Japanese American Leadership Delegation

2018 Delegates at their orientation in Los Angeles



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, nonprofit 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 17 consulate general offices, sponsors the program. The U.S.-Japan Council provides administration and support for the program. JALD began in 2000 and 207 delegates have participated to date. 

2019 Applications Now Open - Deadline: September 14, 2018

Application Materials:

  • For more information about the program and eligibility criteria, please read this fact sheet
  • To apply, please download the instructions and application form.
  • A list of the Embassy and Consulates of Japan is available here.
  • For the 2019 Delegation, MOFA has placed priority on selecting leaders from geographic areas of the country with little or no representation in prior delegations. 

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 14, 2018
  • The trip to Japan including travel will be March 1-9, 2019 (except Guam: departing March 2)
  • Orientation: February 1-2, 2019 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.
  • The itinerary will include travel to Tokyo and Kumamoto.
  • Transportation, hotel and meals will be provided.
  • Delegates are required to attend all meetings and events during the trip.
  • The 2019 Delegation seeks senior leaders from local, state or regional government including appointed and elected officials, higher education administration, business, philanthropy, and communications and media. Priority will be given to candidates from areas not represented in previous delegations.

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.



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 international network of leaders and participate in Council programming and events.



2018 Japanese American Leadership Delegation
2017 Japanese American Leadership Delegation 
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