Fourteenth Business Advisory Board Welcomes Ambassador Kenichiro Sasae

(L-R) Chair of the USJC Board of Councilors Paul Yonamine, Ambassador Kenichiro Sasae, Irene Hirano Inouye and Masaaki Tanaka

The fourteenth U.S.-Japan Council Business Advisory Board (BAB) was held at the Tokyo American Club on June 11, welcoming Ambassador Kenichiro Sasae, Former Ambassador of Japan to the United States, as a featured speaker.

The meeting opened with remarks from Masaaki Tanaka, BAB Chairman and Vice Chair of the USJC Board of Councilors, followed by self-introductions by three guests: Mr. Stan Crow, Chief Executive of Northrop Grumman Japan; Ms. Yuko Tashiro, CEO of Accordia Golf Co., Ltd.; and Mr. Hitoshi Ishikawa, Assistant to Group CEO, Industrial Finance, Logistics & Development at Mitsubishi Corporation.

Council Leader Hitoshi Ishikawa discusses his role in U.S.-Japan relations

USJC President Irene Hirano Inouye welcomed those in attendance and provided updates on the Council’s activities, including the success of the recent Japan-Texas Economic Summit in Houston and the latest information on the upcoming 2018 USJC Annual Conference, to be held in Tokyo from November 8 to 9.

TOMODACHI alumni being introduced by Irene Hirano Inouye to BAB attendees

Ambassador Sasae, who recently joined the USJC Board of Councilors, gave a keynote speech titled “Japan-U.S. Alliance: Time for Challenge.” He reflected upon his experience serving as Japanese ambassador to the United States from November 2012 to March 2018, and addressed challenges facing U.S.-Japan relations. He spoke frankly about his alarm over growing anti-globalist sentiments in the United States; trends toward economic protectionism and potential trade wars; and Japan and the United States’ shared international security challenges, including North Korea.

Ambassador Sasae concluded his remarks with a Q&A session, and then joined BAB members and TOMODACHI alumni for food and drinks.

Ambassador Sasae answering questions from BAB attendees

Click here to see more photos from the 14th BAB event.