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

WASHINGTON, DC – Ten Japanese American leaders will travel to Japan from March 1 to 9 on the 2019 Japanese American Leadership Delegation (JALD) program, a week-long trip dedicated to building people-to-people connections with Japanese leaders. In its 19th year, JALD aims to improve understanding and strengthen long-term relations between Japanese Americans and Japan; expand the role of Japanese Americans in advancing U.S.-Japan relations; and develop a network for Japanese American leaders that will continue to advance long-term bilateral relations at the regional, national and international levels.

The delegates will visit Tokyo, where past delegations have met with the Prime Minister, Foreign Minister and top business executives, among others. The delegates will also visit various cities in Kumamoto prefecture, and in Kumamoto City 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 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. The program is sponsored by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan and organized by USJC. The 2019 delegates are:

  • Andrew Fujimoto (Meridian, ID), CEO, Ameriben
  • Joy J. Goto (Fresno, CA), Chair and Professor of Chemistry, California State University, Fresno
  • Mark T. Nakagawa (Springfield, VA), Program Manager, Department of Defense
  • Kyle Nakamoto (Dearborn, MI), Data Scientist, Ford Motor Company
  • Kurt Osaki (Honolulu, HI), President/CEO, Osaki Creative Group
  • Vickie Sakurada Schaepler (Kearney, NE), Coordinator, Japanese Hall and History Project, Legacy of the Plains Museum in Gering
  • Mariko Silver (Bennington, VT), President, Bennington College
  • Bryce Suzuki (Phoenix, AZ), Office Managing Partner, Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP
  • Britt Yamamoto (Seattle, WA), Founder and Executive Director, iLEAP
  • Kelly Yamasaki (Denver, CO), Principal, OZ Architecture

** 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 ten delegates visit: http://www.usjapancouncil.org/jald

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