May 2, 2013 Newsletter

U.S.-Japan Council  Newsletter 

May 2nd, 2013



Featured Videos

Recent Event Recap

You're Invited: Women in Business Summit

TOMODACHI Seeks U.S. Program Participants

Opportunities & Events

U.S. & Japan in the News


USJC Chairman Thomas Iino Receives Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon

Congratulations to our Chairman of the Board, Thomas Iino. The Japanese Government has bestowed upon him the Order of the Rising Sun award for his contributions to strengthening the economic relationship between the U.S. and Japan and for promoting cultural exchange and mutual understanding between the two countries.

The Order of the Rising Sun was established in 1875 as the first national decoration awarded by the Japanese Government. The modern version of this honor has been conferred on non-Japanese recipients beginning in 1981. The awarding of the Order is administered by the Decoration Bureau of the Office of the Prime Minister and is bestowed in the name of the Emperor.

"I am humbled by this recognition from the Government of Japan. I have committed a large part of my life (substantially voluntarily) to assisting the relationship-building process between the U.S. and Japan because it is the right thing to do. Helping lead the U.S.-Japan Council’s mandate to advance this strategy has been a labor of love from the beginning," said Mr. Iino upon hearing the news. 

The Consulate-General of Japan in Los Angeles featured the following description about Mr. Iino's U.S.-Japan Council and TOMODACHI contributions: 

"He has been a driving force in the U.S.-Japan Council since its founding and currently serving as the Chair of the Board.  He has contributed greatly to developing the Japanese American community and people-to-people relationships with Japan through focused programs such as the Japanese American Leadership Delegation and programs addressing commercial, diplomatic and educational exchanges between the two countries. Additionally through the leadership of Ms. Irene Hirano Inouye, Ambassador John Roos and Mr. Iino himself, in 2012 the U.S.-Japan Council established the TOMODACHI Initiative, which aims to support Japan’s recovery after the Great East Japan Earthquake, strengthen long term Japan-U.S. cultural and economic ties and deepen the bilateral friendship. TOMODACHI focuses on investing in future generations and coordinates a variety of exchange programs between Japan and the United States."

To read more, click here.

The Conferment Ceremony for Mr. Iino, who also serves as the Chairman of Pacific Commerce Bank, will be held in Los Angeles later this month. 

Council Member Atsuko Fish Honored by White House

As a part of the celebration of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month, the White House is recognizing 15 women as "Champions of Change." We are pleased to congratulate Council Member Atsuko Fish, whose work empowering women and promoting cultural understanding between the U.S. and Japan has earned her this honor.

Ms. Fish, a first generation Japanese American based in Boston, has worked as a U.S.-Japan Cross-Cultural Consultant for the state of Massachusetts and is now a Trustee of the Fish Family Foundation. The Foundation was established together with her husband Lawrence K. Fish to support human service organizations focusing on low-income working families, with a particular emphasis on immigrants and women.

She is a co-founder of the Japanese Disaster Relief Fund-Boston, which raised nearly $1 million for the Tohoku region, and helped bring together participants from the Boys and Girls Clubs of Boston and BEYOND Tomorrow in both countries. Her contributions to mutual understanding between the U.S. and Japan earned her the Foreign Minister’s Commendation from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan in 2012.


"Last week I received a call from the White House informing me that I am one of the recipients of this year's Champions of Change awards," Ms. Fish said."What an honor to receive it. I am a first generation Japanese American, having come to the U.S. in 1983 as a green card holder. America is still the country of dreams come true and I am a good living example. If you have a vision and work hard, immigrants can still make their way to success and make a difference in society.This is what I have learned in United States. In 2008, I became a citizen of the United States and voted in my first Presidential election, which President Obama won. Five years later, it is a privilege and honor to be recognized by the AAPI Women Champion of Change program, which he created."

To watch this event live, visit at 1 p.m. ET on Monday, May 6. To learn more about the White House Champions of Change program and nominate a Champion, visit


Featured Videos

Royanne Doi on the TOMODACHI Generation

In this week's USJC featured video, hear from Tokyo-based Board of Directors Member Royanne Doi. 

And the Winner Is.....

