USJC Signature Series

In lieu of a traditional in-person Annual Conference, USJC presented its inaugural Signature Series in 2020 and a second Signature Series in 2021. Monthly flagship virtual events were held throughout the fall, providing insights and exclusive content to our stakeholders and supporters. The Signature Series connects and engages the USJC community across generations, industries and borders.

2021 Signature Series

The Signature Series continued in 2021 with an exciting collection of virtual events. The Series opened with USJC’s second Bilateral Boardroom on August 31 (U.S.) and September 1 (Japan), with an event discussing U.S.-Japan leadership in addressing the climate crisis. This webinar featured a fireside chat between U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, John Kerry, and Japan’s Minister of the Environment, KOIZUMI Shinjiro. By providing platforms for dialogue and collaboration between governments, academia, the private sector and other key stakeholders in both countries, the Signature Series sought to help advance long-lasting solutions to critical issues, including climate change, energy and environmental sustainability.

Learn more about the Bilateral Boardroom here, and please consider signing up for our newsletter for announcements and updates on future Signature Series events.

Bilateral Boardroom

The U.S.-Japan Council (USJC) held its second virtual Bilateral Boardroom on August 31 (U.S.) and September 1 (Japan). Featuring a fireside chat between U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, John Kerry, and Japan’s Minister of the Environment, KOIZUMI Shinjiro, the event explored U.S.-Japan leadership in addressing the climate crisis. The discussion was recorded on August 24, one week prior to Secretary Kerry’s visit to Tokyo. The discussion was moderated by USJC President & CEO Suzanne Basalla. 

Read more here.

Members Forum

The USJC Members Forum highlighted a range of voices within the USJC community. Attendees heard from USJC leadership and shared their own visions for USJC’s future.

Bilateral Boardroom

Companies face growing business risks unless they take measurable steps on climate change and ESG issues, including diversifying their boards. Top executives on both sides of the Pacific drove home that message during a virtual boardroom meeting hosted on Nov. 16 by the U.S.-Japan Council (USJC). A recording of the event, “Purpose-Driven Leadership in U.S.-Japan Relations,” is available here; the Bilateral Boardroom event is the second of the year and is part of the Council’s Signature Series to bring together key stakeholders in lieu of USJC’s in-person annual meeting.

Read more here.

Next Generation Summit

In December 2021, the U.S.-Japan Council hosted the Next Generation Summit, giving the virtual stage to the younger voices of the USJC community including U40 (under 40) members, TOMODACHI alumni and Watanabe scholars, to allow them to share their perspectives on topics that they deemed significant to their generation. Titled “Ideas to Action: Breaking Barriers for a Sustainable Community with Enduring Value,” the event was the final installment of USJC’s 2021 Signature Series, which also included two Bilateral Boardrooms and a Members Forum.

Read more about the event here.

2020 Signature Series

In the 2020 series, USJC explored the theme “U.S.-Japan Relations in the Coronavirus Era: Leadership for Recovery, Resilience and Community.” The premier event of the USJC 2020 Signature Series was the Bilateral Boardroom, held in September. Next, a USJC Members Forum took place in October, a Public Symposium in November, and a Next Generation Summit in December.

Bilateral Boardroom

Leadership Through Crisis, Lessons Learned
Sept. 16, 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm ET (Wed) // Sept. 17, 8:00 am – 10:00 am JT (Thur)

The USJC Bilateral Boardroom convened key decision-makers from business, government, and the civil sector in the United States and Japan for critical conversations around the theme of Leadership Through Crisis, Lessons Learned. The dialogues examined leadership and critical lessons from prior crises, analyzed the impact of the current coronavirus pandemic from a social and economic perspective, and set the agenda for the future of the U.S.-Japan relationship. The program also included a tribute to USJC Founding President, the late Irene Hirano Inouye, who, together with other Japanese American leaders, founded USJC; insight videos from industry and community leaders; a special musical performance and more.

Open to all. No registration fee.

Members Forum

Oct. 15, 6:30 pm -8:30 pm ET (Thur) // Oct. 16, 7:30 am -9:30 am JT (Fri)

The USJC Members Forum highlighted a range of voices within the USJC community. Attendees heard from USJC leadership and shared their own visions for USJC’s future. They also had the opportunity to engage in a panel on bicultural Japanese American identity, heard from Jennifer Hirano, daughter of USJC’s late founding president Irene Hirano Inouye, and networked with other members through breakout sessions.

Open to USJC Members only. No registration fee.

Public Symposium

Two Nations, Countless Connections – Community, Partnership, and the Road Ahead
November 17 – 19 ET (Tue-Thur) // Nov. 18 – 20 JT (Wed-Fri)

The USJC Public Symposium will explore the transformative areas of the binational relationship which have brought about hope and recovery, as well as examine topics around community building, diversity, and resilience in both countries today, ultimately advancing the important work around key priorities in U.S.-Japan and Japanese American affairs. We will explore the question: How are enduring communities and partnerships formed? Open to all U.S.-Japan advocates and supporters, USJC will partner with other organizations and influential leaders to deliver insightful dialogues, creative content, and engaging interactions over the course of three days. Day 1 will focus on race & diversity, Day 2 on NPOs & philanthropy, and Day 3 on cultural & educational exchange.

Open to all. No registration fee.

Next Generation Summit

The Three Rs of 2020: Reflective, Resilient, and Revolutionary
Public Session: Dec. 11, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm ET // Dec. 12, 8:30 am – 10:30 am JT
Private Session: Dec. 12, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm ET // Dec. 13, 8:30 am – 10:30 am JT

The USJC Next Generation Summit will give light to the voices of our U40 members and TOMODACHI program alumni on the lessons learned from this year of change and the power of resilience. Themes will focus on the ripple effect of social justice movements, mentorship through virtual connectedness, value of cultural exchange in times of crisis, and perspectives of resilience from the next generation. You’ll hear from our rising stars and future leaders who will take part in critical dialogues around building vision and hope to empower each other to take action during these challenging and uncertain times. The Summit will be organized into two days: the first day will be open to the public on a range of topics mentioned above, and the second day will be a closed door session for TOMODACHI alumni to take part in workshops and discussions focused on the three themes: Reflective, Resilient, and Revolutionary. One workshop will help participants reflect on their leadership styles in times of crisis through the distributed leadership model developed by MIT professors; another session will focus on disaster resilience and share skills on how first responders manage stress; and the third session on this second day will be the TOMODACHI Critical Conversations Part 3 that was inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement that will create a safe space for honest peer-to-peer dialogue on these critical issues.

Public Session: Open to all. No registration fee.
Private Session: Invite only. No registration fee.

2021-2022 Sponsors






Advantage Partners

Anonymous Donor

Asahi Kasei America, Inc.

Shizuka Asakawa

Delsole Corporation

Dr. Hiroyuki Fujita, Quality Electrodynamics

Fujitsu Limited

Leona Hiraoka

Hitachi High-Tech Corporation

Tom Iino

Industrial Growth Platform, Inc. (IGPI)

Japan Airlines Co., Ltd.

Japan Industrial Partners, Inc.

Stan Koyanagi

KPMG Japan

Lawson, Inc.

Mitsui Chemicals America, Inc.

Gary S. Moriwaki

Satoru & Hiroko Murase

Northrop Grumman

Palo Alto Networks K.K.


Sompo International


Lance Stuart

Steve Takeda

Takenaka Partners LLC

Tokio Marine America

Tokio Marine Holdings


Toyo Suisan Kaisha, Ltd.

ValueAct Capital