U.S.-Japan Council Newsletter (June 7th, 2018)

Registration Open for the 2018 Annual Conference in Tokyo!


U.S.-Japan Council 2018 Annual Conference
Partnering for Impact Today, Investing in a Sustainable Tomorrow
Cerulean Tower Tokyu Hotel, Tokyo, Japan
November 8-9

Registration is now open for the U.S.-Japan Council 2018 Annual Conference, to be held November 8-9!

Each year, USJC’s Annual Conference is attended by distinguished U.S. and Japanese leaders from all sectors, including business, government and civil society. This year, USJC returns to Tokyo to discuss how the United States and Japan can build a sustainable future together. The Conference will explore ways to collaborate towards mutual goals like supporting women leaders, and face common challenges like aging populations and security issues in Asia. We will also discuss regional ties among various cities in both countries, the impact the midterm elections will have in the United States, strengthening philanthropy in Japan, and ways Tokyo can leverage the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games for future growth.

Join USJC & USJC (Japan) in Tokyo to discuss how to create lasting partnerships and benefit communities on both sides of the Pacific. Click here to learn more and to register.

Recent Events

An American Story: Norman Mineta and His Legacy Premieres at CAAMFest

The much-anticipated film, An American Story: Norman Mineta and His Legacy, co-produced by Council Leaders Dianne Fukami and Debra Nakatomi, is quickly gaining acclaim. The film was shown on opening night at CAAMFest (a film festival hosted by the Center for Asian American Media (CAAM)) in San Francisco on May 10. The showing was attended by Ms. Fukami and Ms. Nakatomi and several USJC members, as well as the star of the documentary, Secretary Mineta (who is also Vice Chair of the USJC Board of Councilors).

The film will also be shown during the 2018 Annual Conference in Tokyo, and will include an appearance by Secretary Mineta, Ms. Fukami and Ms. Nakatomi.

(L-R) Associates Josh Morey and Kevin Otsuka, Ms. Fukami, Ms. Nakatomi, Associate Ellen Kamei (Photo courtesy of Ms. Kamei)

ELP News

Applications Now Open for the 2018 TOMODACHI Emerging Leaders Program!

The U.S.-Japan Council and the TOMODACHI Initiative are pleased to announce that the TOMODACHI Emerging Leaders Program (ELP) is now accepting applications!

ELP identifies, cultivates and empowers a new generation of Japanese American leaders. Emerging Leaders participate in leadership education, design and implement original USJC programming, and develop powerful, lifelong personal and professional friendships. This year’s participants will also attend the 2018 Annual Conference in Tokyoin November for multi-day workshops and programming.

Application deadline: Sunday, July 15, 2018, 11:59 PDT


Click here or on the image above to download and share this flier.

Click here to learn more about the program and apply today!

Reflection from Courtney Ozaki Moch (ELP ’17)

The following article is part of a year-long series by participants of the 2017 Emerging Leaders Program (ELP).

A rope finds its strength in the millions of threads that it is comprised of. A little less than a year ago, I began my USJC TOMODACHI Emerging Leaders Program application essay using this sentence. Although I knew that my involvement with ELP would help to “strengthen my rope” as I gained new threads of knowledge and insight, I didn’t realize how profound an impact being a part of the 2017 ELP class would have on me. My experience with ELP broadened my overall perspective, and this program and the people connected to it continually inspire me to think and reach further in all aspects of my life.

ELP Class of 2017 toasting to ITO EN, ELP Signature Sponsor

This past March I was asked to speak alongside USJC Senior Vice President Kaz Maniwa, June Taylor (JALD ’18), Tim Higashide (ELP ’14) and the Consulate General of Japan in Colorado at an event hosted by the USJC Rocky Mountain Chapter. I proudly shared my experience as a member of the 2017 ELP class, and was encouraged that participants from the current session of the Sakura Foundation’s Mirai Generations Leadership Program (MGLP) were present. MGLP supports emerging leaders who are passionate about and dedicated to Colorado’s Japanese American community, and is developing a strong core of local next generation leaders. I was honored to be a member of last year’s inaugural group. This program has received generous support from USJC leaders and associates over the past two years. Participants have engaged in meaningful dialogue with Craig Ishii (ELP ‘13) and Stacey Uchida (ELP ’14), received mentorship from Derek Okubo (JALD ’14) and Gary Yamashita (JALD ’17), and have heard from speakers including Robin Yasui (JALD ‘15) and USJC President Irene Hirano Inouye.

