Takako Hikotani

Takako Hikotani

Research Interest

Civil-military relations and Japanese domestic politics; Japanese foreign policy; and comparative civil-military relations

Takako Hikotani is an adjunct senior research scholar at the Weatherhead East Asian Institute. She was the Gerald L. Curtis Associate Professor of Modern Japanese Politics and Foreign Policy at Columbia University from fall 2016 to spring 2021. Professor Hikotani previously taught at the National Defense Academy of Japan, where she was Associate Professor, and lectured at the Ground Self Defense Force and Air Self Defense Force Staff Colleges, and the National Institute for Defense Studies. Her research focus on civil-military relations and Japanese domestic politics, Japanese foreign policy, and comparative civil-military relations. Her publications (in English) include, “The Japanese Diet and defense policy-making,” International Affairs, 94:1, July, 2018; “Trump’s Gift to Japan: Time for Tokyo to Invest in the Liberal Order,” Foreign Affairs, September/October 2017; “Japan’s New Executive Leadership: How Electoral Rules Make Japanese Security Policy (with Margarita Estevez-Abe and Toshio Nagahisa), in Francis Rosenbluth and Masaru Kohno eds, Japan in the World (Yale University Press, 2009) and “Civilian Control and Civil-Military Gaps in the United States, Japan, and China” (with Peter Feaver and Shaun Narine), Asian Perspective 29:1, March 2006. She advised and appeared in PBS Wide Angle Program, “Japan’s About Face,” July 8, 2008. She was a Visiting Professional Specialist at Princeton University as Social Science Research Council/Abe Fellow (2010-2011), as well as a Suntory Foundation Torii Fellow (2000-2001), and Fellow of the US-Japan Leadership Program, US-Japan Foundation (2000- ).

Professor Hikotani received her BA from Keio University, MAs from Keio University and Stanford University, and PhD in Political Science from Columbia University, where she was a President’s Fellow.



Takako Hikotani. “The Japanese Diet and defense policy-making International Affairs, 94:1 (July 2018)

Takako Hikotani. “Trump’s Gift to Japan: Time for Tokyo to Invest in the Liberal OrderForeign Affairs (September/October 2017)


WEAI professor Takako Hikotani writes “Trump’s Gift to Japan” in Foreign Affairs‘ September/October 2017 issue. August 15, 2017