2018 USJC Annual Conference (Media Advisory)

The U.S.-Japan Council, together with the U.S.-Japan Council (Japan), is pleased to present its 2018 Annual Conference, to be held at the Cerulean Tower Tokyu Hotel, Shibuya, Tokyo, from November 8 to 9, 2018. This is the Council’s second Conference in Tokyo since 2015, and discusses how the United States and Japan can build a sustainable future together, and strengthen philanthropy in Japan. This includes collaborating towards mutual goals like fostering future leaders, and facing common challenges like aging populations and security issues in Asia. The Conference will also discuss regional ties among various cities in both countries, as well as the impact the midterm elections will have in the United States.

Please find below the details of the 2018 Annual Conference:


Thursday, November 8, 2018, 9:30 am~ (media registration opens at 9:00am)
Friday, November 9, 2018, 9:00 am~ (media registration opens at 8:30am)



Cerulean Tower Tokyu Hotel (〒150-8512 26-1 Sakuragaoka-cho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, Japan)



(*English only. There will not be simultaneous interpretation into Japanese)

  • New Trends in Philanthropy
  • SDGs and Multisectoral Partnerships
  • Business Strategy and Market Innovation
  • Governors Seeking to Revitalize Local Economies
  • The Future of Innovation and Design Thinking
  • Political Trends and Security Implications
  • Pioneering Women and Breaking Barriers
  • TOMODACHI Generation: Next Generation Leaders Shaping the Future
  • GANNENMONO: Celebrating the 150-Year Legacy
  • Social Innovation and Change-makers
  • Japan’s NPO Sector Today*
  • Sustainable Business Practices and Strategies*
  • Aging Populations: Developing Solutions *
  • Dare to be Different: Leading a More Diverse Future


2018 Annual Conference Agenda

(Schedule and speakers are subject to change)

Thursday, November 8

Time Topic Speakers
9:30 – 10:00am Opening Remarks Emcee: Mari Matthews
Speaker: Irene Hirano Inouye
10:00 – 10:30am New Trends in Philanthropy Moderator: Mari Kuraishi
Panelists: Xavier Briggs
      Hiroshi Nonomiya
10:45 – 11:15am SDGs and Multisectoral Partnerships Speakers: Toshio Arima
      Hiroko Kuniya
11:15 – 11:45am Business Strategy and Market Innovation Moderator: Jesper Koll
Panelists: Takeshi Niinami
      Sachin Shah
12:30 – 12:45pm Luncheon Plenary Session  Emcee: Paul Yonamine
Special Remarks: Chris DeGroot
     Shoichiro Ichitani
12:45 – 1:45pm Governors Seeking to Revitalize Local Economies  Moderator: Daniel Okimoto
Panelists: Ryuta Ibaragi (Okayama Pref.)
     Heita Kawakatsu (Shizuoka Pref.)
     Hidehiko Yuzaki (Hiroshima Pref.)
2:30 – 2:45pm Special Address  Emcee: Tomoko Kizawa
Distinguished Speaker: Kanetsugu Mike
2:45 – 3:00pm The Future of Innovation and Design Thinking (Part 1) Moderator: Kathy Matsui
Panelist: Peter Fitzgerald
3:00 – 3:15pm Special Address  Distinguished Speaker: Yuriko Koike
3:15 – 3:45pm Political Trends and Security Implications Moderator: Peter Landers
Panelists: Yoichi Funabashi
               Joseph Young
4:00 – 4:15pm The Future of Innovation and Design Thinking (Part 2) Presenter: John Maeda
4:15 – 4:45pm Pioneering Women and Breaking Barriers Moderator: Yuka Tanimoto
Panelist: Emi Takemura
4:45 – 5:15pm TOMODACHI Generation: Next Generation Leaders Shaping our Future  Emcee: Laura Winthrop Abbot  
Moderator: Todd Guild
Panelists: Juan Hernandez
      Mio Kakuchi
      Toshiko Kudo
Discussant: Lata Reddy
6:15 – 8:00pm Conference Reception Emcee:Ernest Higa
Special Performance: Ebizo Ichikawa


Friday, November 9

Time Topic Speakers
9:00 – 9:05am Welcome Remarks Emcee: Dana Heatherton
9:05 – 9:30am Gannenmono: Celebrating the 150-Year Legacy Speakers: Christine Kubota
      Tyler Tokioka
      Dennis Ogawa
9:45 – 11:00am Breakout Sessions (4 concurrent sessions)   
  Social Innovation and Changemakers Presenters: Yukiko Araki
       Martijn Dekker
       Fran Heller
       Keiko Ihara
       Yumi Tomei
  Japan's NPO Sector Today Moderator: Junko Tsuda
Panelists: Katsuji Imata
      John E. Kobara
      Nanako Kudo
  Sustainable Business Practices and Strategies Moderator: Yuki Isogai
Panelists: Tomoko Hasegawa
     Yuuko Iizuka
     Alan Oshima
  Aging Populations: Developing Solutions  Moderator: Leona Hiraoka
Panelists: Mikio Aoki
     Ryuji Watanabe
11:15 – 11:45am Dare to Be Different: Leading a More Diverse Future Speakers: David Kenji Chang
     Mana Nakagawa
     Nicole Velasco
11:45am – 12:00pm Closing Remarks Speaker: Yuko Kaifu
4:00 - 6:00pm Japan Film Premiere - An American Story: Norman Mineta and His Legacy Moderators: Diane Fukami
       Debra Nakatomi
Panelist: Norman Mineta



