Jacob M. Schlesinger has spent the past quarter century moving back and forth between Japan and Washington, D.C. for The Wall Street Journal. He most recently returned to Washington in September after nearly six years in Tokyo, to become the Journal’s editor for financial regulation.
He first went to Japan from 1989 to 1994, as a reporter following technology, trade, and politics from the end of the bubble to the early years of the “lost decades.” He returned as bureau chief in late 2009, overseeing coverage of the historic transfer of power to the Democratic Party of Japan, rising tensions with China, the 2011 triple disaster, and the return of Shinzo Abe, the Liberal Democratic Party, and the grand Abenomics experiment.
Schlesinger started with the Journal in Detroit in 1986, covering the American auto industry, and, in between Tokyo stints, worked for 13 years in the Washington bureau, covering economics and politics, and serving as deputy bureau chief. In 2003, Schlesinger was part of a team of Journal reporters awarded the Pulitzer Prize in explanatory reporting for the “What’s Wrong” series about the causes and consequences of the late-1990s financial bubble. In 2014, he won the Shorenstein Journalism Award from Stanford’s Asia-Pacific Research Center.
After finishing his first tour in Japan, he authored the book “Shadow Shoguns: The Rise and Fall of Japan’s Postwar Political Machine” published in 1997 by Simon & Schuster. While writing his book, he was a visiting fellow at Stanford University’s Asia-Pacific Research Center.
A native of East Lansing, Michigan, he received a bachelor’s degree in economics from Harvard College.