U.S.-Japan Council Newsletter (Oct 10, 2019)

1. Boston Members Host Pilot Regional Leadership Program

Thank you to Associate Lianna Kushi and others for the photos!

Boston Regional Leadership Program Speakers 

On September 28, USJC members in the New England region hosted USJC’s first Regional Leadership Program at the Berklee College of Music. The goal of the Regional Leadership Program is to offer educational content about U.S.-Japan issues and deepen the connections among USJC members and others in the community.

The half-day leadership event in Boston brought together 35 current and prospective members to discuss “U.S.-Japan Relations: Our History, Our Present, and Our Future.”

The morning kicked off with welcome remarks from New England’s Regional Chair Ginny Fordham and USJC Executive Vice President Laura Winthrop Abbot, followed by remarks from new Japanese Consul General Setsuo Ohmori, who arrived in Boston a week prior.

USJC Board Member David Boone (EVP & Chief Growth Officer, Michael Baker) says the most important element in U.S.-Japan relations is trust

Some highlights of the day included a discussion about the legacy of Japanese American incarceration, led by Council Leader Paul Watanabe, Professor at the University of Massachusetts Boston, as well as a presentation on security in the Indo-Pacific region, led by USJC Board Member David Boone.Some highlights of the day included a discussion about the legacy of Japanese American incarceration, led by Council Leader Paul Watanabe, Professor at the University of Massachusetts Boston, as well as a presentation on security in the Indo-Pacific region, led by USJC Board Member David Boone.

Council Leader Eric Nakajima moderated a panel on social issues in Japan, where Dr. Michael Goodman, Professor at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth; Board Member Atsuko Fish; and Council Leader Christine Pilcavage of the MIT Japan Program had a lively discussion about the Japanese economy, Japanese women in the workplace, and student exchange programs.


USJC Board Member Atsuko Fish (Founder, Fish Family Foundation) tells the audience to never underestimate the power of Japanese women

Following the panel, Council Leader Patricia Neilson gave a moving personal testimony of her family’s Okinawan roots and growing up in Hawaii.

The day concluded with short self-introductions by TOMODACHI Suntory scholars and participants of the TOMODACHI Disability Leadership Program in America.

The event brought people together from across sectors, generations and a wide range of experiences, and provided an opportunity for them to engage in various issues in U.S.-Japan relations.

A big thank you to the New England regional team for organizing the event! Also, a special thanks to Berklee College of Music for hosting the event, as well as ASL interpreters Celia Mojica and Lauren Parlapiano who signed in ASL the whole day.

Click here to see more photos.

2. Recent Events

First Japan-Texas Career Fair in Houston a Success

Attendees speak with the exhibitors

USJC held its first Japan-Texas Career Fair on September 28 at Houston Community College. Spearheaded by USJC Board Member Donna Cole, the career fair was attended by close to 150 students, recent graduates, mid-career professionals and job seekers interested in working for Japan-based companies.

Consul General of Japan in Houston Hideo Fukushima gives opening remarks as Board Member Donna Cole looks on

The fair featured 10 exhibitors, including businesses such as Ernst & Young and Pasona N A, Inc., as well as initiatives and organizations such as the Japan Exchange & Teaching (JET) Program and the Japan-America Societies of Austin, Dallas and Houston. Attendees also received one-on-one career coaching and resume reviews, and had professional headshots taken for their LinkedIn profiles.

Panel discussions comprising speakers and exhibitors covered topics such as “The Art of Networking” and “Working in Texas and Japan: Adjusting to the Culture.”

Stay tuned for updates on the next career fair scheduled in Dallas in September 2020!

USJC and JCAW Members Discuss Business and Trade


On October 7, USJC teamed up with the Japan Commerce Association of Washington, DC (JCAWDC) to hold a small networking reception for a core group of Council Leaders and Japanese business leaders. Mr. Jun Aketa, Senior Vice President & General Manager of Mitsui & Co.’s Washington office, graciously hosted the event. One of the highlights of the evening was the arrival of several JCAWDC members, who had just been to the White House to witness the signing ceremony of the recently concluded U.S.-Japan trade agreement—a milestone achievement we could all raise a toast to!

Click here to see more photos from the reception. 

3. ELP News

Reflection from Yuki Inoue (ELP ’18)

The following video is part of a year-long series by participants of the 2018 Emerging Leaders Program (ELP).


Click here or on the image above to see what Yuki Inoue has been up to since participating in the 2018 Emerging Leaders Program. You’ll see iconic Tokyo landmarks, hear why he felt the Emerging Leaders Program was a “nonstop shower of inspiration and passion,” and why it’s important to not limit yourself.

4. Announcements

2019 Asian American Leadership Delegation 

USJC is proud to announce the delegates of the 2019 Asian American Leadership Delegation(AALD). In its sixth year, AALD will consist of a one-week trip for a delegation of six state legislators plus two trip leaders to visit Kyoto, Osaka and Tokyo. USJC works with these state legislators to broaden the understanding of the U.S.-Japan relationship in United States legislative bodies, and to foster connections among diverse Asian American leaders and Japanese government, business and civil society leaders. The program is funded by The Sasakawa Peace Foundation and supported by The National Asian Pacific American Caucus of State Legislators. 

