USJC's Executive Vice President Suzanne Basalla wrote this article for Nippon.com.
People-to-People Relations: Lessons from 3/11
The invitation to write about my work with the U.S.-Japan Council provides the chance to reflect on why I place a high priority on people-to-people relations. During the early part of my career in alliance management, I didn’t fully appreciate that people-to-people ties are the base on which our security, trade, and global engagement rest. The Great East Japan Earthquake changed that. At the time, I was serving as senior advisor to John Roos, US ambassador to Japan, who had made clear from the start of his tenure that he didn’t worry about the policy disputes that were in the news; he was confident that our leaders would work together towards our common interests. What did concern him was the weakening of our people-to-people relations, especially negative trends among students.