2013 USJC Annual Conference

Click here to download the Annual Conference program.

October 3rd-5th, 2013 in Washington, DC


The 2013 USJC Annual Conference, held in Washington, DC from October 3 to 5, was a resounding success. With approximately 400 attendees, this 4th Annual Conference was our largest event yet. Themed “Risk, Reward and Innovation: Opportunities for the U.S. and Japan,” it convened top U.S. and Japanese leaders who discussed the long-term benefits of taking risks and innovative courses of action, as well as the significance of synergy among the business, government and civil society sectors.

Mr. Hiro Ogawa, Mrs. Betty Ogawa, Ms. Irene Hirano Inouye, Dr. Shinya Yamanaka, Ms. Kristi Yamaguchi, Ms. Jan Yanehiro, Ms. Jaclyn Zimmerman, and Mr. Thomas Iino at the 2013 Annual Conference. (Photo credit: Herman Farrer Photography)

The Conference overcame the challenge posed by the government shutdown, though the Opening Reception, scheduled to be held on Capitol Hill on October 3, was unfortunately canceled. The Evening Networking Reception later that night was extended to accommodate almost two hundred guests, including Senator Mazie Hirono (D-HI).

The Conference featured four Keynote Speakers from the public and private sectors of the U.S. and Japan. John Strangfeld, Chairman and CEO of Prudential Financial, Inc., discussed Prudential’s journey to establish a distinctive presence in Japan. “Our Japan story is one of people, relationships and selective risk taking,” he said. “It began with a strategy that was very different from traditional models and emphasized long-term relationships with clients through a well-educated and specialized sales force. This strategy has produced high levels of client satisfaction and strong results.  Prudential is a better company as a result of what we have learned from Japan.”

Hiroaki Nakanishi, President of Hitachi, Ltd., discussed U.S.-Japan industrial cooperation in the fields of energy and the environment. “The best energy policy should be based on a ‘3Es’ approach, which takes ‘Energy Security,’ ‘Environment’ and ‘Economy’ into consideration,” he said. “I believe that the U.S.-Japan alliance can drive the ‘3Es’ approach in a way that achieves global environmental objectives.”

Deputy Secretary of State William Burns spoke about the future of U.S.-Japan relations. “All the elements of our partnership are undergoing a historic transformation. Our security ties are stronger than ever,” he said. “Through Japan’s participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the region’s economic renewal is poised to accelerate. And the ties between our people are growing more plentiful and more meaningful.”

Dr. Shinya Yamanaka, 2012 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine & Director, Center for iPS Cell Research and Application (CiRA), Kyoto University, discussed how cooperation between the two countries would help advance the medical field. “As a scientist who manages two laboratories – one in Kyoto and the other in San Francisco –I think that Japan and the U.S. have a rivalry in research,” he said. “At the same time, I believe that both countries need to nurture strong ties to accelerate the speed of research, for the benefit of the many people with intractable diseases around the world.”

One of the highlights of this year’s Conference was the line-up of prominent Japanese Americans as featured speakers. These included celebrities Kristi Yamaguchi, Founder of Always Dream Foundation, Champion Figure Skater and winner of “Dancing with the Stars”; Ryu Goto, International Concert Violinist; and Roy Yamaguchi, Chef & Founder of Roy’s.

The many dimensions of the U.S.-Japan relationship were reflected in the Conference’s ten panel discussions. Topics included “U.S.-Japan Bilateral Relations: New Opportunities,” “Japan’s Presence and Influence in DC” and “Global Citizenship and Preparing Our Youth for Tomorrow.”


The 2013 Annual Conference, themed Risk, Reward and Innovation: Opportunities for the U.S. and Japan, explored:

  • The long-term benefits of taking risks and daring to move from trusted to innovative courses of action.
  • The importance of cultivating and supporting diverse leaders including young and female leaders in order to reinvigorate the U.S. and Japan and reach the next level of success.
  • Creating synergy among the business, government and civil society sectors and celebrating examples of successful integration.
  • Renewing strong and positive U.S.-Japan relations through versatile collaboration and partnerships.


