2019 U40 Summit



The U.S.-Japan Council (USJC) Under 40 (U40) Summit brings together young adults from across the globe to share knowledge, experiences, and ideas to further the U.S.-Japan relationship. The 3-day program will allow attendees to hear from Hawaii’s top leaders, participate in valuable discussions about society’s top issues, and learn through site visits and experiential activities. By gathering people of shared values, we hope to cultivate a community of today’s brightest leaders while developing their personal and professional skills.

The U40 Summit is organized by the U.S.-Japan Council’s TOMODACHI Emerging Leaders Program (ELP) Steering Committee for ELP alumni, USJC Associates, and invited U.S.-Japan leaders under the age of 40.



Thursday, May 30

Optional Dinner for summit participants


Friday, May 31

Cultural and Business Visits

USJC Food Festival (Tickets available for all USJC members. U40 Summit registration includes one ticket to the Food Festival)


Saturday, June 1

All-Day Program

Dinner for U40 Summit participants


Sunday, June 2

ELP Steering Committee meeting (Limited to ELP Steering Committee)

Optional morning activity

U40 & Hawaii Region picnic


*schedule and times subject to change



The U40 Summit is by invitation only and limited to 80 participants. Invitations to register have been sent by email to all ELP alumni, Associates and U40s. If you would like to suggest a U40 U.S.-Japan leader to be invited, please email ELPalumni@usjapancouncil.org.



A small block of discounted rooms are available for U40 Summit participants at the newly remodeled Queen Kapiolani Hotel, which will also be the location of the dinner to be held on Saturday, June 1. Rooms are available on a first come, first served basis, so please don't wait to make arrangements. Even if you are local, you are welcome to stay at the hotel with everyone too!

• City View Room w/ balcony (1 king or 2 queens): $155.00 + tax per night, per room (normally $236/night)

• Waived $30 daily Hospitality Fees

• $15/day discounted parking

• $8.90 per person one-time porterage fee required


Sponsors & Supporters



Recap of the 2019 U40 Summit

Thank you to Associate (and ELP ‘14) Lynn Miyahira for the following article!

Lynn Miyahira (left) and Rona Tison (right) engage in a dialogue

From May 31 to June 2, over 65 participants joined us in Honolulu for the 2019 U40 (Under 40) Summit. Nearly half of the participants were from Hawaii, a handful came from Japan, and the rest joined us from every region of the United States.

One of the first stops was to Daihonzon Chozen-ji, an international zen dojo deep in Kalihi Valley, where participants were challenged with a 20-minute session of zazen - seated, silent meditation. This was an experience most will likely never forget. The group also had a chance to hear from USJC Legacy Council member Colbert Matsumoto about connecting zen training to leadership.

Associates and ELP 2017 alumni Rylan Sekiguchi and Derek Kenmotsu lift Jaden Risner (ELP ‘13) as part of their training

A major highlight of the weekend was the Kau Kau Food Fest, where over 200 people from Hawaii mingled with the U40 participants. "Kau Kau" is a Hawaiian pidgin phrase for "food" or "to eat," and the menu featured local chefs who celebrate the diverse ethnic flavors of Hawaii. There was even an impromptu hula dance by a few local USJC members to really make it feel like a true Hawaiian party!

The U40 participants spent the second day in a series of discussions to connect, explore new ideas, and take action. Guest speakers included USJC Board Members Dennis Sugino and Rona Tison, as well Ramsay Taum, a respected Native Hawaiian teacher.

Participants share their thoughts following group discussions

The weekend also included visits to local Japanese American family businesses such as Iolani Sportswear and KoAloha Ukulele, as well as fun activities like karaoke, hiking, a tour of the North Shore and a beach picnic.

The U40 Summit was a chance to reconnect with old friends, meet new ones, and build people-to-people relationships. As Lindsey Sugino (ELP '18) put it, "The meaningful conversations and discussions we had during the program made me proud to be a part of USJC."

Mahalo nui loa (thank you very much) to all the summit participants, sponsors, speakers and staff for making this event a HUGE success!

The U40 Hawaii planning committee at the food festival: (L-R) Colby Takeda, Lea Okudara, John Rankin, Lynn Miyahira, Nicole Velasco, Yoh Kawanami, Kim Haruki, Mitch Noguchi (Missing: Nate Gyotoku (Advisor))

Click here for more photos of the Summit, and here for more photos of the food festival.