U.S.-Japan Council Newsletter (October 30th, 2014)

Minister Tamaki Tsukada and Irene Hirano Inouye at the Embassy of Japan

2014 Ambassador, Consuls General and Japanese American Leaders Meeting

Council Member Debra Nakatomi with Members of the Board of Directors Gary Moriwaki and Thomas Iino

On October 29, Japanese American leaders from across the United States gathered in Washington, DC to join the annual meeting of Japan’s Consuls General organized by the Embassy of Japan. The meeting was co-chaired by U.S.-Japan Council President Irene Hirano Inouye and Minister Tamaki Tsukada, Head of Chancery, Embassy of Japan. Participants discussed global and bilateral issues including the upcoming 70th anniversary of contemporary U.S.-Japan relations at the end of World War II next year.

Irene Hirano Inouye and Sato Kuni from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

The Japanese American leaders were nominated by the Embassy and the Consulates. Nine of the 18 Japanese American leaders were U.S.-Japan Council Members, including Board of Directors Chairman Thomas Iino and Vice-Chair Gary Moriwaki. More than 20 Japanese government officials took part in this series of engaging conversations, including Deputy Chief of Mission Hiroyasu Izumi and other ministers at the Embassy, more than a dozen Consuls General representing cities as varied as Anchorage and Miami, as well as directors from the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) in Tokyo.

Ambassador Kenichiro Sasae hosted a lunch for the Japanese American leaders, Consuls General and Honorary Consuls General at his residence.

Many of the Japanese American leaders are past participants of the Japanese American Leadership Delegation (JALD) program, which invites select Japanese American leaders from across the United States to travel to Japan to engage with Japanese leaders in the business, government, academic, non-profit and cultural sectors. MOFA sponsors the program, and USJC administers and assists with its implementation.

Asian American Leadership Delegation Departing on November 14

There is a growing number of Asian American elected officials who are influential representatives of their state districts and also active in their respective communities. USJC works with these leaders to broaden the understanding of the U.S.-Japan relationship in U.S. legislative bodies and to foster connections among diverse Asian American leaders and Japanese government, business and civil society leaders.

The 2014 Asian American Leadership Program (AALD) has selected five state-elected officials from diverse Asian American backgrounds and different regions of the country. The program will consist of a one-week trip from November 14 to 22. The Delegation will travel to Tokyo and Kyoto to meet with Japanese political and government leaders, business executives and non-profit leaders to exchange ideas as well as build networks that can mutually benefit the U.S.-Japan relationship. The U.S.-Japan Council is partnering with the National Asian Pacific American Caucus of the National Conference of State Legislators for this program. AALD is funded by the Sasakawa Peace Foundation.

Annual Conference 2014 – Further Information Posted Online

We’ve further updated information on the Annual Conference!



Annual Conference photos that were recently posted online include the Opening Reception and the TOMODACHI Emerging Leaders Program.
Other photos can be found at https://www.flickr.com/photos/usjc/collections/72157646491894194/.




We’ve also posted video messages from Dr. Ernest Moniz, U.S. Secretary of Energy, and Ambassador Caroline Kennedy, U.S. Ambassador to Japan, which were shown during the Conference. Click on the above images to watch the clips. More videos will be posted on our YouTube channel.


Summaries of breakout sessions and other sessions are now posted online: USJC annual conference.

More information will be posted on our website, YouTube channel and Flickr site in the coming weeks!


The TOMODACHI Generation at the USJC Annual Conference

A panel titled, “Building the TOMODACHI Generation” convened at the 2014 U.S.-Japan Council’s Annual Conference. The panel featured American and Japanese alumni from a broad cross-section of TOMODACHI programs – Mitsui & Co. Leadership Program, Inouye Scholars, Rainbow for Japan Kids, Sumitomo Corporation Scholars, Emerging Leaders and the NGO Leadership Program supported by J.P. Morgan – representing a diversity of educational levels and types of programs. Todd Guild of McKinsey and Company began the session with an overview of the future plans for TOMODACHI Initiative looking ahead to the Olympics and the year 2020 as the next benchmark. TOMODACHI is planning to focus on supporting programs along a spectrum of cross-cultural development, with a particular emphasis on exposure and leadership development programs. One goal for TOMODACHI is to build the number of people in the TOMODACHI Generation Network to 20,000 by the start of the Tokyo Olympics. The alumni briefly described their programs for the audience and shared the big ideas or things they got out of the program.