Click here to download the Annual Conference program.

Timeline of Events

October 3rd – Evening Cocktails and Desserts Networking
October 4th – Annual Conference
October 5th – Annual Members Meeting

Keynote Speakers

  • Mr. John Strangfeld, Chairman and CEO, Prudential Financial, Inc.
  • Mr. Hiroaki Nakanishi, President, Hitachi, Ltd.
  • The Honorable William Burns, Deputy Secretary of State, U.S. Department of State
  • Dr. Shinya Yamanaka, 2012 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine

Closing Plenary

Models of Excellence – Lessons from Japanese American Stars


  • Ms. Kristi Yamaguchi, Founder, Always Dream Foundation and Olympic Champion Figure Skater
  • Vice Admiral Harry B. Harris, Jr., Assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, United States Navy
  • Mr. Daniel M. Tani, Vice President of Mission and Cargo Operations, Orbital Sciences Corp. and Former Astronaut
  • Mr. Darren T. Kimura, Managing Director, Enerdigm Group, Inc.
  • Mr. Ryu Goto, Violinist, Opus 3 Artists LLC

Panel Discussions: Morning Session

Global Citizenship and Preparing our Youth for Tomorrow (Click here for details):


  • Ms. Yumi M. Kuwana, Founding Principal, Cook Pine Capital LLC


  • Dr. Linda A. Hill, Wallace Brett Donham Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School
  • Mr. Lee Howell, Managing Director, Member of the Managing Board, World Economic Forum
  • Dr. David Leheny, Henry Wendt III ‘55 Professor of East Asian Studies, Princeton University
  • Dr. Yutaka Tsujinaka, Executive Advisor to the President, University of Tsukuba

Japan’s Civil Sector in Perspective (Click here for details):


  • Ms. Mari Kuraishi, Co-founder & President, GlobalGiving


  • Dr. Ramona Bajema, Country Representative, Japan, AmeriCares
  • Mr. Eiichi Sadamatsu, Former Trustee, JANIC & Deputy Secretary-General, Save the Children Japan
  • Mr. Noriyuki Shiina, Secretary General, Japan Platform
  • Dr. Steven Rathgeb Smith, Executive Director, American Political Science Association

The Changing Face of Communications: the Digital Revolution (Click here for details):


  • Mr. Kelly Ogilvie, Founder, Chairman, President and Chief Operating Officer, Quemulus, Inc.


  • Ms. Nicole Forrester, Director – Young Leaders Program, Pacific Forum CSIS

Corporate Executive Leadership & Mentoring (Click here for details):


  • Ms. Moni Miyashita, Senior Advisor, McKinsey & Co.


  • Ms. Phyllis Campbell, Chair, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Pacific Northwest
  • Ms. Royanne K Doi, Corporate Chief Ethics Officer, Prudential Financial Inc. – Japan Representative Office
  • Ms. Tracey Doi, Group Vice President & Chief Financial Officer, Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc.
  • Ms. Yuko Kaifu, Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications, Union Bank USA

This Town: Japan’s Presence and Influence in DC (Click here for details):


  • Dr. Kent Calder, Director, Reischauer Center for East Asian Studies, Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies
  • Mr. Hideaki Mizukoshi, Minister and Head of Chancery, Embassy of Japan in the United States of America
  • Dr. Mike M. Mochizuki, Associate Dean for Academic Programs, Elliott School of International Affairs,  The George Washington University
  • Mr. Tsunehiko Yanagihara, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Washington Office, Mitsubishi Corporation (Americas)

Panel Discussions: Afternoon Session

Art and Imagination of the Short-Term Visit (Click here for details):


  • Dr. Curtiss Takada Rooks, Associate Dean of Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts, Loyola Marymount University


  • Mr. Paul Niwa, Associate Professor, Emerson College
  • Dr. George J. Sanchez, Vice Dean for Diversity and Strategic Initiatives, Dornsife College of Letters, Arts & Sciences, University of Southern California
  • Ms. Ayumi Takita, Program Director, Intellectual Exchange, Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership, New York

The TOMODACHI Initiative: Developing the Next Generation (Click here for details):


  • Ms. Kaoru Utada, Program Coordinator, TOMODACHI Initiative, U.S.-Japan Council (Japan)


  • Ms. Atsuko Arimoto, Student Scholar, BEYOND Tomorrow
  • Ms. Mayo Hotta, Recovery Initiatives Group, CEO Office, SoftBank Corp.
  • Ms. Akiko Kato, TOMODACHI NGO Leadership Program
  • Mr. Delmar Tarrago, TOMODACHI U.S.-Japan Youth Exchange Program
  • Ms. Kendee Yamaguchi, TOMODACHI Mitsui & Co. Leadership Program & USJC Emerging Leaders Program

Culinary Diplomacy – Connecting People of Different Nations (Click here for details):


  • Mr. Stephen Kagawa, Chief Executive Officer, The Pacific Bridge Companies


  • Mr. Craig Takiguchi, Former President, CEO and Co-founder, Muginoho International, Inc., parent company of Beard Papa’s Sweets Café
  • Mr. Roy Yamaguchi, Chef & Founder, Roy’s
  • Mr. Eric Ziebold, Chef & Restaurateur, CityZen

Ventures and Collaboration in the Clean Energy & Technology (R)evolution (Click here for details):


  • Ms. Kei Ashizawa, Associate, Steptoe & Johnson PLLC


  • Ms. Kay Fukunaga, Director of Hawaii State Affairs, NextEra Energy Hawaii
  • Dr. Gerald Hane, President & Chief Executive Officer, Battelle-Japan
  • Mr. Jeffrey A. Miller, Director, U.S. Department of Energy Japan Office, U.S. Embassy Tokyo, U.S. Department of Energy
  • Ms. Ginger Vaughn, Television Journalist, CCTV

U.S.-Japan Bilateral Issues – New Opportunities (Click here for details):


  • Dr. Michael Auslin, Resident Scholar in Asian and Security Studies, American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research


  • Mr. James W. Fatheree, President & Chief Operation Officer, U.S.-Japan Business Council & Senior Director, Japan and Korea, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
  • Dr. Robert F. Smith, Vice President, Space and Cyber, Lockheed Martin Information Systems & Global Solutions (IS&GS) – Defense
  • Mr. Masaaki Tanaka, Deputy President, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Inc.


The Capital Hilton 
Washington, DC


Click here to see the press release from the Annual Conference, including remarks by the Keynote Speakers.

Photos & Videos

Visit the USJC YouTube channel for Conference videos as they become available!

Keynote Speech by Mr. Hiroaki Nakanishi
Keynote Speech by Mr. John Strangfeld
Keynote Speech by Dr. Shinya Yamanaka
(Click here to read the transcript of the speech.)
Keynote Speech by Deputy Secretary of State William Burns
(Click here to read the transcript of the speech.)

See photos on our Flickr site.


The 2013 U.S.-Japan Council Annual Conference was made possible through the generous support of our sponsors:


  • Aoyama Zaisan Networks 
  • Arnold & Porter LLP
  • Brother International Corporation 
  • Central Japan Railway
  • Chevron Corporation 
  • Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu 
  • Ernst & Young 
  • FoxRothschild LLP
  • Ernest M. Higa
  • Honda Motor Company
  • IHI Inc. 
  • Island Insurance Foundation 
  • ITOCHU International Inc. 
  • Marubeni America Corporation 
  • Mitsubishi Heavy Industries America, Inc. 
  • Mitsui & Co. (U.S.A.)
  • Nitto Tire U.S.A. Inc.
  • Nomura Holding America, Inc. 
  • Northrop Grumman
  • PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP
  • Roy’s 
  • Sojitz Corporation 
  • Sumitomo Corporation of America Foundation 
  • Takeda Pharmaceutical
  • Toshiba America Inc.
  • Toyota Motor Corporation
  • Union Bank


  • Cook Pine Capital LLC
  • Thomas Iino 
  • Kintetsu Enterprises (Miyako Hotel) 
  • JP Morgan Chase & Co.
  • Henry Y. Ota
  • Tokio Marine Management Inc.