Robert D. Eldridge, Ph.D., is the Deputy Assistant Chief of Staff, G-7, Government and External Affairs (G-7), Marine Corps Installations Pacific/Marine Forces Japan, and is a Visiting Scholar at both Okinawa International University’s Institute of Law and Politics and Hosei University’s Institute for Okinawan Studies in Tokyo, as well as a Visiting Fellow at the Institute for International Policy Studies, also in Tokyo.
Previously, he was a tenured associate professor of Japanese Political and Diplomatic History at Osaka University’s Graduate School of International Public Policy in Osaka, Japan, and the Acting Director of the university’s Center for International Security Studies and Policy. He earned his M.A. and Ph.D. in political science at the Graduate School of Law, Kobe University, in 1996 and 1999 respectively (studying under Dr. Iokibe Makoto), and his B.A. in International Relations, Cum Laude with High Departmental Honors, in 1990 from Lynchburg College in Virginia, after studying in Paris, France, and Washington, D.C. He has served on the boards of several professional and academic associations including the Asiatic Society of Japan (Tokyo), Pacific War Memorial Association (Honolulu), United Nations University Global Seminar Organizing Committee (Kobe), and Okinawa Peace Assistance Center (Naha), and is an award-winning author of numerous works including the co-edited book Public Opinion in Japan and the War on Terrorism (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2008), the edited memoirs of Colonel Frank Kowalski entitled An Inoffensive Rearmament: The Making of the Postwar Japanese Army (Naval Institute Press, 2013), translations of the memoirs of prime minister Miyazawa Kiichi entitled Secret Talks between Tokyo and Washington (Lexington Books, 2007), Iokibe Makoto’s edited The Diplomatic History of Postwar Japan (Routledge, 2010), Horie Yoshitaka’s Fighting Spirit (Naval Institute Press, 2011) about the battle of Iwo Jima, Watanabe Tsuneo’s pathbreaking examination of Japanese political factions Japan’s Backroom Politics (Lexington, 2013), and Megaquake (Potomac Books, 2015) about Japan’s disaster preparations, and the author of four diplomatic histories, The Origins of the Bilateral Okinawa Problem: Okinawa in Postwar U.S.-Japan Relations, 1945-1952 (Routledge, 2001), The Return of the Amami Islands: The Reversion Movement and U.S.-Japan Relations (Lexington, 2004), and Iwo Jima and Ogasawara in U.S.-Japan Relations: American Strategy, Japanese Territory, and the Islanders In-between (in Japanese, Nanpo Shinsha, 2008, and Marine Corps University Press in 2014), and The Origins of U.S. Policy in the East China Sea Islands Dispute: Okinawa’s Reversion and the Senkaku Islands (Routledge, 2014), as well as contributing chapters to several dozen works in English and Japanese. He served as Scholar-in-Residence at U.S. Marine Corps Forces Pacific in Hawaii in 2004-2005 and as visiting scholar at the Command and Staff College extension program in Okinawa in 2006 and 2007. In 2000-2001, he was a research fellow at the Research Institute for Peace and Security in Tokyo and a fellow at the Suntory Foundation in Osaka from 1999-2000. In addition to being the political adviser to the forward-deployed command of U.S. forces during Operation Tomodachi in March 2011, he has served as an advisor to Middle Army Headquarters of the Japanese Ground Self-Defense Forces and numerous U.S. and Japanese government entities, and has consulted for numerous media outlets in Japan, United States, and Asia-Pacific region.
Currently, he is co-editing a book on the history of the Ground Self-Defense Forces, translating a book entitled The Prime Ministers of Postwar Japan (to be published by Lexington Books in 2016), writing a book about university reform in Japan as well as one to be entitled The Essence of the “Okinawa Problem,” and working on a sequel to his first book on Okinawa to be entitled, The Road to Reversion: Okinawa in Postwar U.S.-Japan Relations, 1952-1972. An early version of the third book in the Okinawa postwar bilateral history series, Post-Reversion Okinawa and U.S.-Japan Relations: A Preliminary Survey of Local Politics and the Bases, 1972-2002, was published by Osaka University in May 2004 and is available online.