2014 Japanese American Leadership Delegation Announced

(Washington, D.C.) Ten Japanese Americans have been selected to travel to Japan from March 7 to 15, 2014, where they will visit Fukuoka followed by Tokyo for meetings with top officials.

In its 14th year, the Japanese American Leadership Delegation (JALD) program provides opportunities for Japanese Americans to establish a meaningful role in strengthening U.S.-Japan relations. The program also allows Japanese officials from all sectors of society to become acquainted with multi-cultural America and the diversity of the Japanese American population.

The delegation will visit Fukuoka in the Kyushu region, an economically and culturally dynamic prefecture where many Japanese Americans have their ancestral roots. They will also participate in a symposium sponsored by the Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership and the U.S.-Japan Council (USJC). In Tokyo the delegates typically meet with the Prime Minister, Foreign Minister and top business executives, among others.

The delegates come from across the country and are active in their communities, engaged in U.S.-Japan relations and committed to deepening ties between Japanese Americans and Japan. USJC President Irene Hirano Inouye will lead the delegation. The program is sponsored by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan and organized by USJC.


From Jan. 24 to 25, the delegates will participate in an orientation program in Los Angeles, where they will receive briefings by leaders from the U.S.-Japan community. A press briefing will occur on Jan. 24. Members of the media are invited to meet the 2014 delegates and Irene Hirano Inouye, and participate in a Q&A.

Date & Time: Friday, January 24 – 5:00p.m.
Location: Japanese American Cultural and Community Center (244 S. San Pedro Street) – Garden Room
Contact & RSVP: Jennifer Usyak - 213.617.6700 x166 or j.usyak@ls.mofa.go.jp

2014 DELEGATES: (Please see detailed biographies here.)

Elisa Dozono (Portland, OR)
Partner, Miller Nash LLP

Leona Hiraoka (Washington, DC)
Vice President, Communications, Points of Light

Yoriko Kishimoto (Palo Alto, CA)
Former Mayor of Palo Alto and Director, Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District

Brad Miyake (Bellevue, WA)
Acting City Manager, City of Bellevue

Carrie Okinaga (Honolulu, HI)
Senior Vice President, General Counsel & Secretary, First Hawaiian Bank

Derek Okubo (Denver, CO)
Executive Director, Agency for Human Rights and Community Partnerships, City and County of Denver

Keiko Orrall (Boston, MA)
State Representative, House of Representatives, State of Massachusetts

Toko Serita (Queens, NY)
Criminal Court Judge, New York City Criminal Court, Queens County

Keith Walters (Santa Monica, CA)
Lieutenant Colonel, United States Army

Gary Yamashiroya (Chicago, IL)
Detective Commander, City of Chicago, Department of Police