Steven Leeper is appointed professor of peace studies at Hiroshima Jogakuin University

by Michiko Tanaka, Staff Writer

It was learned on February 22 that Steven Leeper, 65, who will resign as chair of the Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation at the end of March, will serve as a specially appointed professor at Hiroshima Jogakuin University, located in Higashi Ward, Hiroshima, starting in September. Mr. Leeper will teach classes in peace studies within the Faculty of Liberal Arts.

The university asked Mr. Leeper to take up this position because of his efforts at advancing the peace-related policies of the City of Hiroshima as well as the broad network he has cultivated among international NGOs working in the field of nuclear disarmament and related areas. The board of trustees of the Hiroshima Jogakuin educational corporation decided the initial one-year appointment.

In 2007, Mr. Leeper assumed the position of chair of the Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation, a body under the auspices of the City of Hiroshima. He was the first foreign national to be given this post. He had already shared his intention to resign before his tenure expired in May, citing the need to care for family back home in the United States and other factors. Though Mr. Leeper will return home in the spring, he said that, because he has acquired permanent residency in Japan, he plans to travel back and forth between Japan and the United States, engaging in education efforts, after assuming his new position at the university in September.

Hiromi Nagao, the president of Hiroshima Jogakuin University, stated, “Mr. Leeper is the right person to serve as an educator at a university which seeks a global reach from the A-bombed city of Hiroshima.” Mr. Leeper said, “I’m happy to be involved in nurturing students in Hiroshima who can contribute to building peace in the world.”

(Originally published on February 23, 2013)