Sen. Tom Daschle, Minister Kanji Yamanouchi, Mr. Wayne Rogers, Gov. Christine Todd Whitman, Ms. Irene Hirano Inouye and Sec. Rodney Slater.
Japan’s rapid and efficient transportation system has won international admiration for decades. There is much that the United States can learn from Japan’s experience, especially since quicker and more reliable connections between major hubs can make the entire economy dramatically more efficient. On October 31, in an event in New York City titled “Transportation in the Northeast Corridor,” USJC brought together prominent Japanese and American leaders from the public and private sectors for an exciting panel discussion, exploring opportunities for U.S.-Japan cooperation in the field of transportation.
This past September, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan visited New York and said that adopting the magnetic levitation technology used by Japan’s fastest high-speed trains “would connect New York and Washington, DC in less than an hour.” The event discussed such a possibility, searching for innovative ways to connect major cities in the Northeast Corridor. It attempted to build an even stronger path between the Big Apple and the Nation’s Capital: cities that embody the best of the public and private sectors of the United States.
Senator Tom Daschle, (D-SD) Former Senate Majority Leader, Senior Policy Advisor, DLA Piper (US) LLP, served as moderator and emcee. “Japan’s commitment to this initiative is a strong affirmation of the deep friendship and strategic ties between our two countries,” Senator Daschle said.
The panelists were: Wayne Rogers, Chairman, The Northeast MAGLEV; Secretary Rodney Slater, Former U.S. Secretary of Transportation, Partner, Patton Boggs; Governor Christine Todd Whitman, Former Governor of New Jersey, President, Whitman Strategy Group; and Minister Kanji Yamanouchi, Minister for Economic Affairs, Embassy of Japan in the United States of America.
“The GDP of the DC to New York region is about 15% of the entire U.S. GDP,” Secretary Slater said, illustrating how important the Northeast Corridor is to the national economy.
“As Prime Minister Abe noted to President Obama in their February 2013 meeting, Japan wants to cooperate with the U.S. to bring this revolutionary technology to the Northeast Corridor,” Minister Yamanouchi said. He added that such an initiative is symbolic of the strategic relationship between Japan and the U.S.
Mr. Rogers and Governor Whitman also spoke about the benefits of high-speed trains, drawing on their professional experience and background. All panelists emphasized the need for a new transportation solution in the Northeast Corridor.
The event was attended by approximately 80 people, including Ambassador Sumio Kusaka, Consul-General of Japan in New York, as well as USJC President Irene Hirano Inouye and other Board Members and Council Members. The event was sponsored by The Northeast MAGLEV, the Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Hitachi, Ltd. and Mitsubishi Corporation.