Board of Councilors

The U.S.-Japan Council’s distinguished Board of Councilors consists of leaders who are recognized for their life-long contribution and commitment to strengthening U.S.-Japan relations. Their expertise guides the Council’s mission and activities. 

IN MEMORY OF the late Honorable Norman Y. Mineta, who served as Vice Chair until his passing on May 3, 2022
President & CEO, Mineta & Associates, LLC; Former Secretary of Transportation, U.S. Department of Transportation; Former Secretary of Commerce, U.S. Department of Commerce, Washington, DC

Board Officers

Ernest M. Higa, Chair
Chairman, President & CEO, Higa Industries Co., Ltd.

Takeshi Niinami, Vice Chair
Representative Director, President & Chief Executive Officer, Suntory Holdings Limited

Masaaki Tanaka, Vice Chair
Former Representative Director and Deputy President, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Inc.; Former Chairman, President and CEO, Nippon Paint Holdings Ltd.

Board Members

Naoyuki Agawa
Professor Emeritus, Keio University

Gerald Curtis
Burgess Professor Emeritus of Political Science, Columbia University

His Excellency Ichiro Fujisaki
President, Nakasone Peace Institute; Former Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to the U.S.

Dr. Hiroyuki Fujita
Founder and CEO, Quality Electrodynamics;
Chief Technology Officer, Canon Medical Systems Corporation, MRI Division

Glen S. Fukushima
Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress

James Higa
Managing Partner, Offline Ventures

Toshiaki Higashihara
Executive Chairman and CEO, Hitachi, Ltd

Kazuo Hirai
Senior Advisor, Sony Group Corporation

Jennifer Hirano

Yosuke Jay O. Honjo
CEO and Founder, ITO EN US Group

Masami Iijima
Counselor, Mitsui & Co., LTD.

Noriyuki Inoue
Chairman of the Board & Chief Global Group Officer, Daikin Industries, Ltd.

Ken Inouye
Assistant to the Vice Chancellor for Administration, University of Hawai’i West O’ahu

Ambassador Masaharu Kohno
Director, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group,Inc.; Former Special Representative of the Government of Japan for the Middle East and Europe; Former Special Envoy of the Government of Japan for the Middle East Peace

His Excellency KONO Taro
Minister for Digital Transformation, Cabinet Office of Japan

Hiroko Kuniya
Journalist; Goodwill Ambassador for Japan, UN Food and Agriculture Organization

Kanetsugu Mike
Chairman, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Inc.

Tsuyoshi Nagano
Chairman of the Board, Tokio Marine Holdings, Inc.

Dr. Daniel Okimoto, Ph.D.
Director-Emeritus, Shorenstein APARC; FSI Senior Fellow and Professor Emeritus of Political Science, Stanford University

Kentaro Okuda
President and Group CEO, Nomura Holdings, Inc.

John Onoda
Principal, iQ 360

W. Douglas Parker
Chairman, American Airlines Group, Inc.

Gill Pratt
Chief Executive Officer, Toyota Research Institute, Inc.; Chief Scientist and Executive Fellow for Research, Toyota Motor Corporation

Susan Roos
Partner and CAO, Geodesic Capital

His Excellency Kenichiro Sasae
President, The Japan Institute of International Affairs (JIIA); Former Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to the U.S.

Jun Sawada
Chairman and Representative Member of the Board, NIPPON TELEGRAPH AND TELEPHONE CORPORATION

Honorable John Thomas Schieffer
President & CEO of Envoy International, LLC; Former Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the U.S. to Japan

Isao Takashiro
Chairman and CEO, Japan Airport Terminal Co., Ltd.

George Takei
Actor, Hosato Enterprises, Inc.

Dr. Keith Terasaki
Chairman, Terasaki Family Foundation

Toshizo Watanabe
President, Toshizo Watanabe Foundation

Akio Yamaguchi
General Manager, IBM Japan

Kristi Yamaguchi
Founder, Always Dream Foundation

Roy Yamaguchi
Chef and Restaurateur, Roy’s

Dr. Shinya Yamanaka
2012 Nobel Laureate; Director, Center for iPS Cell Research and Application, Kyoto University

Paul K. Yonamine
Chairman Emeritus, Central Pacific Bank and Central Pacific Financial Corporation

Honorary Board Members

Honorable George Ariyoshi
Former Governor, State of Hawai’i

His Excellency Yasuo Fukuda
Former Prime Minister of Japan

Honorable Mazie Hirono
United States Senate, State of Hawai’i

His Excellency Ryozo Kato
Former Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to the U.S.

His Excellency Yohei Kono
Former Speaker of the House of Representatives of Japan

Honorable Doris Matsui
United States House of Representatives, State of California

Honorable Mark Takano
United States House of Representatives, State of California

The Honorable Jill Tokuda
United States House of Representatives, State of Hawaii