Delegation of Japanese American Leaders Meet with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (March 2016)

Tokyo, Japan – The 2016 Japanese American Leadership Delegation (JALD) met with Prime Minister Abe on March 9 to discuss issues pertinent to the U.S.-Japan bilateral relationship.

Prime Minister Abe thanked the ten-member delegation and U.S.-Japan Council President Irene Hirano Inouye for demonstrating their continued support for Japan and said, "Japanese Americans are treasures in U.S.-Japan relations. I am glad that all of you, as active leaders in your respective fields, are bridging our two countries and further strengthening the ties between them." In light of the fifth anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake, he also acknowledged the Japanese American support for Operation Tomodachi and other American aid after the disaster.

The meeting was one of the highlights of the 2016 Japanese American Leadership Delegation program, which provides opportunities for Japanese Americans to establish a meaningful role in strengthening U.S.-Japan relations. Other leaders they met in Tokyo included Keidanren, Keizai Doyukai and the U.S.-Japan Parliamentary Friendship League.


Before traveling to Tokyo, the delegates visited Kobe. They participated in a symposium titled "Toward a Secure Society: Challenges in Diversity and Inclusion," co-sponsored by the Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership and the U.S.-Japan Council, with support from Kobe Shimbun, the U.S. Consulate General in Osaka-Kobe, the Hyogo Prefectural Government, the Kobe City Government and the Hyogo International Association. The event was well received and attended by over 120 people.


The ten participants of the program are active in their communities, engaged in U.S.-Japan relations and committed to deepening ties between Japanese Americans and Japan. JALD is sponsored by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan and organized by the U.S.-Japan Council, a 501 (c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to building people-to-people relations between the United States and Japan. For more information, visit

2016 Delegates

  • Bruce Harrell (Seattle, WA), City Council President, City of Seattle
  • Eric Shintaro Hiraga (Denver, CO), Executive Vice President, Chief of Staff, Denver International Airport
  • Bruce E. Hollywood (Washington, DC), Fellow, White House Leadership Development Program
  • Stan Masamitsu (Honolulu, HI), President, Tony Hawaii Automotive Group
  • Kiyo Matsumoto (Brooklyn, NY), United States District Judge, United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York
  • Monte Del Mar (Noda) Mesa (Tamuning, Guam), General Manager, Guam Premier Outlets
  • Eric Nakajima (Amherst, MA), Director, Massachusetts Broadband Institute
  • Darren T. Nakata (Portland, OR), Attorney-at-Law, Perkins Coie LLP
  • Mark Yokoyama (Alhambra, CA), Chief of Police, Alhambra Police Department
  • Tasha A. Yorozu (San Francisco, CA), Managing Attorney, Yorozu Law Group

For more information about the program and the 2016 delegates, visit:


Photo Captions:

First photo: The JALD group at the symposium in Kobe. (Front row, left to right) Monte Del Mar (Noda) Mesa, Stan Masamitsu, Bruce E. Hollywood, Irene Hirano Inouye, Kiyo Matsumoto, Darren T. Nakata, Tasha A. Yorozu; (Back row, left to right) Mark Yokoyama, Bruce Harrell, Eric Nakajima, Eric Shintaro Hiraga

Second photo: Panelists of the symposium (left to right) Bruce Hollywood, Bruce Harrell and Kiyo Matsumoto