WASHINGTON – Leona Hiraoka, Points of Light, will travel to Japan from March 7 to 15 on the 2014 Japanese American Leadership Delegation (JALD) program, which brings ten prominent Japanese Americans to Japan for a week-long trip dedicated to building people-to-people connections with Japanese leaders. In its 14th year, JALD provides opportunities for Japanese Americans to establish a meaningful role in strengthening U.S.-Japan relations across all sectors of society.
Hiraoka and the other delegates will visit Fukuoka in the Kyushu region, an economically and culturally dynamic prefecture where many Japanese Americans have their ancestral roots. They will also participate in a panel discussion sponsored by the Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership and the U.S.-Japan Council (USJC). The delegates will then visit Tokyo, where past delegations have typically met with the Prime Minister, Foreign Minister and top business executives, among others. This will be Hiraoka’s first visit to Japan.
Hiraoka is Vice President of Communications at Points of Light, a nonprofit that is the world’s largest organization dedicated to advancing volunteerism at the individual and corporate level. Hiraoka’s role is to direct the communications and public relations strategies, building greater engagement with the public and organizations around volunteer service and corporate partnership. Hiraoka has an extensive background with NGOs and associations, with a specialty in public education. As an enterprise-level media strategist and entrepreneur, Hiraoka is also CEO of Integrated Media, a five-partner communications and marketing firm. Hiraoka serves as Vice President of the Washington, DC chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League and is a member of the Asian American Journalists Association. She holds a B.A. from Pomona College.
“This is a tremendous opportunity to establish lasting ties that can benefit communities and businesses on both sides of the Pacific,” said Hiraoka. “I’m looking forward to the exchange of information and good will—and to advancing the work over the long term when we get home.”
The delegates come from across the country and are active in their communities, engaged in U.S.-Japan relations and committed to deepening ties between Japanese Americans and Japan. USJC President Irene Hirano Inouye will lead the delegation. The program is sponsored by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan and organized by USJC.
** Hiraoka is available to comment before, during and after her trip to Japan. Contact USJC Communications Manager Shiori Okazaki at email@example.com or 202-223-6843 to arrange an interview. For more information and biographies of all ten delegates visit: www.usjapancouncil.org/programs/program/JALD