California-Japan Governors' Symposium


As part of USJC and SVJP's Governors' Circle initiative, governors and business delegations from Japan will gather for a one-day symposium in Silicon Valley to discuss strategic ways to strengthen regional economic cooperation and business development between Silicon Valley and Japan. The participating prefectures include Fukuoka, Hiroshima, Nagano, Oita, Okayama and Shizuoka.

The goal of this Symposium is to create an opportunity for leaders from Silicon Valley and Japan to come together, reinforce relationships, consider new ways of thinking, initiate dialogue, and catalyze outcomes which benefit both the U.S. and Japan.



When: Monday, August 26, 2019

Where: Frances C. Arrillaga Alumni Center (Stanford University), 326 Galvez St, Stanford, CA 94305


Speakers Include: 

Katsusada Hirose
Governor, Oita Prefecture, Japan


Mr. Hirose was born in Mameda, Hita City, Oita Prefecture on June 25, 1942. In 1966 he graduated from the University of Tokyo's Faculty of Law and joined the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI). After entering MITI, he held numerous important posts including, First Secretary, Embassy of Japan in Spain (1976); Secretary to the Prime Minister (1991); Director-General, International Trade Administration Bureau, MITI (1994); and Director-General, Machinery and Information Industries Bureau, MITI (1997). In 1999, he held the post of Administrative Vice-Minister of MITI and METI (Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry; the ministry known as MITI before the central government re-organization). After leaving METI, he was elected to the Governor of Oita Prefecture in 2003 (to present). He has also served as the President of the Governor’s Association of Kyushu Region since 2010.

Ryuta Ibaragi
Governor, Okayama Prefecture, Japan


Ryuta Ibaragi graduated from the University of Tokyo’s Faculty of Engineering before commencing work for a foreign-affiliated management firm. He completed an MBA at the Stanford Graduate School of Business in 1995 and became the Company President and Representative Director for the department store Tenmaya in 1998. Mr. Ibaragi has served as the Governor of Okayama Prefecture since 2012, and is in his second term. As the prefecture’s first Governor from the private sector, Mr. Ibaragi has been spearheading campaigns aimed at accelerating effectual progress for Okayama, which revolve around education reform and industry promotion.

Heita Kawakatsu
Governor, Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan


Dr. Heita Kawakatsu has served as the Governor of Shizuoka Prefecture since 2009, currently in his third term. Prior to becoming a governor, he was the President of Shizuoka University of Art and Culture (2007-2009); Professor of Economic History and Deputy Director-General of the International Research Center for Japanese Studies, also known as Nichibunken in Kyoto (1998-2007); and Professor of Economic History at Waseda University (1990-1998). He received his B.A. and M.A. from Waseda University and earned his DPhil from the University of Oxford. Governor Kawakatsu has authored, co-edited and translated various books in English and Japanese including his most recent publications in English, The Lancashire Cotton Industry and Its Rivals (2018).

Yutaka Ota
Vice Governor, Nagano Prefecture, Japan


Mr. Ota was born in Nagano in 1956. In 1979, he graduated from the Kyoto University's Faculty of Law, and entered the Nagano Prefectural Government. He has served in various posts including representative of Nagano Prefecture in Los Angeles; Director of Public Relations of the Nagano Olympic Committee; Director General of the Commerce, Industry and Labor Department; and Director General of the General Affairs Department. In February 2015, he was appointed Vice Governor of Nagano Prefecture, and was reappointed in 2019.

Hidehiko Yuzaki
Governor, Hiroshima Prefecture, Japan,


Mr. Yuzaki graduated from The University of Tokyo and received an MBA from Stanford University. At the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (now known as the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry), he worked on issues involving automobiles, U.S. trade, energy and venture businesses, then was seconded to a venture capital firm in Silicon Valley. After resigning from METI, he founded ACCA Networks as Founder and Representative Director, engaging in the diffusion of low and fixed cost broadband access aimed at individuals and corporate enterprises and contributing to the infrastructure of Japan’s internet industry. The company was listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange in 2005. He won his first election in 2009 as Governor of Hiroshima Prefecture and is currently developing a policy campaign with the slogan “GOOD WORK 😃HAPPY LIFE - Enjoy a lifestyle of seeking the best at work and at home in Hiroshima.”          



1:00 - 5:00 pm (Symposium)

5:00 - 6:30 pm (Reception)

*Schedule is subject to change. Attendance is by invitation only.


For inquiries, contact Grace Kim at