*Distinguished Speakers

Laura Winthrop Abbot, Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer, U.S.-Japan Council
Mikio Aoki, Director, Commercialisation of Public Services, METI
Yukiko Araki, Corporate Officer, Executive General Manager, Sustainability Promotion Division, Hitachi, Ltd.
Toshio Arima, Chairman of the Board, Global Compact Japan Network
Xavier Briggs, Vice President, Inclusive Economies and Markets, Ford Foundation
David Kenji Chang, Portfolio Manager, Tyvor Capital, LLC
Chris DeGroot, Vice President – International Sales, American Airlines
Martijn Dekker, Vice President for Strategy & Portfolio - Projects & Technology, Shell
Peter Fitzgerald, President, Google Japan G.K.
Dianne Fukami, President, Bridge Media, Inc.; Director & Co-Producer, An American Story: Norman Mineta and His Legacy
Yoichi Funabashi, Co-founder and Chairman, Asia Pacific Initiative; Former Editor-in-Chief, The Asahi Shimbun (2007-10)
Todd Guild, Senior Director, McKinsey & Company, Inc.
Tomoko Hasegawa, Director, SDGs Promotion Bureau, Keidanren (Japan Business Federation)
Dana Heatherton, Director of Operations & Business Strategy, A3Ventures
Fran Heller, Founder & CEO, Good2Go
Juan Hernandez, TOMODACHI MUFG International Exchange Program (2013) and TOMODACHI Daiwa House Student Leadership Conference (2018) Alumnus
Ernest Higa, President, Chairman & CEO, HIGA Industries Co., Ltd.
Irene Hirano Inouye, President, U.S.-Japan Council
Leona Hiraoka, President & CEO, Keiro
Ryuta Ibaragi, Governor of Okayama Prefecture, Japan
Ebizo Ichikawa, Kabuki Actor
Shoichiro Ichitani, Director and Vice Chairman, Prudential Life Insurance Company Ltd.
Keiko Ihara, Race Car Driver; Independent Director, Nissan Motor Corporation
Yuuko Iizuka, General Manager, CSR Department, Sumitomo Forestry Co., Ltd.
Katsuji Imata, Board Chair, CSO Network Japan; Vice Chairperson, Board of Directors, Japan NPO Center
Yuki Isogai, Partner, International Development, Sustainability, PricewaterhouseCoopers Co., Ltd
Yuko Kaifu, President, JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles
Mio Kakuchi, TOMODACHI Summer SoftBank Leadership Program (2015) Alumna
Heita Kawakatsu, Governor of Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan
Tomoko Kizawa, Partner, Deloitte & Touche LLP
*Yuriko Koike, Governor of Tokyo, Japan
John E. Kobara, Chief Operating Officer, California Community Foundation
Jesper Koll, CEO, WisdomTree Japan
Christine Kubota, Director, Damon Key Leong Kupchak Hastert
Nanako Kudo, Executive Director, Japan Social Impact Investment Foundation
Toshiko Kudo, TOMODACHI ADA25 Lead On! Program (2016) Alumna
Hiroko Kuniya, Journalist; Goodwill Ambassador for Japan, UN Food and
Agriculture Organization
Mari Kuraishi, Co-Founder & President, GlobalGiving
Peter Landers, Tokyo Bureau Chief, The Wall Street Journal
John Maeda, Global Head of Computational Design + Inclusion, Automattic
Kathy Matsui, Vice-Chair, Goldman Sachs Japan Co., Ltd.
Mari Matthews, Corporate Officer, Government Relations, AIG Japan Holdings KK
*Kanetsugu Mike, President & CEO, MUFG Bank, Ltd.
Norman Mineta, President & CEO, Mineta & Associates, LLC; Former Secretary of Transportation, U.S. Department of Transportation; Former Secretary of Commerce, U.S. Department of Commerce
Mana Nakagawa, Women's Diversity Program Manager, Facebook
Debra Nakatomi, President, Nakatomi & Associates, Inc.; Co-Producer, An American Story: Norman Mineta and His Legacy
Takeshi Niinami, CEO, Suntory Holdings Ltd.
Hiroshi Nonomiya, Co-CEO, Social Investment Partners; Representative Director, Crosspoint Advisors, Inc.
Dennis Ogawa, Professor, University of Hawaii Manoa
Daniel Okimoto, Director-Emeritus, Shorenstein APARC; FSI Senior Fellow and Professor Emeritus of Political Science, Stanford University
Alan Oshima, President & CEO, Hawaiian Electric
Lata Reddy, Senior Vice President, Diversity, Inclusion & Impact, Prudential Financial, Inc.; Chair and President, The Prudential Foundation
Sachin Shah, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, MetLife Insurance K.K.; President, The American Chamber of Commerce in Japan
Emi Takemura, Fellow, Mistletoe Inc.; Co-founder, FutureEdu Tokyo; Co-founder/Advisor, Peatix Inc.
Yuka Tanimoto, Deputy Editor-in-Chief & Event Promotion Section Chief Producer, Forbes JAPAN
Tyler Tokioka, Vice President, External Affairs, Island Insurance
Yumi Tomei, Former Olympian, Soccer; EY Women Athlete Business Network (WABN)
Junko Tsuda, Executive Director, Japan, U.S.-Japan Council
Nicole Velasco, Business Development Lead, NORESCO
Ryuji “Rick” Watanabe, Advisor, ASO Corporation (Tokyo, Japan)
Paul Yonamine, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Central Pacific Financial Corporation (CPF); Executive Chairman, Central Pacific Bank (CPB); Chairman, GCA Corporation Japan (GCA)
Joseph M. Young, Deputy Chief of Mission, U.S. Embassy Tokyo
Hidehiko Yuzaki, Governor of Hiroshima Prefecture, Japan

To see the speakers' bios, click here.


Media Registration

To register, please download this form and email to staff@gram3.com or fax to (+81)3-6402-0302.