Please join us in welcoming: 

Mike Yin

State Representative,
Wyoming House of

Kyle Yamashita

State Representative,
Hawaii House of Representatives

My-Linh Thai

State Representative,
Washington House of Representatives

Chris Chyung

State Representative,
Indiana House of Representatives

Nima Kulkarni

State Representative,
Kentucky House of Representatives

Rochelle Nguyen

State Assemblywoman,
Nevada State Assembly

Please see the Asian American Leadership Delegation page to read the delegates’ full bios! 

Register for the 2019 Annual Conference Before Rates Increase on October 12! 


U.S.-Japan Council 2019 Annual Conference
Bold Ideas, Bolder Leadership: The Next Stage of U.S.-Japan Relations
Loews Hollywood Hotel, Los Angeles, California
November 4-5, 2019

Register now before rates increase for the 2019 USJC Annual Conference in Los Angeles! Held in Hollywood, the center of global entertainment, this conference will highlight diverse leadership styles that transform bold ideas into reality. We will also celebrate USJC’s 10th anniversary, and offer leadership training under USJC’s new Leadership Workshops.

We also encourage you to enjoy the Japan Cuts Hollywood Film Festival, presented by the Japan America Society of Southern California from November 1 to 3, prior to the conference. And after the conference, be sure to join GetGlobal 2019, the pre-eminent global business conference in the United States designed to fuel international growth. It will be held at the Long Beach Convention Center from November 5 to 7.

Don’t miss our lineup of unique speakers and timely topics.

John V. Roos

Geodesic Capital

Amy Webb

Founder & CEO,
Future Today Institute

Takeshi Uchiyamada

Chairman of the
Board of Directors,
Toyota Motor Corporation

Koine Iwasaki

Professional Dancer
(All Star on So You Think You Can Dance)

Marc Knapper

Deputy Assistant Secretary For Korea and Japan, Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs,
U.S. Department of State

Kazuo Hirai

Senior Advisor,
Sony Corporation

Maia & Alex Shibutani

Champion Ice

Takeshi Komoto

Takeshi Komoto

Minister for Economy, Trade and Industry, Embassy of Japan in the United States of America

Yuka Seki

Medical Doctor and Natural Food Chef

Bobby Webster

General Manager,
Toronto Raptors (2019 NBA Champion)

Other Speakers Include:

  • Bill Allen, CEO, Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation
  • Rina Brannen, Head of Development, 3AD Media
  • Sewell Chan, Deputy Managing Editor, Los Angeles Times
  • Bill Imada, CEO, IW Group, Inc.
  • Masaharu Kohno, Executive Board Member, Tokyo Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games
  • Aiko Lane, Executive Director, U.S.-Japan Business Council, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
  • Fue Lee, State Representative, House of Minnesota Representatives
  • Shohei Narron, Technology Alliances Manager, Looker
  • David Ono, Anchor, ABC7 Eyewitness News
  • Mariko Fujimoto Rooks, Vice President, Yale Students of Mixed Heritage, Yale University
  • Maria S. Salinas, President & CEO, Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Michelle K. Sugihara, Executive Director, CAPE (Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment)
  • Adele Yoshioka, Executive Vice President, International Distribution, CAPE (Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment)

5. Upcoming Events

Leading and Managing Change

When: October 14, 2019 at 5:00pm
Where: Law Offices of Lane Powell, PC (Portland, OR)

Please join Consul General Takashi Teraoka and members of USJC for a networking event titled Leading and Managing Change. This event will feature a presentation by Steve Hanamura, president of Hanamura Consulting, Inc. Leading and Managing Change will discuss principles and insights everyone can use in their professional and personal lives, from front line supervisors to C-Suite managers.

Click here for more information and to RSVP.

6. Opportunities

Accountant (Washington, DC)

The Accountant will have primary responsibility for day-to-day accounting functions and operational support for the U.S.-Japan Council (USJC) in the United States and Japan. This position is in the Washington, DC office, and provides direct support to the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) in managing the financial operations for the WDC and Tokyo offices, as well as staff working in California and Hawaii. The Accountant will be responsible for all accounting functions including but not limited to accounts payable, accounts receivable, month-end closing, account analysis, donor financial reporting, and general bookkeeping activities.

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 of 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. 

Intern (Tokyo, Japan)

The TOMODACHI Initiative is seeking qualified interns on a part-time or full-time basis. This internship program offers outstanding opportunities for college students, graduate students and graduates who are interested in U.S.-Japan relations. Duties generally consist of program and event coordination and support, website/social media support, organization and attendance at special events, student outreach and communication, writing and translation (as able). Duties may be tailored to the intern’s interests. Interns will work with individuals from the U.S.-Japan Council, the U.S. Embassy and other key TOMODACHI team members.

Click here for more information about the position.