Ambassador John V. Roos and USJC Board Member Ernest M. Higa taste the top three burger recipes and ultimately crown the winner of the Wendy's Japan TOMODACHI Burger Contest

Click here to learn about the Wendy's TOMODACHI Burger launch event and see the family that submitted the winning recipe! 

The TOMODACHI Generation in Action!

We're proud to share news of the TOMOTRA travel agency - a project created and executed by the TOMODACHI Generation. Alumni of the TOMODACHI Summer 2012 SoftBank Leadership Program came up with the idea of using local youth to help draw visitors to Fukushima and HIS Travel agreed to support them in conducting and promoting tours of Iwaki. Click here to see the video.

Documentary on Senator Daniel K. Inouye to Air this Month

This May, American audiences will be able to see "Journey to Washington: On the Trail of Senator Daniel Inouye, Japanese-American Pioneer." This hour-long documentary details key moments in the late Senator's life and is produced by Fujisankei Communications International. The documentary will air in Japanese in New York, Los Angeles and Hawaii markets on Sunday, May 19th. English subtitles will be provided by TV Japan during a broadcast on Sunday, May 26th. To view the trailer and see a full list of show times, click here


Recent Event Recap - Capitol Hill Reception

Yesterday, the U.S.-Japan Council teamed up with the Japan Center for International Exchange (JCIE) and others to host a Capitol Hill Reception in honor of visiting Japanese leaders. 

The short program included:

  • An introduction from Dr. Gerald Curtis, Professor of Political Science, Columbia University (USJC Board of Councilors);
  • Welcoming remarks by Secretary Norman Mineta, Vice Chairman, Hill & Knowlton (USJC Board of Councilors);
  • A response by The Honorable Takeo Kawamura, Member, House of Representatives; and
  • Remarks and a toast by The Honorable Kenichiro Sasae, Japanese Ambassador to the United States. 

The guests of honor included visiting members of the Japanese Diet, professors from Japanese universities and the 10-member delegation of the TOMODACHI NGO Leadership Program

Also partnering with the Council were the Japan-United States Friendship Commission, Sasakawa Peace Foundation USA, U.S. Association of Former Members of Congress, US CULCON, U.S.-Japan-South Korea Legislative Exchange Program at George Washington University and the U.S.-Japan Research Institute. 

The reception was attended by Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, Ambassador Thomas Foley, Ambassador J. Thomas Schieffer and many others.

Featured Photos

Click here for the full photo gallery. 

More photos available at: //


About the TOMODACHI NGO Leadership Program

After the Great East Japan Earthquake of March 11, 2011, the Japanese NGO community quickly mobilized to bring relief and recovery to the Tohoku region. Building on this experience, the TOMODACHI NGO Leadership Program will empower the next generation of Japanese NGO leaders by enhancing their capacity to respond to future disasters in Japan and abroad and by connecting them to key resources in the U.S. NGO community.

This TOMODACHI Initiative program is a partnership between Japan Platform - a leading consortium of Japanese Humanitarian NGOs - and Mercy Corps. With the generous support of J.P. Morgan, the program will impact the lives of more than 500 NGO professionals over the course of three years.  

The program consists of a series of short-term exchanges and workshops that promote idea exchange and practical training between U.S. and Japanese NGO leaders.  This year's ten Japanese NGO leaders are currently in Washington, DC.


You're Invited: Women in Business Summit - Tokyo, Japan (May 27, 2013)

Overview & Agenda

To say that the Women in Business Summit will be the Seneca Falls of Japan would be over zealous. But, the 1848 Seneca Falls conference that sparked the women's movement in the United States is certainly an inspiration for the USJC-ACCJ Women in Business Summit on May 27th.  The idea is to unite Japan-based organizations focused on the advancement of women for one afternoon in one gathering place. 


THEME: The Next Generation of Women Leaders in Business 
DATE:  May 27th: Noon-5:30pm at Tokyo American Club
REGISTRATION: $30, Registration deadline May 8th. Click here to register.

12:00-1:30pm Lunch with U.S./Japanese keynote speakers; Claire Chino, Executive Officer and General Manager for the Legal Division, ITOCHU Corporation

1:30-1:45pm Break 

1:45-3:15pm Panel discussion: "PERSONAL SECRETS TO SUCCESS" 

- Panel discussion with two female U.S. speakers and two female Japanese speakers followed by a buzz session. Each table will provide comments and report out to the group with the goal of creating 100 practical tips worth saving. 

