Eighth Business Advisory Board Discusses the Power of Journalism

Ms. Kuniya (right) laughs with members of the audience

The 8th U.S.-Japan Council Business Advisory Board (BAB) was held at the Tokyo American Club on October 19, welcoming journalist Hiroko Kuniya as a featured speaker.

The event began with opening remarks by Chair of the USJC Board of Councilors Paul Yonamine, who welcomed the BAB members and USJC members. Vice Chair of the USJC Board of Councilors Masaaki Tanaka then explained the history of the BAB and emphasized the importance of people-to-people connections to strengthen U.S.-Japan relations. USJC President Irene Hirano Inouye shared information on the 2016 Annual Conference and introduced five TOMODACHI alumni who were in attendance.

Mr. Yonamine introduces the speaker, Ms. Kuniya

As is customary for BAB, a few special guests introduced themselves prior to the keynote speech, showcasing the diversity in USJC and BAB membership. Friend of the Council Harry Hill, President & CEO, Oak Lawn Marketing, Inc.; Hiroyuki Hioka, Executive Officer of General Affairs, Japan Airlines Co., Ltd.; and Mari Matthews, Executive Officer and Vice President, MetLife Insurance K.K., were among those who briefly discussed their career as well as their role in the context of U.S.-Japan relations.

Ms. Kuniya’s keynote speech focused on her experience as the anchor for “Close-up Gendai”

Ms. Kuniya, who is a Member of the USJC Board of Councilors, began her speech by explaining how she started her career in journalism. Before she became the anchor for the news program “Close-up Gendai,” she worked as an anchor for English-language broadcasts of NHK’s “Seven O’ Clock News” and as researcher for the satellite news shows “NHK Special” and “Asia Now.” She then began hosting “Close-up Gendai,” which digs deep into the trends and various changes that take place in Japanese society. Serving as an anchor of the show for 23 years, she always believed in the power of words, and tried to seek the truth behind complex issues by asking tough questions.

(L-R) Mr. Yonamine, Mr. Hill and Mr. Tanaka

After her speech, Ms. Kuniya met with the attendees and answered countless individual questions. The attendees then enjoyed networking over food and drinks.

Ms. Kuniya will also moderate a panel at the 2016 USJC Annual Conference called “Women’s Advancing Leadership in the Workplace and the World.” We hope to see you there!

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