The Sept. 27 issue of the Japanese edition of Newsweek is out, and features a list of the top 100 universities in the world. I'll post a longer discussion of the list sometime (as soon as I figure out how to criticize it without annoying people :-), but I'm disappointed to report that Keio University, my alma mater for my Ph.D., didn't make the list. Five other Japanese universities (U. Tokyo, Kyoto U., Osaka U., Nagoya U., and Tohoku U.) did.
There are a lot of reasons why it's difficult to rank Japanese universities using an America-centric rating system, but ranking the universities is a big sport here, too, and in most of those lists, Keio comes in third, after Todai (Tokyo) and Kyodai (Kyoto), which by general agreement usually do come in number one and two. Waseda University, Japan's other most famous private university, also usually ranks near the top.
Wikipedia's article on Keio has a short list of some of the prominent Keio alumni. Probably the most famous at the moment is Junichiro Koizumi, the outgoing prime minister (2001-2005), but he's not the only prominent politician. Ryutaro Hashimoto, who was prime minister 1996-1998, recently passed away. Dozens of other alumni have been cabinet members and governors in the post-war period.
Two astronauts, Chiaki Mukai, who has already been into space, and Akihiko Hoshide, who is working on it, are grads. In business, the owners of the Yomiuri and Asahi newspapers, the president of Nippon TV, president of TBS, chairman of All Nippon Airways, and more are grads. Yoshio Taniguchi, architect of the redesigned MoMA in New York, is a Keio (and Harvard) grad, with a B.S. in M.E. (His father, Yoshiro Taniguchi, was also an architect; I'm not sure if he was a Keio grad or not.) Ted Nelson, who coined the term hypertext in 1963, was awarded a Ph.D. in 2002.
Enough rambling. Suffice it to say that Keio is one of Japan's best and most important universities, and, in my opinion, should have made Newsweek's list.