On November 1, the Embassy of Japan held a meeting that brought together Japanese American community leaders and Consuls General of Japan from all over the United States. This annual event was held at the Embassy this year, co-chaired by Minister Hideaki Mizukoshi of the Embassy and USJC President Irene Hirano Inouye.
Seventeen Japanese American leaders were invited to discuss bilateral and global issues with Japanese diplomats and officials. These leaders were nominated by the Embassy and the Consulates. Twelve of them are affiliated with USJC: Ms. Hirano Inouye; Member of the Board of Councilors Glen S. Fukushima; Member of the Board of Directors Sho Dozono; and Council Members Julie Azuma, Bernice Bowers, Marion Friebus-Flaman, Jose Fuentes, Barbara Hibino, Bill Imada, Harold Taniguchi, William Tsutsui and Paul Watanabe. Other Japanese Americans included S. Floyd Mori, President & CEO of the Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies (APAICS) and Priscilla Ouchida, Executive Director of the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL).
Twenty-plus Japanese government officials took part in this series of engaging conversations, including Deputy Chief of Mission Hiroyasu Izumi and other ministers at the Embassy, more than a dozen consuls general representing cities as varied as Honolulu and Boston, as well as directors from the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) in Tokyo.
Most of the Council Members who were invited are past participants of the Japanese American Leadership Delegation (JALD) program, which invites select 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. MOFA sponsors the program, and USJC administers and assists with its implementation.