Special thanks to Associate Members Kei Ashizawa and Ginger Vaughn for the following report:
While the shale gas revolution has made the United States a net energy exporter, Japan still grapples with secure supplies and stable energy solutions following the Fukushima nuclear accident of 2011. “New Channels: Reinvigorating U.S.-Japan Relations," launched by Stanford University’s Japan Studies Program at Shorenstein APARC and the Sasakawa Peace Foundation in association with the U.S.-Japan Council, is part of a three-year project started in 2013. This project aims to create new channels of dialogue between experts, entrepreneurs, business leaders and policy makers from the United States and Japan and to develop mutual understanding and effective communication. The event helped to reinvigorate the bilateral relationship through the dialogue on 21st century challenges faced by both nations.
A full-day public conference on Feb. 13 included panel discussions structured to examine the world’s changing energy picture along with the challenges Japan faces in terms of its energy.energy systems, such as the case of Palo Alto, California, were also discussed. A wide array of energy topics were covered to address post-Fukushima issues and reforming Japan’s energy industry including: increasing energy demand in Asia and energy innovation; nuclear program nationalization; the shale gas revolution’s impact on Japan; and innovative technologies including renewables, smart grid, on-site energy generation, and energy storage. Feb. 14 featured closed discussions between a select group of panelists and participants, as well as a fuel cell manufacturing facility tour.
On Feb. 13, a private dinner was hosted by USJC Board of Councilors Member Hiromitsu Ogawa (Chairman, CAI International) and his wife, Betty. Other USJC members who engaged in the events included: Board of Councilors Chairman Daniel Okimoto (Director-Emeritus, Shorenstein APARC, Stanford University); Council Members Gerald Hane (President & CEO, Battelle-Japan), Yoriko Kishimoto (Former Mayor, City of Palo Alto), Kenji Kushida (Research Associate Fellow, Shorenstein APARC, Stanford University) and Genevieve Shiroma (President of the Board of Directors, SMUD); and Emerging Leaders Program alumni Kei Ashizawa (Attorney at Law) and Ginger Vaughn (Journalist, CCTV America).