Kenji Negi Honored as Asian Pacific American Youth Leader

Congratulations to USJC Associate Kenji Negi! The Illinois State Comptroller has recognized Mr. Negi as one of the Distinguished Asian Pacific American Heritage Month Youth Leaders for his personal and professional accomplishments. On Monday, May 9, a ceremony was held at the James R. Thompson Center in Chicago to honor Kenji and other youth leaders. 

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USJC Members Featured in Exhibit Celebrating Fukuoka Roots

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Several USJC members and supporters are featured in a current exhibit held at the Japan Overseas Migration Museum (JOMM) in Yokohama. This exhibit, which will be open until June 5, celebrates the successes of people around the world who have roots in Fukuoka. Featured leaders include USJC President Irene Hirano Inouye, Member of the Board of Councilors George Ariyoshi, Council Leader Fred Katayama, the late Senator Daniel Inouye and the late Paul Terasaki. According to the exhibit, Fukuoka is the prefecture with the fourth largest population of migrants.

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For more information, please see the JOMM webpage here and the flier here (Japanese only).

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Stephen Bloom Leads Efforts to Return Kasagi to Tohoku

Friend of the Council Stephen Bloom, CEO of the Portland Japanese Garden, recently helped return to Tohoku parts of torii gates that were damaged by the Great East Japan Earthquake. Two kasagi (crossbeams) of torii gates at a shrine in Hachinohe, Aomori, washed ashore on the coast of Oregon two years after the disaster. The Portland Japanese Garden and other supporters returned the kasagi to Japan in late 2015, and earlier this month, a ceremony was held in Hachinohe to rededicate them to the shrine. Click here to read a Facebook post about the ceremony, courtesy of the U.S. Consulate General in Sapporo. The journey of the kasagiis also detailed in this article by the U.S. Embassy in Japan.

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Associate Ryohei Kawanishi's Fashion Line Recognized

Congratulations to TOMODACHI Uniqlo Fellowship alumni and U.S.-Japan Council Associate Ryohei Kawanishi, whose new menswear line was named one of the "upcoming brands to watch!" Ryohei's new menswear line, called "LANDLORD," combines a mix of contemporary design aspects with casual styles. Ryohei's designs were also recognized last year during New York's famous Fashion Week, when he presented his Parsons Masters in Fine Arts (MFA) graduate project, The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelor, Even.

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To see more styles from "LANDLORD," click the picture above. 

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Dawn Yamane Hewett Selected as Delegate of U.S.-Japan Leadership Program

Congratulations to USJC Associate Dawn Yamane Hewett, who was selected as a delegate of the U.S.-Japan Leadership Program (USJLP)! Ms. Hewett is the Deputy General Counsel for Strategic Initiatives, Office of General Counsel, at the U.S. Department of Commerce. The purpose of USJLP, which is the flagship program of the United-States Japan Foundation, is to develop a network of communication, friendship and understanding among the next generation of leaders in each country. See more information in the USJLP news release here and the webpage here.

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Nobuko Saito Clearly Receives Foreign Minister's Commendation

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On February 11, Council Leader Nobuko Saito Cleary received the Foreign Minister's Commendation from Consul General of Japan in San Francisco Jun Yamada. Ms. Saito Cleary received the award for her contribution in promoting Japanese business and Japanese culture in America. She serves as a Board Member of the Japan Society of Northern California.

Upon receiving the award, Ms. Saito Cleary said: "It was a profound decision for me to leave Japan 48 years ago to study English . . . However, I am extremely lucky to be [receiving this] award . . . I think I helped build a bridge between the U.S. and Japan, and that my bridge will become even bigger and stronger with all of my friends' help and support."

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Donna Cole, Janelle Sasaki to Each Share Their Expertise at Events

Member of the Board of Directors Donna Cole will speak at a Brookings Institution eventin Washington, DC next week, focusing on Womenomics (see the "Upcoming Events" section below). Council Member/Leader Janelle Sasaki will speak at the Annual Conference of The Forum on Workplace Inclusion (to be held in Minneapolis in March) on Global Diversity & Inclusion issues. 

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Judy Sakaki to Become President of Sonoma State University

Council Member/Leader (and JALD alumni) Dr. Judy Sakaki was just appointed to be the President of Sonoma State University in California! She will assume her role on July 1. See the press release here and her media interview here

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Kathy Matsui Honored in Silicon Valley

On January 29, Keizai Silicon Valley--a U.S.-Japan Business Forum focused on Silicon Valley--honored Kathy Matsui, Member of the USJC(J) Board of Councilors, with an Economic Innovation Award. Ms. Matsui was honored with her father, Mr. Andy Matsui, "the Orchid King" who in turn received the Keizai Silicon Valley Lifetime Achievement Award for his work in the flower industry. The awards were presented as part of Keizai Silicon Valley's Shinnenkai, and was followed by a dialog between the father and daughter about entrepreneurship, Japanese values and more.

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Daniel K. Inouye Honored in Israel

The late Sen. Daniel K. Inouye was honored by the Government of Israel with the naming of a defense facility this month. A Jerusalem high school has also started a scholarship in Sen. Inouye's name, recognizing the Japanese American leader's role in strengthening U.S.-Israel relations.

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