Akira Otaki, 2017, Japan

Immigration Officer, Ministry of Justice of Japan - Tokyo, Japan

Why Fletcher? My goal in applying to the Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy (MALD) at The Fletcher School was to acquire a range of foundational skills for policy analysis and an understanding of the fundamental principles of justice that underlie legislation. I want to be able to apply my knowledge to real-world problems, especially immigration issues in Japan. Since entering the Japanese Ministry of Justice (MOJ), I have accumulated frontline know-how and policy-related experience. While working in the MOJ’s Immigration Authority, I dealt with the consequences of legal systems. However, I realized that I need advanced skills as a policymaker to tackle unprecedented challenges and to promote Japan’s national interests. I had no doubt that I would be able to integrate my interdisciplinary and practical training at Fletcher with my scholarly and professional experience in social justice to provide solutions for Japan’s future immigration policy challenges.

On the classroom experience: Soon after the academic year began, I realized that the intellectual and emotional depth of Fletcher’s faculty had already had an effect on my ethical and professional approach. One of my favorite classes, International Legal Order with Professor Bart L. Smit Duijzentkunst, has improved my understanding of ancient questions of law and morality. Through Professor Duijzentkunst’s well-organized lectures, I have come to the conclusion that there is some idea of good, justice, or virtue that should be reflected in every law – although not all of those ideas are enshrined in law in practice. The first-rate quality of the faculty, however, has strengthened my motivation to use policy to improve society and promote the well-being of people.

Favorite book:

Anna Karenina

Favorite author:

Junichiro Tanizaki

Favorite musician or band:

Melody Gardot

Most rewarding trip:

Visit to the Demilitarized Zone located between North Korea and South Korea

Favorite location on campus:

The roof at Tisch Library

Fields of Study

Public International Law

International Organizations

Activities involved in at Fletcher

International Migration Group

Asia Club

Japan Club

Education before Fletcher

Juris Doctor - Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan

Bachelor of Law - Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan

Experience before Fletcher

Immigration Inspector/Government Designated Representative - Adjudication Division, Ministry of Justice, Tokyo, Japan

Personnel - Executive Secretary of the Administration Office of the Director-General, Cabinet Legislation Bureau, Tokyo, Japan

Legal Assistant Secretary - Bingham McCutchen LLP, Tokyo, Japan