MGLP alumni and Staff, ELP and JALD alumni and USJC Senior VP Kaz Maniwa at Sushi Sasa in Denver

In April, as a new member of the ELP steering committee, I spent valuable time with fellow alumni, USJC staff and members of the USJC Chicago community. Our time in Chicago motivated me to further encourage cross-generational collaboration within JA communities, build stronger ties between next generation associates in the United States and Japan, and support U.S.-Japan relations through my passion for the arts. I look forward to continuing conversations about how we as alumni may contribute to ELP’s inspiring synergy. I would like to express my deepest appreciation to Irene Hirano Inouye, Kaz Maniwa, Program Manager Allison Murata, and all of the ELP sponsors for the opportunity to be a part of this incomparable family.

Chef’s table dinner in Chicago with USJC Senior VP Kaz Maniwa and ELP Steering Committee members

Member News

Lianna Kushi Named Woman of the Year in Lowell

Congratulations to Associate (and ELP ’15) Lianna Kushi, for being named one of three “Women of the Year” by Girls Inc. of Greater Lowell! The organization, which is celebrating its 100 years of service to girls, is honoring local women past, present and future who make a difference in the community. Lianna is named as “a woman whose enthusiasm and accomplishment will light the way for the women of tomorrow,” with a focus on her commitment to entrepreneurship and community development, especially as the Executive Director of Entrepreneurship for All in Massachusetts cities Lowell and Lawrence.

Click here for more information.

Upcoming Events

Righting a Wrong: Japanese Americans and World War II


When: Ongoing through December 8, 2018
Where: National Museum of American History (Washington, DC)

Last year, the National Museum of American History opened an exhibit to mark 75 years since Executive Order 9066 authorized the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. On display are artifacts, photographs and stories collected from Japanese American families. There will also be public programming throughout the year related to this exhibit.

For more information on the exhibit, please visit the official website.


Director of Partnerships & Development (Washington, DC)

USJC’s DC office seeks a candidate who is committed to the goals of the organization and can bring experience in development and in building and maintaining effective partnerships with donors, sponsors and other stakeholders. The Director of Partnerships & Development would work closely with corporate and individual donors that have a vested interest in U.S.-Japan relations. We seek a candidate who will serve as a key member of the leadership team to develop mid- to long-term strategies in development and work closely with staff and board leadership in the implementation of development plans.

Click here for more information about the position.

Development Coordinator (Washington, DC)

The Development Coordinator position will have primary responsibility for administrative and operational support to USJC development activities. This position will provide direct support to the Director of Partnerships & Development and to the President. Administrative office support is also given as assigned. The Development Coordinator will interface with donors and related stakeholders.

Click here for more information about the position.

Program Coordinator (Washington, DC)

We seek a candidate who can bring enthusiasm and commitment to program coordination, primarily with signature programs such as our Annual Conference, as well as the Council’s leadership & diversity programs around areas including legislative and business networking, Japanese and Asian American leadership, women’s leadership initiatives and more. Duties will also include coordinator-level work related to public sector and government external relations.

Click here for more information about the position.

Intern (Washington, DC)

The intern will provide support for programs and communications on a part-time or full-time basis. Duties will consist of program and event coordination and support, website/social media support, organization and attendance at special events, outreach and communication, writing and translation (if able). This is an excellent internship for those hoping to gain experience in the programmatic, digital and strategic marketing and/or nonprofit fields. USJC’s internship program offers outstanding opportunities for college students, graduate students and graduates who are interested in U.S.-Japan relations.

Click here for more information about the position.

TOMODACHI Marketing & Communications Manager (Tokyo)

The Marketing & Communications Manager is responsible for developing and implementing a comprehensive strategic communications program to develop the profile and brand of the TOMODACHI Initiative among a diverse audience and stakeholders, including senior corporate executives, government leaders, program participants, donors, press and the general public. The Marketing & Communications Manager will work closely with teams within the TOMODACHI Initiative in the implementation of this mission, as well as with the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo.

Click here for more information about the position.