Seventh Business Advisory Board Discusses Importance of U.S.-Japan Alliance

July 26, 2016 at 6pm - 9pm
Tokyo American Club


Admiral Harris addresses the audience

On July 26, the seventh U.S.-Japan Council Business Advisory Board (BAB) was held at the Tokyo American Club, welcoming Admiral Harry B. Harris, Jr., Commander, U.S. Pacific Command, as the featured speaker.

The Chair of the USJC Board of Councilors, Paul Yonamine, led the discussion and welcomed the attending business executives and USJC members. Suzanne Basalla, USJC Executive Vice President & COO, expanded on how the Council strengthens U.S.-Japan relations through people-to-people connections, and encouraged the attendees to participate in the Annual Conference this November to witness the growing bilateral relationship. She also introduced some TOMODACHI programs that are ongoing this summer.

Admiral Harris shakes hands with business leaders at the event

Admiral Harris began his speech by taking a moment to remember the lives lost during the Kumamoto Earthquake and the Bangladesh attack. He then discussed the main security challenges for the United States today, and emphasized the importance of maintaining global security to achieve a brighter future. He believes that strengthening the trilateral relationship among the United States, Japan and South Korea is crucial to uniting the world. Above all, he sees commitment as key to protect international rules and security, and said, "We all must commit because [a] choice without commitment is just hope." As Commander and as a Japanese American, his goal is to help Japan strengthen their defense force and continue to have considerable self-power.

When an attendee asked Admiral Harris about his career, he responded that he was grateful to have been introduced to the nature of service from his father. He said that whenever he speaks to young leaders, he tells them, "The important thing is to serve your country in some capacity."

We look forward to expanding upon this discussion on U.S.-Japan relations at the Annual Conference, held in Silicon Valley from November 14 to 15!

Council Leader Janelle Sasaki (left) exchanges business cards with a guest

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