Former Mayor of Palo Alto Selected to Go to Tokyo and Fukuoka Prefecture to Meet with Top Japanese Officials

LOS ALTOS, Calif. – Yoriko Kishimoto, Former Mayor of Palo Alto, 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.

Kishimoto 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. 

Kishimoto has held leadership positions in business, non-profit and public sectors. She has worked with technology executives across the Pacific negotiating partnerships and technology transfers and authored a book about America’s future in the context of changing Asia. She is now Director of the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District. Previously, she was a member of the Palo Alto City Council where she promoted walkable communities, open government, high environmental standards and fiscal responsibility. She became Mayor in 2007 with a call to action to “build a green economy through innovation.” In addition to her work in the City of Palo Alto, Kishimoto also served on the boards of Hidden Villa, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District and the Valley Transportation Authority. She holds a B.A. in East Asian Studies from Wesleyan University and an MBA from Stanford University.

“My work across all sectors has been to find a unifying and lasting vision to take us into the future,” Kishimoto said. “For Palo Alto, I worked hard to show that we can have a vibrant innovation economy while moving aggressively to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Today, I continue to work on open space as well as sustainable transportation and energy issues.” She continued, “With this trip, I hope to reconnect with my previous work in U.S.-Japan relations and contribute to bringing out the best of both countries in tackling global climate change.”

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.

** Kishimoto is available to comment before, during and after her trip to Japan. Contact USJC Communications Manager Shiori Okazaki at or 202-223-6843 to arrange an interview. For more information and biographies of all ten delegates visit: