East Asian Legal Studies Receives Foundation Grant

The Law School's East Asian Legal Studies program will study human rights in East Asia under a $375,000 Ford Foundation grant, a program spokesman said yesterday.

The grant will be used to study "different views of human rights, past and present," Jerome A. Cohen, professor of Law and the program's director said yesterday.

North vs. South

Researchers will use the funds to compare differences in attitudes towards human rights between parts of divided countries such as Korea and China and between communist and non-communist countries, Cohen said.

In 1975 the Korean Traders Association gave $1 million to Harvard to help fund the GSAS's East Asian Studies program. Last year, the Marcos Foundation of the Phillippines gave $1.5 million to the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy for its Asian Studies program.


The program is seeking additional funds from other private foundations in the U.S., but will accept no funds from foreign governments, Cohen said. "How could you take money from a government when you're scrutinizing it?" he added.

Cohen, along with Edwin O. Reischauer, University Professor, appeared on a 1974 South Korean enemies list for his outspoken criticism of the Park regime.

Cohen said that he hoped the research program could sponsor courses which would examine the scholars' progress in a year or two.

The researchers also plan to study the relation between a nation's per capita GNP and its government's attitude towards human rights, and will make recommendations on U.S. foreign policy towards East Asia.


Cohen said the study will focus on Japan as an important contrast to other East Asian nations. Japan evolved as a prosperous country with respect for human rights while many East Asian nations did not, he added.