U.S.-Japan Council Newsletter (September 5th, 2013)


The Honorable Governor Takuya Tasso of Iwate Prefecture visited the United States this August to thank the people involved with supporting and aiding in the reconstruction of Iwate after the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami. He first stopped in New York City for a reception, where he gave a lecture about recent developments in the recovery process. USJC Member Gary Moriwaki, who has traveled frequently to Iwate, provided remarks on behalf of the U.S.-Japan Council, reinforcing the close relationship between the peoples of the United States and Japan. Following his visit to New York, the governor traveled to Washington, DC where he made an official visit to the State Department. He also visited the USJC offices in DC, where he and his delegation expressed their appreciation to USJC President Irene Hirano Inouye.

In a happy coincidence, a group of ten high school students selected from across Iwate were also visiting the U.S. as part of a prefectural exchange program. The ten students were selected from among 54 applicants across the prefecture who wrote essays about their future dreams, how they would take their place in a more globalized society and how the 3.11 disaster affected them. One female student commented that she was very touched by all the people who attended the New York event. She really felt a connection with the American people, even though they are far away from Japan. The students spent the day with the governor in New York and visited DC to tour the national monuments. USJC staff planned a day of activities for them that included a tour of the Smithsonian Museum of American History, followed by pizza and games on the National Mall with local American students. The local students included high school student TOMODACHI volunteers as well as students who will be going to Japan in November as part of the TOMODACHI U.S-Japan Youth Exchange Program. The students enjoyed hanging out, playing frisbee and soccer with each other.


Registration is now open for the U.S.-Japan Council’s 4th Annual Conference, held in Washington, DC from October 3rd-4th. Early Bird discounts will expire THIS SUNDAY on September 8 at 11:59 pm Pacific Time. This year’s conference, Risk, Reward and Innovation: Opportunities for the U.S. and Japan, will bring together leading subject experts and visionaries to discuss the long-term benefits of taking risks and daring to move from trusted to innovative courses of action. Attendees can save up to $75 by finalizing their registration before the September 8 deadline!

Keynote Speakers include: Mr. John Strangfeld, Chairman, CEO and President, Prudential Financial, Inc., Mr. Hiroaki Nakanishi, President of Hitachi, Ltd. and Dr. Shinya Yamanaka, Recipient of the 2012 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.

Our closing plenary will highlight Japanese Americans in Leadership.

  • Ms. Kristi Yamaguchi, Founder, Always Dream Foundation
  • Vice Admiral Harry B. Harris, Jr., U.S. Navy Assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
  • Mr. Daniel M. Tani, Vice President of Mission and Cargo Operations, Orbital Sciences Corp.
  • Mr. Darren T. Kimura, Managing Director, Enerdigm Group, Inc.

Register today to lock in early bird rates!


  • Thursday, October 3rd (5:30 pm – 7:00 pm):  Opening Reception on Capitol Hill
  • Friday, October 4th (8:30 am – 7:00 pm):  Annual Conference and Closing Reception at the Capital Hilton



On September 3, 2013, twenty TOMODACHI Women’s Leadership Program mentors and mentees participated in a breakfast discussion with five members of the United States Congress, including USJC Board of Councilors Member, Senator Mazie Hirono (D-HI).

Mr. Kurt Tong, Charge d’Affaires of the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo, welcomed the Senators and Representatives to Tokyo and stressed the importance of providing mentorship opportunities in his opening remarks. TOMODACHI Initiative Executive Director Laura Abbot highlighted the development of programs that will expand the scope of the organization’s mission to support the next generation of leaders. A mentor and mentee from the Women’s Leadership Program briefly shared their experiences, describing what they have learned from one another thus far in the program and how they have been inspired by other program participants.

More information on the program is available via the TOMODACHI website here.


Over the course of one week in late July and early August 2013, ten TOMODACHI alumni went to Claremont, California, for the Drucker for Future Japanese Leaders (DFJL) program.  In the mornings they attended classes while in the afternoons they met with American college and high school students, visited sites including the Japanese American National Museum and participated in other activities. You can read more about this great program here.

For more info about these TOMODACHI programs and others, visit the TOMODACHI website and be sure to check out August’s Update from Team TOMODACHI.



The Japanese American Leadership Delegation (JALD) program will be accepting applications for the 2014 delegation until September 30, 2013. JALD provides the opportunity for a select group of Japanese American leaders from across the U.S. to travel to Japan to engage with Japanese leaders. Upon their return, delegates collaborate with program alumni, local consulates, the U.S.-Japan Council and local and national community organizations to continue strengthening ties between the U.S. and Japan.

Since the program began in 2000, a total of 156 delegates have participated. The Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), represented in the United States by the Embassy of Japan in Washington, D.C. and seventeen consulate general offices, is the sponsor of JALD. The U.S.-Japan Council provides administration and organization for the program.

Click here to download an application.

Visit the USJC web site for more information on JALD.

Please forward information about JALD to any contacts who may be interested in participating in this great program!


The U.S.-Japan Council is proud to partner with the Japan Business Association of Southern California and Japan America Society of Southern California to host a Meet and Greet Receptionwith Japanese Diet Members Taro Kono and Seiji Kihara next Monday, September 9, 2013 from6:00 – 7:30 PM at the Japanese American Cultural & Community Center’s Garden Room. We invite all Council Members and USJC contacts to this event, so please register here. Registration is $25 for members of hosting organizations and $35 for guests. Drinks and appetizers will be provided.


  • Five Takeaways from Bank of Japan News Conference
    The Wall Street Journal, September 05, 2013
  • Obama, Japan’s Abe Discuss Syria Crisis at G20
    Reuters, September 05, 2013
  • Global Panel Agrees to 15% Cut in Catch of Young Bluefin Tuna in 2014
    Japan Times, September 05, 2013
  • Tokyo Olympic Bid News Conference Hit With Questions About Nuke Plant Contamination
    Mainichi Daily News, September 05, 2013
  • Abe Gets Ammunition for Sales-Tax Rise with G-20 Meeting
    Bloomberg, September 01, 2013
  • Japan Moves to Stop Radioactive Water Leak at Fukushima
    The Washington Post, September 03, 2013
  • Entrepreneurs in Japan: Time to get Started
    The Economist, August 31, 2013
  • New Energy Plan Likely to Support Use of N-Power
    The Japan News, August 29, 2013
  • Japan Formally Raises Fukushima Water Leak to INES Level 3 Incident
    Reuters, August 28, 2013
  • PM Abe Decides Not to Reshuffle Cabinet Ahead of Extraordinary Diet Session
    Mainichi Daily News, August 28, 2013
  • Domestic Startups Sparkle as Japan Inc. Names Fade
    Japan Times, August 27, 2013
  • Messaging App Line Expands Outside of Japan
    The Wall Street Journal, August 28, 2013
  • Japan Wins Little League World Series
    Japan Times, August 26, 2013
  • To Raise or Not to Raise: Japan’s Drug Prices
    The Wall Street Journal, August 26, 2013
  • DoCoMo Rises on Speculation Carrier to Release Apple iPhone
    Bloomberg, August 26, 2013
  • Japan Foreign Min. Visits Chernobyl to Apply Insight to Fukushima
    Mainichi Daily News, August 26, 2013
  • Japan’s Education Minister Aims to Foster Global Talents
    The New York Times, August 25, 2013
  • Regulators Monitor “Serious Leaks” at Japanese Nuclear Plant
    NPR, August 23, 2013
  • Japan’s Women to the Rescue
    The New York Times, August 23, 2013
  • Japan Firms Stand Pat on Hiring, Brace for Tax Hit
    Reuters, August 22, 2013