Defense Academy

Experience before Fletcher

  • Lieutenant Colonel, Staff Officer, Joint Staffs Office, Japan Self-Defense Force, Ministry of Defense, Ichigaya, Tokyo, Japan
  • Deputy Director, Asian and Oceania Affairs Bureau, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Kasumigaseki, Tokyo, Japan
  • Major, Student, Air Command and Staff Course (CSC) of Air Staff College, Japan Air-Self Defense Force, Meguro, Tokyo, Japan


  • Japanese
  • English