Japanese business and government donated a total of $3 million in the past 18 months towards the creation of a Japan Institute at Harvard. The institute, requiring an estimated $5 million for completion, is part of an overall $30 million program to develop Harvard's East Asian facilities.
In September of 1972 a gift of $1 million from Mitsubishi Industries to the Law School established a chair in Japanese legal studies with an endowed professorship. One year later, the Japan Foundation--an organization sponsored by the Japanese government--announced it would donate $10 million to American universities, one-tenth of which was presented to Harvard by Prime Minister Kakuei Tanaka on January 16, 1974, Toyota joined with Nissan Motor Co. Ltd.--the manufacturer of Datsun cars and trucks--in giving the institute an additional million dollars aimed at construction of a new building near the Yenching Library. This was the largest donation ever made by a Japanese firm to an American university.
The chief proponents of the Japan Institute were Edwin O. Reischauer, University Professor and a former United States ambassador to Japan, and John K. Fairbank, director of the East Asian Research Center. United States to develop greater intellectual capacities to understand Japan and much more popular knowledge about the country."
Members of the department for East Asian studies said they hope the expansion will facilitate intensive research on China, Korea, Vietnam, Inner Asia and Japan.