Army Fellow Selected to Go to Tokyo and Fukuoka Prefecture to Meet with Top Japanese Officials

SANTA MONICA, Calif. – Lieutenant Colonel Keith Walters, RAND Corporation, will travel to Japan from March 7 to 15 on the 2014 Japanese American Leadership Delegation (JALD) program, which brings ten prominent Japanese Americans to Japan for a week-long trip dedicated to building people-to-people connections with Japanese leaders. In its 14th year, JALD provides opportunities for Japanese Americans to establish a meaningful role in strengthening U.S.-Japan relations across all sectors of society.

LTC Walters and the other delegates 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 panel discussion sponsored by the Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership and the U.S.-Japan Council (USJC). The delegates will then visit Tokyo, where past delegations have typically met with the Prime Minister, Foreign Minister and top business executives, among others. 

LTC Walters is currently serving as an Army Research Fellow at the RAND Corporation’s Arroyo Center. LTC Walters was selected for this highly competitive program from among dozens of other applicants. As an Army Fellow, he contributes to RAND studies on U.S. strategy and policy in East Asia and on the development of future Army concepts and force structure. From 2010-2013, he served as Chief Operating Officer of a task force of 1,200 soldiers during combat operations in Kandahar, Afghanistan and during the unit’s reconfiguration into a heavy reconnaissance organization. LTC Walters graduated with a B.A. in International Strategic History from the United States Military Academy at West Point and holds an M.A. in U.S. History from Stanford University.  

“This is an opportunity for the delegation—people who come from a diverse cross-section of American society—to exchange ideas with our peers from Japan on the future of the U.S.-Japan relationship. Conditions are changing in East Asia, politically, demographically, economically, militarily, so it is important to gather insights from emerging Japanese leaders in business and government to help inform our own perspectives on the relationship,” LTC Walters said. “The perspectives of people born in the United States differ greatly from our Japanese, Chinese and Korean peers. I am hoping that we can exchange thoughts with Japanese delegates so that we can help determine a future course for U.S.-Japan relations that focus on the great potential in the region. There will only be multilateral solutions to tensions in the region, so I hope that we can explore areas that allow accommodation and compromise, because there are certainly going to be issues in which every player in the region—Japan and the United States included—must remain resolute.” 

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.

** LTC Walters is available to comment before, during and after his trip to Japan. Contact USJC Communications Manager Shiori Okazaki at sokazaki@usjapancouncil.org or 202-223-6843 to arrange an interview. For more information and biographies of all ten delegates visit: www.usjapancouncil.org/programs/program/JALD

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