Council Leader Emily Murase co-authored a resolution to remove a policy requiring Asian American students to enroll in "Oriental School" in San Francisco's Chinatown. The San Francisco school board passed the resolution with a unanimous vote and plans to create a mural portraying Asian American history in the district. Dr. Murase is the first Japanese American to serve on the board! Click here or on the image below to read more.
Chair of the USJC (J) Board of Councilors Kathy Matsui was recently featured in Asahi Shimbun. Appearing in a weekly series called "Front Runner," which features leaders from various sectors, the article discusses her upbringing in California, her career and her work in Womenomics. Click here to read the article (registration is required and the article is in Japanese only).
Keiko Orrall, part of the 2014 Japanese American Leadership Delegation and Massachusetts State Representative and Council Leader, visited the USJC DC office on January 18 while she was in town for the inauguration.
Rep. Orrall is a newly elected member of the Republican National Committee and chair of Massachusetts. She is also part of the Trump Asian American Advisory Committee, and may be the only Japanese American member. While at the USJC office, she met Minister Kenichi Kobayashi, Minister of Congressional Affairs at the Embassy of Japan, and said that she wants to help support U.S.-Japan relations. (She was connected to Minister Kobayashi through Boston Consul General Rokuichiro Michii.)
JALD was Rep. Orrall's first trip to Japan. She has been active in the USJC community since then, supporting TOMODACHI and Regional Women in Leadership events in Boston.
Congratulations to Member of the USJC Board of Directors Leona Hiraoka, who just became the new president and CEO of KEIRO, a Los Angeles-based not-for-profit organization dedicated to enhancing the quality of senior life in the community. Click here to read the KEIRO press release, and here to read a Rafu Shimpo article about her appointment. (KEIRO also welcomed USJC Board Member Dennis Sugino to their Board of Directors.)
Ms. Hiraoka is also the CEO and founding partner for Integrated Media, a marketing and communications firm, and is Vice President, Communications, for Points of Light in Washington, DC, an international nonprofit dedicated to advancing volunteer service and corporate social responsibility. She took part in the 2014 Japanese American Leadership Delegation. She has been very active in the USJC community, joining the Board of Directors, providing guidance to USJC's communications efforts, and through Integrated Media, supporting the creation and design of the USJC introductory video and the past few Annual Reports.
USJC Associate and Emerging Leaders Program alumna (2014) Mio Yamamoto was featured in Japan Today for her leadership in social entrepreneurship in Japan. Ms. Yamamoto, along with two co-founders, started the NPO World In Tohoku (WIT) following the Great East Japan Earthquake. Click here or on the image below to learn more about her and WIT!
Congratulations to Member of the USJC Board of Councilors John Onoda (Senior Consultant, FleishmanHillard International Communications) for being inducted into PRWeek's Hall of Fame! The Hall of Fame recognizes "those who have made outstanding contributions to the development of the communications industry." Mr. Onoda was one of six leaders chosen this year. See PRWeek's video about his work and accomplishments here or by clicking on the screenshot below (Mr. Onoda is the fifth individual from the top).
Laura Winthrop Abbot featured in the Other Side of Service
Former USJC Senior Vice President Laura Winthrop Abbot was featured in a series of videos by The Other Side of Service, a nonprofit for military spouses. Just six weeks after she relocated to Japan with her military spouse, the Great East Japan Earthquake struck. Click here or on the photo above to hear Laura talk about her involvement with recovery efforts in the Tohoku region and the TOMODACHI Initiative.
Irene Hirano Inouye Receives "Eagle on the World" Award from JCCI
Ms. Hirano Inouye receiving the award from Mr. Jim Rosenthal, Co-Chairman of the Annual Dinner (as well as Chief Operating Officer, Morgan Stanley) (Photos courtesy of JCCI NY)
On November 10, USJC President Irene Hirano Inouye received the "Eagle on the World" award from the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of New York (JCCI NY). This prestigious award is given every year at the JCCI Annual Dinner to "individuals who have dedicated their lives to fostering and improving relations between the United States, Japan and the world." This year, musician and composer Ryuichi Sakamoto received the award along with Ms. Hirano Inouye. Past recipients have included Ambassador John V. Roos, Secretary Norman Mineta (who is also Vice Chair of the USJC Board of Councilors) and the late Senator Daniel K. Inouye.
At the dinner, Ms. Hirano Inouye was introduced with a video that was created by Council Leader Stann Nakazono. Upon receiving the award, Ms. Hirano Inouye addressed the audience of more than 1,000 and thanked the Japanese business leaders for their strong support of USJC, TOMODACHI and the Japanese American community. She also spoke about the importance of people-to-people connections, fostering the next generation of leaders, and celebrating the diversity of leaders who are committed to the U.S.-Japan relationship.
(L-R) Mr. Yasushi Takahashi, President of JCCI NY (as well as President & CEO, Mitsui & Co. (U.S.A.), Inc.); Mr. Rosenthal; Mr. Sakamoto; Ms. Hirano Inouye; Mr. Raymond L. Conner, Keynote Speaker of the Annual Dinner (as well as Vice Chairman, The Boeing Company and President & CEO, Boeing Commercial Airplanes); Mr. Tsutomu Yoshida, Chairman of the Annual Dinner (as well as President & CEO, IHI, Inc.)
Council Leader Susan Onuma was featured on Fujisankei Communications International as part of a series titled "Breaking Out: Pioneering Women." This series focuses on Japanese and Japanese American women who are leaders in the United States. Ms. Onuma's video discusses her career as an attorney, her upbringing in New York, and how she came to work in U.S.-Japan relations. She is now involved with seven organizations, including USJC, and is committed to giving back to the community.
Click here on the image below to see the video! (The screenshot below comes from the RWL event in New York referred in "Recent Events" above, and includes Ms. Utada (left) and Ms. Basalla (right).)
Council Leader Joi Ito, Director of the MIT Media Lab, recently spoke with President Obama about artificial intelligence (AI)! Their discussion at the White House was part of a big feature in Wired, and was reported by the editor-in-chief of the magazine, Scott Dadich. The conversation touches upon the future of technology, the role of government in encouraging research while also considering ethical issues, Star Trek and more. Click here or on the image below to read the article.