The Annual Meeting of the Ambassador, Consuls General and Japanese American Leaders (CG-JA) is sponsored by the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and organized by the U.S.-Japan Council and the Embassy of Japan. The purpose of the meeting is to bring leadership together from both sides of the Pacific to discuss how to collaboratively work together to ensure a stronger U.S.-Japan relationship. Consistent with the U.S.-Japan Council mission, building strong enduring “people-to-people” relationships among Japanese Americans and Japanese leaders has been the goal of these meetings throughout the years.
For the 2013 CG-JA Meetings on November 6, seventeen Japanese American leaders were invited to discuss bilateral and global issues with Japanese diplomats and officials. These leaders were nominated by the Embassy and the Consulates. 12 of them are affiliated with USJC: Ms. Hirano Inouye; Member of the Board of Councilors Glen S. Fukushima; Member of the Board of Directors Sho Dozono; and Council Members Julie Azuma, Bernice Bowers, Marion Friebus-Flaman, Jose Fuentes, Barbara Hibino, Bill Imada, Harold Taniguchi, Bill Tsutsui and Paul Watanabe. Non-USJC Japanese Americans included S. Floyd Mori, President & CEO of the Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies (APAICS) and Priscilla Ouchida, Executive Director of the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL).
Twenty-plus Japanese government officials took part in this series of engaging conversations, including Deputy Chief of Mission Hiroyasu Izumi and other ministers at the Embassy, more than a dozen consuls general representing cities as varied as Honolulu and Boston, as well as directors from the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) in Tokyo.
Most of the Council Members who were invited are past participants of the Japanese American Leadership Delegation (JALD) program, which invites select Japanese American leaders from across the United States to travel to Japan to engage with Japanese leaders in the business, government, academic, non-profit and cultural sectors. MOFA sponsors the program, and USJC administers and assists with its implementation.
The fact that so many JALD alumni and USJC members were chosen to engage with the Japanese government shows that JALD is effective in choosing leaders of the Japanese American community; that Japanese Americans are vital to the discussion of U.S.-Japan relations; and that USJC is one of the leading Japanese American organizations.
Previous meetings have occurred in:
- February 2003 in Los Angeles
- January 2004 in Washington, DC
- November 2005 in San Francisco
- June 2007 in New York City
- January 2009 in Washington, DC
- February 2010 in Washington, DC
- February 2011 in Washington, DC
- October 2012 in Seattle, WA