Japanese American Leadership Delegation

2016 Delegates at the symposium in Kobe



The Japanese American Leadership Delegation (JALD) program provides the opportunity for a select group of Japanese American leaders from across the United States to travel to Japan to engage with Japanese leaders in the business, government, academic, non-profit and cultural sectors. The trip also allows Japanese leaders to gain a greater understanding of multi-cultural America through the experiences of a diverse group of Japanese Americans. Upon their return, delegates collaborate with program alumni, the local consulates, the U.S.-Japan Council and local and national community organizations to continue strengthening ties between the U.S. and Japan. 

The Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), represented in the U.S. by the Embassy of Japan in Washington, DC and 16 consulate general offices, sponsors the program. The U.S.-Japan Council provides administration and organization for the program. JALD began in 2000 and 186 delegates have participated to date. 

To view information about the 2016 Delegation, please visit the archive page

2017 Applications Now Closed

Thank you so much to those who applied! 

For more information, please contact: 

         Mr. Kaz Maniwa: kmaniwa@usjapancouncil.org, (415) 230-0886
         Ms. Allison Murata: amurata@usjapancouncil.org, (310) 500-2873

Application and Trip Timeline: 

  • Application Deadline: September 23, 2016.
  • Pre-Trip Orientation: *February 3-4, 2017 in Los Angeles -- This is mandatory for all delegates that will travel to Japan. Non-participation in the orientation will disqualify an individual from traveling with the delegation.
  • Trip to Japan: March 3-11, 2017.
  • The itinerary will include travel to Tokyo and Kanazawa.
  • Transportation, hotel and meals will be provided. 
  • Delegates are required to attend all meetings and events during the trip. 

As a rule, delegates are not permitted to extend their stay. In exceptional cases, however, they may extend their stays by up to five nights at the conclusion of the official program at their own expense and at the approval of MOFA. Requests will be considered only if the extension supports the general goals of the program. As a rule, spouses and family members are not permitted to accompany delegates during the official trip.

*Orientation dates have been updated due to the Presidential Inauguration. 



The relationship between the U.S. and Japan is considered by many as the most important bilateral relationship in the world, and Japanese Americans are uniquely positioned to help shape it. The connections between Japanese and Japanese Americans are complex. While World War II played a major role in severing ties between Japanese Americans and Japan, today’s opportunities for collaboration and mutual benefit are great and demand a renewed commitment to involving Japanese Americans in U.S.-Japan relations.

The Japanese American Leadership Delegation provides Japanese American leaders with the opportunity to become acquainted or re-engaged with Japan and participate in discussions related to the role that Japanese Americans can play in addressing key issues that face both countries, now and in the future.

The first delegation was invited by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) to visit Japan in 2000. It included third and fourth generation Japanese Americans selected from various professional fields including the educational, cultural, philanthropic, legal and political sectors. Since the initial trip, delegations of Japanese American leaders from throughout the United States have visited Japan every year since 2002.



JALD Alumni have created a network to ensure that the commitment to strengthening U.S.-Japan relations is maintained. There have been JALD national reunions and several alumni groups have traveled back to Japan together to build on and sustain important relationships built on the program. Alumni of the program are invited and encouraged to join the U.S.-Japan Council’s national networking of Japanese American leaders known as Council Members and participate in Council programming and events.



2016 Japanese American Leadership Delegation 
2015 Japanese American Leadership Delegation
2014 Japanese American Leadership Delegation
2013 Japanese American Leadership Delegation
2012 Japanese American Leadership Delegation
2011 Japanese American Leadership Delegation
2010 Japanese American Leadership Delegation
2009 Japanese American Leadership Delegation
2008 Japanese American Leadership Delegation
2007 Japanese American Leadership Delegation
2006 Japanese American Leadership Delegation
2005 Japanese American Leadership Delegation
2004 Japanese American Leadership Delegation
2003 Japanese American Leadership Delegation
2002 Japanese American Leadership Delegation
2000 Japanese American Leadership Delegation