As an Inouye Scholar, University of Hawaii student Casey Miyashiro learned about the role of Senator Inouye in helping with recovery efforts from the Ehime Maru disaster, which occurred off the coast of Hawaii in Feb. 2001. Moreover, his summer 2014 visit to Japan on the program helped him to narrow down a general interest in studying law, to include work with the State Department. Chihiro Saito of Good Neighbors Japan spoke about how spending some of her childhood years in South Carolina introduced her to U.S. History. After graduating from college and completing a Master’s Degree in International Law, she joined the NGO Good Neighbors Japan. After participating in the TOMODACHI program for NGO leaders, she’s noted a growth in her self-confidence and crisis management skills, all of which have served her well on assignments in Chad, Vietnam, the Philippines and China. Underlying all the remarks was a sense of being inspired and a broader feeling of wanting to do more to help bring people together.

You can find more information about their program on the TOMODACHI website!

Congratulations to Loyola Marymount and Curtiss Rooks!

Loyola Marymount University has received the Community Impact Award from the Jesuit Association of Student Personnel Administrators (JASPA) for the TOMODACHI Inouye Scholars Program. Loyola Marymount’s delegation, led by USJC Council Member Curtiss Rooks, participated in an exchange with Tokyo’s Sophia University this summer. The award is presented monthly to “a program that has significantly and positively impacted its collegiate community” and “has provided meaningful contributions to the college student experience, and overall has contributed in the spirit of [the] Jesuit mission.”

Announcements and Events

Digital Communications Position Opening at USJC

USJC is currently hiring for a Digital Communications Specialist/Manager in our Washington, DC office. We’re looking for an experienced professional to handle our website, social media, graphic design, audio/visual presentations and this very newsletter. If you or someone you know are enthusiastic about U.S.-Japan relations and fit the job description posted online, we’d love to hear from you!

Please send a cover letter and resume to [email protected] by November 16.

Los Angeles Little Tokyo Japan Fair This Weekend

This Saturday and Sunday (November 1-2), marks the first annual Japan Fair at Los Angeles’ Japanese American Cultural and Community Center Plaza in Little Tokyo. The event will feature food and sake from across Japan as well as Japanese dancing, taiko, shamisen and other performances. USJC is a proud supporter of the Japan Fair.

More information about the Japan Fair is available at https://japanfair.org/.

Applications Open for Nippon Foundation Scholarship

The Inter-University Center for Japanese Language Studies (IUC) is seeking candidates for the Nippon Foundation Fellows Program. The IUC is pleased to announce an expanded focus on graduate students with Japan-focused career goals in academia, business, diplomacy/government service, journalism and law, generously sponsored by The Nippon Foundation. This year, the program has doubled in size to 20 openings!

The Nippon Foundation Fellows Program at the IUC aims to provide the most promising students with the deep linguistic and cultural knowledge needed to become leaders in their fields, and to foster strong collegial bonds and intellectual exchange among them and with their IUC senpai. Fellows will spend 10 months at the IUC in Yokohama starting August 31, 2015.

PhD students must apply by December 12, 2014 and MA, MS, MBA and JD students must apply by January 15, 2015.

U.S. and Japan in the News

  • Okinawa Governor Race Begins as U.S. Military Base Transfer Eyed
    Mainichi Shimbun, Oct 30
  • Japan Crown Princess Masako Attends First Banquet in 11 Years
    BBC News, Oct 30
  • Tepco May Ask U.S. Utility to Inspect Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Plant
    Japan Times, Oct 30
  • Chefs and Scientists Team Up to Make Japanese Food Even More Delicious
    The Washington Post, Oct 27
  • Tokyo’s Soft Power Problem
    The New York Times, Oct 24
  • Miyazaki to Receive Academy’s Governors Award
    Rafu Shimpo, Oct 21
  • Kansas City’s Aoki to Join List of Japanese Who Have Appeared in World Series
    The Wall Street Journal, Oct 21
  • Abe to gather expert opinions on next sales tax hike
    The Japan Times, Oct 21
  • Ruling parties look to regroup after resignations of ministers
    Mainichi, Oct 21
  • U.S., Japan to conduct joint military drill for island defense
    Reuters, Oct 21
  • Nightlife in Japan: Party on
    The Economist, Oct 21
  • Why Rapid Downfall of Two Ministers Matters for Japan
    The Wall Street Journal, Oct 20
  • Japan’s Economy: Consumptive
    The Economist, Oct 18
  • Abe sends ritual offering to Yasukuni; several lawmakers visit shrine
    The Japan Times, Oct 17
  • Ex-U.S. POWs visit Japan, recall horrors of war
    Japan Today, Oct 17
  • Japan may ramp up Ebola aid, Abe tells ASEM
    The Japan Times, Oct 17