U.S.-Japan Council Newsletter (October 16th, 2014)


Annual Conference 2014 Highlights

Thank you very much to everyone who attended or supported the 2014 USJC Annual Conference last week! We enjoyed seeing many of you there. While we are still putting together information to summarize all parts of the Conference, here are the highlights of the public symposium on Friday, Oct. 10:

Keynote Speeches (Opening Plenary)

The public symposium on Oct. 10 featured three Keynote Speakers during the Opening Plenary session: Admiral Harry B. Harris Jr., Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet; Ms. Marillyn A. Hewson, Chairman, President and CEO, Lockheed Martin Corporation (read her speech here); and Mr. Masami Iijima, President and CEO, Mitsui & Co., Ltd. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan also sent in congratulatory remarks (read by Mr. Hiroyasu Izumi, Deputy Chief of Mission at the Embassy of Japan), and U.S. Energy Secretary Dr. Ernest Moniz also spoke to the audience via a video message. Council Member Lori Matsukawa emceed the Opening Plenary session.

(L-R) USJC President Irene Hirano Inouye, Keynote Speaker Masami Iijima, Keynote Speaker Admiral Harry B. Harris, Jr., Keynote Speaker Marillyn A. Hewson, Chairman of the USJC Board of Directors Tom Iino

Click here to see more photos from the Opening Plenary.

Award Ceremony (Luncheon Plenary)

For the Luncheon Plenary of the Annual Conference, we presented the inaugural USJC Lifetime Achievement Awards in Advancing U.S.-Japan Relations. The awards honor individuals who have dedicated their lives to advancing U.S.-Japan relations, supporting the engagement of Japanese Americans and furthering the mission of the U.S.-Japan Council. The award recipients were Dr. Paul Terasaki, Chairman, Terasaki Foundation; Gov. George Ariyoshi, Former Governor, State of Hawaii; and Ambassador Ryozo Kato, Former Ambassador of Japan to the United States. Ambassador Caroline Kennedy (U.S. Ambassador to Japan) and Ambassador Kenichiro Sasae (Japanese Ambassador to the U.S.) also sent video messages for the audience. Member of the USJC Board of Directors Fred Katayama emceed the Luncheon Plenary.

The award recipients: (L-R) Dr. Paul Terasaki, Gov. George Ariyoshi and Ambassador Ryozo Kato

Click here to see more photos from the Luncheon Plenary.

A Discussion with “Game Changers” (Closing Plenary)

For the Closing Plenary, we welcomed actor George Takei; designer Anne Namba of Anne Namba Designs; James Higa, Executive Director, Philanthropic Ventures Foundation (formerly “Special Ops” for Steve Jobs at Apple); and Duane Kurisu, Chairman and CEO, aio Group. We were honored to welcome these “Game Changers”–Japanese Americans who are pioneers of their respective fields! Member of the USJC Board of Directors Jan Yanehiro moderated this session.

(L-R) Jan Yanehiro, George Takei, Anne Namba, James Higa, Duane Kurisu

Click here to see more photos from the Closing Plenary.

Culinary Festival (Closing Reception)

The eventful day concluded with a wonderful Culinary Festival featuring twelve premier chefs from Hawaii and Japan. With Hawaii chefs (like Member of the USJC Board of Councilors Roy Yamaguchi of Roy’s Restaurant) advising the Japanese chefs and vice versa, each individual created the best dish that appeals to both Japanese and American people. Local ingredients, including taro, Hawaiian abalone, pineapple and island pork were used. This was part of USJC’s culinary diplomacy initiative, which aims to promote cross-cultural dialogue and understanding through sharing meals. A huge thanks to USJC Council Member Stephen Kagawa for organizing this mega-scale event!

Chef Vikram Garg of Halekulani handing his creation, “Oceans Pride” (Keahole lobster, fennel salad, all spice jus) to a guest

Click here to see more photos from the Culinary Festival.

We will continually update the Annual Conference website–please be on the lookout for further information and photos from the Opening Reception, Breakout Sessions, Members’ Day events and more.

Once again, we’d like to thank the Host Committee, Corporate Members and our many sponsors, as well as our Board of Directors and Board of Councilors, Council Members, Associate Members and Friends of the Council, for their guidance and support. The Conference was a wonderful success because of you!

USJC Annual Conference in the News

  • Hawaii/Japan Relations (Irene Hirano Inouye on “The Conversation”)
    Hawaii Public Radio, Oct 13, 2014
  • Will the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo dampen Hawaii tourism?
    Pacific Business News, Oct 13, 2014
  • Hawaii-based U.S. Pacific Fleet commander answers 3 frequently asked questions
    Pacific Business News, Oct 11, 2014
  • US-Japan Council held in Hawaii
    NHK World, Oct 11, 2014
    (The Japanese piece on NHK, including video, can be found here)
  • Celebrating Connections Culinary Festival
    Pulse / Honolulu Star-Advertiser, Oct 11, 2014
  • US-Japan Council Conference and Festival
    Frolic Hawaii, Oct 11, 2014
  • Security, business, sustainability hot topics at U.S.-Japan Council annual conference
    Pacific Business News, Oct 10, 2014