Open Discussion with Japanese Business Leaders: Forum 21 Visit to Washington, DC

July 16, 2010 at 6pm - 9pm


Japanese American leaders, including JALD alumni (Margaret Cummisky, Stuart Ishimaru, Janet Nuzum, Craig Uchida, Mark Uyeda), USJC Vice-Chairman, Hideki Hamamoto, and John Tobe from the Embassy of Japan in Washington, DC gather in the Senate Appropriations Committee Room.

 Photo by Saki Takasu

On July 16th, the U.S.-Japan Council hosted a study group from Forum 21 focused on national security issues. Forum 21, founded by Shoichi Umezu, is a group of business executives who are selected by the Chairman or President of their companies to spend a year with other business executives for leadership development. Forum 21 meets annually with Japanese American Leadership Delegations while they are in Japan.

The program agenda allowed participants to meet with Senator Daniel K. Inouye for lunch and also with other Japanese American leaders. The group engaged in a lively discussion on U.S.-Japan relations in the context of top three security issues: military & diplomatic security, energy security and food security. This was a unique opportunity for the Forum 21 study group to exchange ideas about U.S.-Japan relations and perceptions of Japan in the U.S.

All participants agreed that this was the beginning of a series of important discussions on the Japanese economy and the perception of Japan in the world today. The Forum 21 national security study group published their findings, including the outcomes from the July 16th meeting, in November, 2010. The final report was submitted to all Forum 21 members and the Government of Japan to provide recommendations on Japanese security issues.