- Panel facilitated by Elizabeth Handover, President, Intrapersona K.K., Lumina Learning Partner Asia

3:15-3:30pm Break 

3:30-5:00pm Training session in two separate rooms led by:  

Yoshiko Otani, President, Office Otani, Certified Trainer for the Dale Carnegie Course and High Impact Presentations: Japanese

Suzanne Price, Representative Director, Price Global: English

5:00-5:15 pm Wrap-up and closing remarks - Irene Hirano Inouye (USJC President) and Larry Bates (ACCJ President) 


This may be the tipping point for women in the Japanese workforce. Both the LDP and DPJ have policy positions with aspirational targets of having 30% women in both the government and private sectors by the year 2020. The Ministry of Finance and Keizai Doyukai have recognized Japanese women as the engine for economic growth in Japan. In late 2012, the GOJ established a multi-ministerial panel (Ministry of Health, Welfare and Labor and Ministry of Education) to create, in two years, a new agency tasked with establishing child care policy. 

Women-focused groups tend to be insular and specialized and women tend to think in silos or small boxes, such as women lawyers or women in retail. But this Women's Summit is a chance to break out of these "boxes" and enter a bigger, more cohesive arena. Generous sponsors have donated nearly 6 million yen to make the Women in Business Summit affordable and inclusive. This will be the start of something big!

To register for the Women in Business Summit, visit: // 



We're Seeking 20 American Young Professionals to Travel to Japan on the 2013 TOMODACHI-Mitsui & Co. Leadership Program!

Twenty outstanding young American and Japanese professionals from the business and government sectors will be selected to participate in the TOMODACHI-Mitsui & Co. Leadership Program. This program is designed to inspire and motivate the next generation of young American and Japanese leaders to be active in U.S.-Japan relations. 

Generously funded by Mitsui & Co., Ltd., participants will represent broad geographic diversity through different target cities each year with a target age range of 35 and younger.  Delegates will be leaders active in their respective fields and committed to addressing local, regional or global community concerns.

The U.S. delegation will travel to Japan July 26-August 3 and the Japan delegation to the United States September 8-16.  This bicultural experience provides outstanding young leaders with unique access to leaders in the U.S.-Japan arena and an opportunity to broaden their perspectives to enhance the work or initiatives in their professional fields. 

For 2013 participants, priority consideration will be given, but not limited to American applicants who reside in the following cities: Chicago, Detroit, Honolulu, San Jose and Seattle.

We'd like to kindly request your assistance in spreading the word about this fantastic opportunity to your networks in these regions.


Click here for more information including how to apply. 


Opportunities & Events

KASC-JASC Symposium: Fostering U.S.-Korea-Japan Partnership for the Future

When: Thursday, June 6, 3:00pm (panel discussion), 5:30pm (reception)
Where: Skadden & Arps - 1440 New York Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20005

The Symposium will gather student leaders of the Korea-America Student Conference (KASC) and the Japan-America Student Conference (JASC) to discuss timely issues relevant to the U.S.-Korea-Japan trilateral partnership. Given the current geopolitical situation, this event will foster thoughtful discussion among our young leaders about the importance of the trilateral relationship.

Student leaders will lead an interactive panel discussion with Ambassador Thomas Hubbard, Ambassador Kathleen Stephens and U.S.-Japan Council Board of Councilors Member Glen S. Fukushima. Representatives from the Japanese and Korean Embassies as well as the U.S. Department of State are also invited.

To register, please click here.

For any questions, please contact Yuuki Shinomiya, ISC Executive Director at or call 202-289-9088.


U.S. & Japan in the News

Featured News - JALD in the News


The Road to the Elusive 100 Yen
The Wall Street Journal, April 26, 2013
JA Internment Museum Dedicated in Arkansas
Rafu Shimpo, April 24, 2013
Lower House OK’s Joining Hague Convention
The Japan News, April 24, 2013
Fast Retailing to Unify Wages Worldwide
Japan Times, April 23, 2013
Aso, Lew Confirm to Refrain from Currency Devaluation
Mainichi Daily News, April 19, 2013