The Silicon Valley Japan Platform (SVJP) is a new initiative of the U.S.-Japan Council and the Japan-based Asia Pacific Initiative. The SVJP’s mission is to broaden and deepen the scope of ties between Silicon Valley and Japan through a variety of programs.
SVJP emerged out of the success of the Governors’ Meeting in Silicon Valley in July 2014 (organized as part of the Governors’ Circle) as well as Prime Minister Abe’s visit to Silicon Valley in April 2015. SVJP aims to connect the technological dynamism of Silicon Valley with the current and future needs of economic revitalization in Japan.
The project constructs a diversified and effective platform of bilateral collaboration, by organizing focused conferences and specialized seminars on entrepreneurship and innovation (in such areas as “fin-tech”—new financial technology—and “med tech”—medical technology—and “trans-tech”, new transportation technology); by connecting Japanese businesses and technologies with seminal Silicon Valley institutions; by expanding Japanese access to top-tier Silicon Valley networks; by fostering joint research and development in core fields such as the bio-medical sciences, health care, transportation, retail, and design—areas of Japanese comparative advantage; by expanding media coverage of Silicon Valley in Japan; and by hosting official visits to Silicon Valley by influential Japanese leaders from business, government, academics, and the media.
SVJP was previewed at the 2015 USJC Annual Conference in Tokyo, Japan. (Click here for a summary of the session.) Speakers included: Mr. James Higa, Executive Director, Philanthropic Ventures Foundation & Mentor in Residence, Index Ventures; Amb. John V. Roos, Former U.S. Ambassador to Japan; and Mr. Tadashi Yanai, Chairman, President and CEO of Fast Retailing Co., Ltd.
The 2016 USJC Annual Conference in Silicon Valley (held on November 14 and 15, 2016) also featured future goals, mission and vision of the initiative. Sessions organized by leaders involved in SVJP included "The Silicon Valley Experience" (see the video here), FinTech, Silicon Valley Demo Session and Hidden Gems Showcase (a presentation by companies from select Japanese prefectures).
The Co-Chairs of SVJP are Dr. Daniel Okimoto (Member of the USJC Board of Councilors) and James Kondo (USJC Council Leader). Kenta Takamori is Executive Director of SVJP. Yumi Hiroshima is the SVJP Executive Assistant and Program Manager.
Scenes from past USJC events discussing innovation and entrepreneurship