Top U.S.-Japan Leaders to Discuss Marine Debris Management: An Opportunity for Collaboration

Seattle, WA – In recent months, debris created by the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami has been washing ashore in the Pacific Northwest as well as California, Hawaii, Alaska and Canada. Experts predict that 1.5 million tons of debris will reach North America.

At the 2012 U.S.-Japan Council Annual Conference on Friday, October 5, 2012 experts will shed new light on the situation. As the tsunami debris arrives, opportunities arise for increased collaboration and dialogue between the U.S and Japan. Many national and local NGOs are pursuing active citizen engagement and volunteer efforts to raise awareness and keep beaches clean and safe. Public agencies and local governments face budget challenges, yet many are finding innovative ways to bring resources to address on-going issues and opportunities.

Mr. Charlie Allcock, Director, Business Development, Portland General Electric (Moderator)
Mr. Junichi Ihara, Director-General of North American Affairs Bureau, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan (MoFA)
Mr. David M. Kennedy, Assistant Administrator, National Ocean Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
Mr. David Pittenger, Director, Trash Free Seas, Ocean Conservancy

There will be opportunities for press Q & A at the conclusion of the panel session.

The panel is part of a full-day conference focused on entrepreneurship. In her keynote remarks, Acting Secretary Rebecca M. Blank, U.S. Department of Commerce, will also address the marine debris issue. She will be joined by keynote speakers Raymond L. Conner, President & CEO, Boeing Commercial Airplanes; Takeshi Niinami, CEO, Lawson Inc.; and Phyllis Campbell, Chairman, Pacific Northwest Region, JPMorgan Chase & Co.

This is the first time the Annual Conference will take place in Seattle, recognizing the vital and historic relationship between Japan and the Pacific Northwest. Other topics include: Economic Collaboration, New Technology, Mental Health, Education, Biomedical/Healthcare, Supporting the NPO/NGO Sector and Entrepreneurship.

Media Information: 

Date & Time: Friday, October 5, 2012 (9:00am-5:15pm Pacific with a reception to follow)

Marine Debris Panel: 2:15-3:45pm

Keynote Speeches: 9:00-10:30am

Location: Fairmont Olympic Hotel, 411 University Street, Seattle, Washington 98101

About the U.S.-Japan Council: