Affinity groups are member led initiatives where meetings are built around a common interest. If you are interested in joining an affinity group, do not see a specific member or staff point of contact for any affinity group, or would like to start and lead a new affinity group, please contact Lauren Matsumoto at [email protected].
If you are interested in joining an affinity group, please contact Lauren Matsumoto or the specified Point of Contact for the specific group in which you are interested.
Click on the tabs for a full description of the groups. Please note the words Engagement, Resource and In Development indicate the level of activity for the affinity group in question.
Current Affinity Groups:
Advisors to Japanese Companies (In Development)
Members who provide advise or consulting services to Japanese companies. Topics of interest may include U.S. business laws and local and federal compliance issues for companies doing business in the U.S., tax issues, workforce issues and human resources. This group met once and has potential to become more active with volunteer support.
Artists & Creatives (Engagement)
Members who are artists and creatives or interested in the arts meet every second Wednesday of the month. Performing artists, print media artists, music and arts educators and playwrights share resources with each other.
Member/Staff Point of Contact: Courtney Ozaki (Associate Leader)
Members with a professional connection to baseball. This group meets to discuss opportunities to showcase the role of baseball in U.S.-Japan relations.
Climate Change (Resource)
Members who work in or interested in the sustainability and climate change space. As the Council develops its Climate & Sustainability Initiative, this group can serve as a sounding board and resource. This group has met once and is likely to increase its activities soon. Volunteers to help lead this group are welcome!
Members who work (or have worked) in the communications sector meet quarterly for social networking. The group includes journalists, PR leaders, and marketing professionals.
Member/Staff Point of Contact: Linda Taira (Council Leader)
Members who are educators or interested in the education field share information on student exchange programs and cross-cultural education. From elementary to post-doc, from the classroom to curriculum design to the administration, this group is one of the Council’s largest professional networks. It’s occasional on-line gatherings are supplemented by email resource sharing.
Member/Staff Point of Contact: Ryo Suzuki (Associate Leader)
Family-Owned Businesses (Resource)
Members who work in family-owned businesses. Topics of interest include generational succession, family relations and best practice business models that will sustain the business for growth and success, and issues in the Japanese American/Asian American community. This group has met once and has potential to become more active with volunteer leadership.
Japanese/Japanese American Nonprofits (In Development/Resource)
This group engages leaders of Japanese-American, Asian American and Japan-related non-profit organizations. Executives and board members share ideas and resources as organizations strive to maintain traditions and provide cultural and educational programs to local and global communities. This group has not yet convened.
Mental Wellness (Engagement)
The Mental Wellness Affinity Group (MWAG) has been formed to help strengthen communication between the US and Japan on mental wellness issues, to expand awareness and education, reduce stigma, share insights and research, engage in policy dialogues, and contribute to the dialogue on the importance of mental wellness in both countries.
Member/Staff Point of Contact: Haruka Kokaze (USJC Intern)
Email: [email protected]
Members who are active in the military, veterans, or who are from military families convene to share experiences. This group met once and has shared information and updates since. There is an opportunity for a volunteer to reconvene and energize this group.
Outreach & Allyship Committee (Engagement)
The Outreach & Allyship Committee is a group of USJC members who have come together to help strengthen US-Japan ties while confronting the systemic inequities standing in the way of a just and equitable global community. Each month, members of the Outreach and Allyship Committee come together in a safe setting to hold critical conversations and support one another as we each try to make sense of the continued anti-Asian violence, mass shootings, racism in America and Japan, the model minority myth, and a range of topics.
Member/Staff Point of Contact: Aila Gomi (USJC Associate)
The Shin Issei group contributes to the mission of USJC to strengthen the U.S.-Japan relationship, by bringing together members with bicultural competences who aspire to bridge the two nations, regardless of immigration status. – We provide a forum that builds relationships among Shin Issei leaders and generates innovative ideas for the betterment of our communities. -We serve as a resource to USJC by providing bilingual and bicultural expertise to enhance dialogue between Americans and Japanese. -We develop our unique identity and pride as Shin Issei to help advance our understanding of the U.S.–Japan relationship, contribute our Shin Issei perspective and experience to U.S.–Japan ties, and promote friendship through diverse programming.
Member/Staff Point of Contact
Email: [email protected]
Third Culture Kids (In Development)
This group offers a community for those who grew up as so-called Third Culture Kids (TCK), members who were raised in a culture other than their parents’ or the culture of their country of nationality. Whether as children of Expats, living on an overseas base or diplomatic compound, or being raised by missionaries, TCKs bring a unique set of cross-cultural leadership skills to our community. The group aims to discuss issues and exchange information in a safe and supportive environment, and enhance skills for professional career and leadership development.
Member/Staff Point of Contact: Lauren Zelek
Women’s Forum (In Development)
This group focuses on advancing women and offers opportunities to expand their networks across regions, country borders and demographics to build new relationships. The group aims to discuss issues and exchange information in a safe and supportive environment, and enhance skills for professional career and leadership development.
Member/Staff Point of Contact: Yoko Otani, Royanne Doi
Uncommon Locales (In Development)
This group engages members who live or work outside of major cities and may have little access to activities and events relating to U.S.-Japan relations or Japanese- American or Japanese communities. This group met once and had a strong response to the opportunity to connect through this group. Volunteer leaders for this group are welcome.