Major U.S.-Japan Event Brings Top Business Leaders, Business Plan Competition to Seattle, WA

Seattle, WA - The 2012 U.S.-Japan Council Annual Conference will highlight business and entrepreneurial collaboration between the U.S. and Japan, headed up by its keynote speakers:

· Acting Secretary Rebecca M. Blank, U.S. Department of Commerce
· Raymond L. Conner, President and CEO, Boeing Commercial Airplanes
· Takeshi Niinami, CEO, Lawson Inc.
· Phyllis Campbell, Chairman, Pacific Northwest Region, JPMorgan Chase & Co.

This is the first time the Annual Conference will take place in Seattle, recognizing the vital and historic relationship between Japan and the Pacific Northwest. The conference also includes panels on new technology, entrepreneurship and economic collaboration.

Economic Collaboration Roundtable participants include:

· Glen S. Fukushima, President & CEO, GSF Associates, Inc. (Moderator)
· Hideo Hato, President, New Energy & Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO)
· Richard Lim, Director, Hawaii State Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism (DBEDT)
· Dan Sullivan, Commissioner, Alaska Department of Natural Resources (invited)
· Yasuo Tanabe, Vice President and Executive Officer, General Manager of Government & External Relations Division, Hitachi Ltd.
· Tay Yoshitani, Director & CEO, Port of Seattle

Finally, at the conference, the top three finalists of the TOMODACHI Tohoku Challenge (TTC) will compete in front of a panel of esteemed judges before the winner is announced during a special luncheon session focused on entrepreneurship. TTC is an innovative business plan competition focused on entrepreneurial solutions to economic challenges in the post-quake Tohoku region of Japan. The three finalists’ projects each support one of the three hardest-hit prefectures.

The TTC winner is provided recognition, funding opportunities and exclusive advisory services by the U.S.-Japan Council Entrepreneur Leadership Advisory Board (UE-LAB), comprised of leading entrepreneurs, business leaders and venture capitalists in Japan and the United States.

This year’s specific purpose is to identify a venture business that will bring innovation and employment to the Tohoku region of Japan and accelerate the rebuilding of the area.

Media Information:

Date & Time: Friday, October 5, 2012 (9:00am-5:15pm with a reception to follow)

Location: Fairmont Olympic Hotel, downtown Seattle, WA