Jin Sato is a professor in the Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia at the University of Tokyo, where he researches state-society relations through natural resources and environment and the long-term impact of Japanese foreign aid in Asia. Since 2017, he has been a Global Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University. In 2014, he was awarded the Japan Academy Medal, the highest academic honor awarded annually to outstanding young scholars under the age of 45.

1. What inspired you to become a professor? I did not have any plans to become a professor. I was rather interested in becoming a practitioner working in developing countries or in international organizations. When I had my internship at the World Bank as a graduate student, I realized that everyone had a doctoral degree there. That’s when I thought I should study further. A teaching opportunity came unexpectedly after my doctorate, and here I am.

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