Japanese American Leaders to Visit Tokyo and Kanazawa to Meet with Top Japanese Officials

WASHINGTON, DC – Eleven Japanese American leaders will travel to Japan from March 3 to 11 on the 2017 Japanese American Leadership Delegation (JALD) program, a week-long trip dedicated to building people-to-people connections with Japanese leaders. In its 17th year, JALD provides opportunities for Japanese Americans to establish a meaningful role in strengthening U.S.-Japan relations across all sectors of society.

The delegates will visit Kanazawa, Ishikawa prefecture, where they will 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.
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. The 2017 delegates are:

  • David Boone (Alexandria, VA), President, CB&I Federal Services
  • Jason Fujimoto (Hilo, HI), President & COO, HPM Building Supply
  • Sawako Gardner (Portsmouth, NH), Judge, 10th Circuit Court, Portsmouth District Court, State of New Hampshire
  • Roy Hirabayashi (San Jose, CA), Co-Founder and past Executive Director, San Jose Taiko
  • Leslie A. Ito (Los Angeles, CA), President & CEO, Japanese American Cultural & Community Center 
  • Lynn Nakamoto (Salem, OR), Associate Justice, Oregon Supreme Court
  • Patrick Oishi (Seattle, WA), Judge, King County Superior Court
  • Ken Russell (Miami, FL), Commissioner, City of Miami
  • Michael Takada (Chicago, IL), Chief Executive Officer, Japanese American Service Committee
  • Wendy Takahisa (New York, NY), Executive Director, Office of Community Relations, Morgan Stanley 
  • Gary Yamashita (Denver, CO), Chief Executive Officer, Sakura Square


** The delegates are available to comment about their trip to Japan. Contact USJC Director of Communications Shiori Okazaki at sokazaki@usjapancouncil.org or 202-223-6843 to arrange interviews. For more information and biographies of all eleven delegates visit: http://www.usjapancouncil.org/jald

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