Five Council Leaders Recognized by the Government of Japan

Congratulations to Member of the Legacy Council Colbert Matsumoto, who received the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette last month from the Government of Japan (pictured below). He was recognized for strengthening and promoting mutual understanding between Japan and the United States in the fields of economic and scientific technology.

Mr. Matsumoto (front row, second from right) and Consul General Ito, Consul General of Japan in Honolulu (front row, second from left) with family

Four other Council Leaders also received decorations as part of the 2017 Autumn Conferment. In San Francisco, Member of the Legacy Council Allen Okamoto and Council Leader Gary Mukai received decorations for their work in promoting regional exchange and educational exchange, respectively, between the two countries. Council Leaders Paul Watanabe and Kerry Hada received decorations in Boston and Denver for their contributions to U.S.-Japan relations as Japanese American leaders. We congratulate these five leaders!


Janelle Sasaki and Yuta Hasumi Present at Hays Gender Diversity Event

Council Leader Janelle Sasaki and Associate Yuta Hasumi served as panelists at the Hays Asia Gender Diversity Event on November 30 in Tokyo. Hays is a professional and skilled recruitment company that supports the advancement of women in the workplace. The annual event with the theme of “Women and Men Agree: Gender Diversity is Good for Business but Few Women are at the Top” attracted 100+ business and Human Resources leaders from both multinational and domestic companies in Japan. 

Janelle Sasaki (second from left), Yuta Hasumi (right) and other panelists discuss the benefits of gender diversity

The goal of the event was to share the findings of the 2017 Asia Gender Diversity Report, followed by an engaging panel discussion with gender diversity and legal experts. The findings revealed a clear link between diversity and business success. The interactive panel discussion highlighted the importance of discussing the benefits for business with all levels of the organization, creating meaningful career opportunities for women and discouraging gender bias. About half of the audience members were men, and the panelists recognized them for their attendance and shared best practices on male champions in supporting the career advancement of women in Japan.


Lori Matsukawa's Multimedia Piece Further Highlights Recovery Efforts in Fukushima

Council Leader Lori Matsukawa's piece about her recent trip to Fukushima has been expanded with additional multimedia content. Many thanks to Associate Mio Yamamoto, Co-Founder and Managing Director of World in Tohoku, for the following introduction! 

In October 2017, twelve leaders from the United States and Japan participated in the Cross-Border Learning Journey hosted by WIT. They visited social entrepreneurs and nonprofit organizations in Fukushima and explored collaborative opportunities across different sectors and countries. During the one-week Journey, participants from New Orleans, New York, San Francisco, Seattle and Tokyo were very much inspired by the time spent with the social entrepreneurs and local people, who are creating a sustainable and resilient civil society despite the tremendous adversity. We hope to keep strengthening the mutually supportive and inspiring relationship, which emerged out of the Journey, to make the world a better place. I hope you will enjoy the following wonderful story written by one of the participants, Council Leader Lori Matsukawa: 



Janelle Sasaki Featured in PRESIDENT WOMAN


Council Leader Janelle Sasaki is featured in the December 2017 edition of PRESIDENT WOMAN, along with USJC staff member Kana Takagi! The article highlights the importance and value of mentorships. Ms. Sasaki also conducts a series of workshops on mentorships for the TOMODACHI MetLife Women's Leadership Program. PRESIDENT WOMAN magazine is one of the most prominent business magazines in Japan, and can be purchased online, or at any bookstore or convenience store in Japan.


Five USJC Members to Receive 2017 Autumn Conferments

Congratulations to the five USJC members who are scheduled to receive conferments from the Government of Japan! The Ministry of Foreign Affairs just announced their "Decorations on Foreign Nationals" for this fall, and USJC is proud to have so many members among the recipients. The five leaders are Board Member Allen Okamoto and Council Leaders Kerry Steven Hada, Colbert Matsumoto, Gary Mukai and Paul Watanabe. Details to come soon!


Kathy Matsui Featured on CNN


Chair of the USJC (J) Board of Councilors Kathy Matsui (Vice Chair of Goldman Sachs Japan Co., Ltd.) was recently featured on CNN's "Leading Women in Japan!" The series profiled five women in Japan who have succeeded in male-dominated fields. Ms. Matsui, who is credited with coining the term "Womenomics," talks about the personal experiences that led her to encourage more women to join the workforce, and the work she does with the Asian University for Women to promote women's education.

Click here or on the image above to view the segment. 


Mio Yamamoto and Lori Matsukawa Visit Tohoku

Ms. Matsukawa (center) and other U​​.​S​.​ participants of ​the ​Cross-Border Learning Journey​, with Sugeno Mizuho at her organic farm in Fukushima​​.​ Ms. Yamamoto​ is on the ​right​.

World in Tohoku, a nonprofit organization founded by USJC Associate ​(and ELP '14) ​Mio Yamamoto, ​organized a trip to Tohoku last month. Council Leader Lori Matsukawa, News Anchor at KING TV, was one of the participants of the trip, which is called the Cross-Border Learning Journey. She created this slideshow and article on the KING5 website. More details to come soon!


Akemi Kurokawa Receives Foreign Minister's Commendation

Congratulations to Council Leader Akemi Kurokawa, who received a Foreign Minister's Commendation from Consul General Yasushi Misawa in Honolulu! Mr. Kurokawa, Director of the Breakers Hotel, was recognized for his efforts in promoting economic relations between Japan and the United States.

(L-R, front row) Ms. Yoko Misawa, Consul General Misawa, Mr. Kurokawa and Ms. Misako Kurokawa with (back row) Mr. Kurokawa's family (Photo courtesy of the Consulate General of Japan in Honolulu)


Eric Hiraga Named Executive Director of Denver Office of Economic Development


Congratulations to Council Leader Eric Hiraga, who was named the next Executive Director of the Denver Office of Economic Development. Mr. Hiraga was appointed by Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock and will lead the city's efforts to expand international trade and attract more foreign investment. He will continue to stimulate balanced economic growth in Denver through job creation, business assistance, fair and equal housing and the development of a skilled workforce. Mr. Hiraga was previously the executive vice president and chief of staff at Denver International Airport. Click here or on the image above to read more about Mr. Hiraga's appointment. 


Lynn Nakamoto Receives Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Award

On August 14, Council Leader Lynn Nakamoto (JALD '17) received the prestigious Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Award. The award recognizes and celebrates the accomplishments of women lawyers who have excelled in their field and have paved the way for success for other women lawyers. 

(L-R) Lynn's daughter Eleanor Nakamoto-White, Lynn's wife Jocelyn White, Lynn and fellow 2017 JALD delegates Wendy Takahisa and Sawako Gardner


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