March 6, 2014

U.S.-Japan Council Newsletter

March 6th, 2014


Womenomics Event



U.S. & Japan in the News

Delivering on the Promise of Womenomics: How Can Americans Contribute? (March 25, Washington, DC)

In the context of the ‘Abenomic’ economic reforms, Prime Minister Abe has given the highest priority ever to the issue of delivering better work-life balance to allow fuller participation of women in Japanese society and thereby address key demographic issues faced within the Japanese economy. As Japan translates this policy vision (referred to as ‘Womenomics’) into concrete steps, the U.S.-Japan Council seeks to foster a dialogue about how Americans can contribute to the successful promotion of Japanese women in Japan and on the global stage.

You are invited to join us for a seminar and networking reception on March 25 at Washington's St. Regis Hotel exploring this topic. Speakers include:

Ms. Hiroko Kuniya, Anchor and Presenter, Today’s Close-Up, NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation), and Member of the USJC Board of Councilors
Dr. Kathryn Ibata-Arens, Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, DePaul University, and USJC Member
Ms. Kaoriko Kuge, Senior Anchor and Reporter, Fujisankei Communications International, Inc.
Ms. Kumiko Bando, Director-General, Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), Japan
Ms. Keiko Honda, Executive Vice President, Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) of the World Bank Group
Ms. Kim Azzarelli, President, Women in the World Foundation; and Founding Partner, Seneca Point Global
Dr. Kuniko Inoguchi, Member, House of Councillors, Liberal Democratic Party (Invited)

Space is limited, so register now!


TOMODACHI News Corner with Mya Fisher

Featured Programs

Building the TOMODACHI Generation (DC) - Friday, February 28th marked the conclusion of The Building the TOMODACHI Generation program in Washington, DC. This program implemented by The Washington Center brought together 16 undergraduate and graduate Japanese and 12 American university students for a two-week leadership program focusing on development strategies for cross-sector partnerships to strengthen civil society as a tool for addressing social challenges, particularly following a crisis or natural disaster like the one that struck the Tohoku region in 2011. The curriculum included the strengthening of key global skills such as cross-culutral understanding, leadership, public speaking, social responsibility, innovation, problem-solving, critical thinking, communication and networking skills through participation in guided team-building exercises, discussions, workshops, a capstone project and other program activities.

The program culminated in international team presentations. The four international teams, each with four Japanese and three American students, were tasked with developing a civil-society based initiative/project focused on Tohoku and presenting it at a final session of the U.S.-Japan Research Institute’s USJI week.

TOMODACHI Innovations in Civic Participation Collegiate Civic Engagement Program (RI and DC) - In February 2014, representatives from three Japanese universities - University of Tokyo, Tohoku University, and Okinawa International University - visited Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island to attend the Ashoka Conference from February 20-22, 2014.  Each set of university representative included Japanese university administrators, faculty/staff and at least one student leader. The conference provided participants a better understanding of what civic engagement is and what it looks like from the  student, faculty, and administrator perspectives. Following the conference, the Japanese delegation also conducted campus visits in Washington, DC in order to examine various models of civic engagement and social entrepreneurship at participating U.S. universities. Delegates expressed their appreciation for this unique program that brought together student leaders and faculty to discuss these topics somewhat as equals. The groups are planning a series of workshops in early summary, in Japan, where the focus will be next steps and the development of concrete plans for applying what they've learned.

2014 TOMODACHI-Mitsui & Co. Leadership Program Now Accepting Applications

The TOMODACHI-Mitsui & Co. Leadership Program is designed to inspire and motivate the next generation of young American and Japanese leaders to be active in U.S.-Japan relations.  This bicultural experience provides outstanding young leaders with unique access to leaders in the U.S.-Japan arena and the opportunity to broaden their perspectives to enhance work or initiatives in their professional fields.



Ambassador and Mrs. Sasae celebrate Ambassador Schieffer, Former U.S. Ambassador to Japan

On March 5, Ambassador Kenichiro Sasae and Mrs. Sasae hosted a ceremony and reception honoring Ambassador Thomas Schieffer, former U.S. Ambassador to Japan. The event celebrated the conferring of the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun upon Ambassador Schieffer. Ambassador Schieffer is a Member of the USJC Board of Councilors. 

For more information about the conferring of the order upon Ambassador Schieffer, see the press release by the Embassy of Japan here.

Call for Volunteers - TOMODACHI Tent at the National Cherry Blossom Festival Street Festival (DC) - Saturday, April 12, 2014

Mark your calendars! Join us at the TOMODACHI tent during the Sakura Matsuri to learn about the TOMODACHI Initiative, meet program alumni and hear about their experiences, and give us a 'hand' with our arts project! If you are interesting in volunteering during the event, contact Sho Tsuyuki at for more information.


U.S. & Japan in the News

Featured Story: After Apple, Tackling Poverty - USJC Member James Higa
The Wall Street Journal, February 26, 2014

Nadeshiko Brand Adds Takeda to Index
The Wall Street Journal, March 04, 2014
Japan’s Painful Choice on the Ukraine Crisis
Council on Foreign Relations, March 06, 2014
An Evacuation of Jews, With Help from Japan
The Wall Street Journal, March 05, 2014
All Eyes on Tanaka as he Makes his Debut
The Wall Street Journal, March 01, 2014
Tokyo Bitcoin Exchange Files for Bankruptcy
The Japan News, February 28, 2014
JAs in Combat Focus of Talk at JANM
Rafu Shimpo, February 27, 2014
SoftBank Reportedly has Sights Set on Line
Japan Times, February 25, 2014
Changing Course, Japan Now Sees Future for Nuclear Power
The Washington Post, February 25, 2014
Honda Taps Woman to Board, Promotes Foreigner
Asahi Japan Watch, February 24, 2014
Sochi Winter Olympics: How Did Japan Do?
The Wall Street Journal, February 24, 2014
TPP Sides May Cut Tariffs Bilaterally
Japan Times, February 24, 2014
CAPAC Members Observe Day of Remembrance
Rafu Shimpo, February 22, 2014
Shapiro: Obama-Abe Summit Key
Japan Times, February 21, 2014
Japan Urged to Bring More Women into Labor Market
The Japan News, February 21, 2014
Obama Meets Nisei World War II Veterans
Rafu Shimpo, February 20, 2014