November 14th, 2013
|IN THIS ISSUE|
Our thoughts and prayers are extended to the Philippines, for those who have lost their lives and for so many others who have been impacted by Typhoon Haiyan. The United States has a large Filipino American community and we know that many have families and friends that live in the devastated areas. Many organizations in the Asian Pacific American community have reached out to extend support to Filipino Americans around the country.
The U.S.-Japan Council encourages our members, friends and supporters to provide financial assistance to support the relief and recovery efforts in the Philippines. Through our work following the March 11, 2011 disasters in Japan, we collaborated with many non-profit organizations (NPOs) and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Japan and in the U.S. It is inspiring to see some of the Japanese NGOs be among the first to step up to provide support following Typhoon Haiyan.
Please visit our dedicated web page for information on and links to organizations providing relief to victims of Typhoon Haiyan.
On November 1, the Embassy of Japan held a meeting that brought together Japanese American community leaders and Consuls General of Japan from all over the United States. This annual event was held at the Embassy this year, co-chaired by Minister Hideaki Mizukoshi of the Embassy and USJC President Irene Hirano Inouye.
Seventeen Japanese American leaders were invited to discuss bilateral and global issues with Japanese diplomats and officials. These leaders were nominated by the Embassy and the Consulates. Twelve of them are affiliated with USJC: Ms. Hirano Inouye; Member of the Board of Councilors Glen S. Fukushima; Member of the Board of Directors Sho Dozono; and Council Members Julie Azuma, Bernice Bowers, Marion Friebus-Flaman, Jose Fuentes, Barbara Hibino, Bill Imada, Harold Taniguchi, William Tsutsui and Paul Watanabe. Other Japanese Americans included S. Floyd Mori, President & CEO of the Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies (APAICS) and Priscilla Ouchida, Executive Director of the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL).
Twenty-plus Japanese government officials took part in this series of engaging conversations, including Deputy Chief of Mission Hiroyasu Izumi and other ministers at the Embassy, more than a dozen consuls general representing cities as varied as Honolulu and Boston, as well as directors from the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) in Tokyo.
Most of the Council Members who were invited are past participants of the Japanese American Leadership Delegation (JALD) program, which invites select Japanese American leaders from across the United States to travel to Japan to engage with Japanese leaders in the business, government, academic, non-profit and cultural sectors. MOFA sponsors the program, and USJC administers and assists with its implementation.
This week, Caroline Kennedy was sworn in by Secretary of State John Kerry as the next Ambassador of the United States to Japan. In this video from the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo, Ambassador Kennedy introduces herself to Japan, "one of America's greatest allies and closest friends." Ambassador Kennedy is the first woman to serve in this position, and we look forward to collaborating with her through the TOMODACHI Initiative.
This is a new feature of the newsletter that we want to use to keep you current on news of the TOMODACHI generation. Here you will find articles on notable activities of TOMODACHI participants and alumni as well as announcements for upcoming opportunities to engage with and support TOMODACHI programs.
During October 27 – November 9, 2013, ten NGO/NPO leaders visited San Francisco and Seattle on the TOMODACHI NPO Leadership Study Tour (part of the three-year TOMODACHI NGO Leadership Program supported by J.P. Morgan). They were selected to learn about capacity building, funding and how to enhance their leadership skills in order to help create a stronger, more vibrant NGO/NPO sector in Japan. Most of the program participants were leaders of organizations assisting Tohoku in the aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake. USJC staff member Miori Oka also joined in the program.
More than a dozen individuals affiliated with USJC in San Francisco and Seattle took this opportunity to engage with the program participants. In San Francisco, Council Members as well as Senior Vice President Kaz Maniwa welcomed the participants to their homes for dinner. This happened to be Halloween, and many wore costumes and went trick-or-treating. Yuki Lin, a 2013 TOMODACHI Emerging Leader, also helped connect the participants with Japanese Americans. The participants found Japanese American history fascinating, and some commented that they did not know such a strong and compassionate connection to Japan existed in the United States.
In Seattle, the NPO leaders visited the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and iLEAP, a nonprofit organization with a mission to inspire and renew social leaders and global citizens through integrated leadership programs, meeting with USJC Members at each organization.
Other organizations that the participants visited include AmeriCorps; Ashoka; Institute of International Education, San Francisco; J.P. Morgan; KaBOOM!; Kiva; Microsoft; UC Berkeley; and University of Washington. The participants enjoyed an intense two weeks filled with engaging conversations, finding lifelong friends among those they met during the program.
Twelve female students affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake visited New York earlier this month. They, along with twelve collegiate women from the United States, are part of theTOMODACHI X Nike Go Girl Project, and ran together in the "Nagoya Women’s Marathon" and the "Marathon Festival Nagoya, Aichi" in March this year. On November 2, USJC Board Member (and alumnus of Columbia University) Frederick H. Katayama gave the Japanese visitors a tour of Columbia. He was accompanied by Japanese American students of the university, who gave insight into life as an American college student. Later that day, the Consulate-General of Japan in New York and USJC members hosted a "meet & greet" event at the Consulate. Mr. Katayama, USJC Board Officer Susan Onuma, USJC Board Member Gary Moriwaki and 2013 Emerging Leader Adam Moriwaki attended along with a few Japanese diplomats.
The Japan Society is now accepting applications for the 2014 TOMODACHI Japan Society Junior Fellows Program! Please share this opportunity with high school age students you know who might be interested. Application materials and program information can be found here. The deadline to apply is January 24, 2014.
On November 3, 2013, U.S.-Japan Council Board of Councillors Member Thomas Schieffer was announced as one of 49 non-Japanese individuals to be honored by the Japanese government this fall. Schieffer, who served as United States Ambassador to Japan from 2005 to 2009, will be presented with the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun for “contributing to promoting friendly relations and mutual understanding between Japan and the United States,” according to a statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In addition to USJC, Ambassador Schieffer has been involved with numerous initiatives supporting U.S.-Japan relations, including the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Foundation and U.S.-Japan Grassroots Exchange Summit. For more information, see the press release from the Embassy of Japan here.
On November 5, 2013, USJC Member Ed Shikada was named the next City Manager of San Jose, CA. Mr. Shikada, who had been serving as San Jose’s Assistant City Manager, will take his new position on December 21. He will oversee nearly 5,700 city employees serving a population of almost one million residents. Mr. Shikada has been involved in numerous Council activities, including the Clean Technology Working Group. For more information about the announcement, see the San Jose Mercury News story here.
USJC Council Member William Tsutsui has been announced as the next President of Hendrix College in Arkansas. Dr. Tsutsui is currently serving as Dean of the Dedman College of Arts and Sciences at Southern Methodist University and has been a leader of the Council's Education Working Group. Read more here.