2015 Japanese American Leadership Delegation Returns Home
The delegates at the Prime Minister's Residence
The ten delegates of the 2015 Japanese American Leadership Delegation (JALD) programreturned home on March 14 after a full week of meetings, discussions and networking opportunities with Japanese leaders. The purpose of the program is to build people-to-people relationships with Japanese leaders from various sectors of society in order to strengthen and diversify U.S.-Japan relations.
Delegate Richard Morimoto speaks at the Hiroshima Symposium
This year's delegation visited Hiroshima, a prefecture with strong ties to Japanese American communities in the United States. The delegates participated in a symposium titled “Aging and Dementia: Cooperation between the U.S. and Japan, from Research to Health Care” (see the flier for more information), co-sponsored by the Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership (CGP) and the U.S.-Japan Council, with support from the U.S. Consulate in Osaka, the Hiroshima Prefectural Government, and the Japan-America Society of Hiroshima, which was attended by over 100 people. Governor Hidehiko Yuzaki (a Friend of the Council), who delegates had met with the morning of the symposium, made opening remarks at the reception that followed. The group also received an in-depth tour of the Mitsubishi Heavy Industry factory and visited the Hiroshima Peace Memorial and Peace Museum, Hiroshima Castle and Kamoizumi Sake Brewery.
Discussion with the Japan-U.S. Parliamentary Federation
In Tokyo, the group met with Prime Minister Abe, with whom they discussed the strong relationship between Japanese Americans and Japan, 70 years of continued friendship between the two countries since the end of World War II, the fourth anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake, and more. (More information is available in the press release by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (in Japanese) and a video of the discussion (includes English interpretation.))
Delegate Yoshie Ito at the luncheon hosted by CGP
Other individuals and organizations the delegation met include HIH Princess Takamado, Keidanren (Japan Business Federation), Keizai Doyukai (Japan Association of Corporate Executives), Forum 21 and Mitsubishi Corporation (with Member of the UJSC Board of Councilors, Ambassador Ryozo Kato). They were briefed by U.S. Embassy staff including Deputy Chief of Mission Jason P. Hyland, and held meetings with Former Speaker of the House of Representatives Yohei Kono, Representative Taro Kono, the Japan-U.S. Parliamentary Federation and other Diet members. They also met with leadership from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and attended a luncheon hosted by CGP. USJC Board Members Dan Fujii, Ernest M. Higa, Paul Yonamine, as well as Council Member Eriko Talley, also met with the delegation and shared their experience as Japanese Americans living and working in Japan. Several other Tokyo-based members and staff also took the time to meet with the group.
The delegation with longtime tour guide Eiko Sato at the end of the trip
The JALD program is sponsored by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and organized by USJC.