The Japanese American Leadership Delegation (JALD) program 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 in the business, government, academic, non-profit and cultural sectors. The trip also allows Japanese leaders to gain a greater understanding of multicultural America through the experiences of a diverse group of Japanese Americans. Upon their return, delegates collaborate with JALD alumni, the local consulates, the U.S.-Japan Council and local and national community organizations to continue strengthening ties between the U.S. and Japan.

The Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) represented in the United States by the Embassy of Japan in Washington, DC and seventeen consulate general/consular offices is the sponsor of the program. The U.S.-Japan Council provides administration and organization for this program. The program began in 2000 and 227 delegates have participated to date.

2024 Applications

Deadline: September 15, 2023

Application Materials:

For more information, please contact:

Ms. Wendy Abe: [email protected], (808) 271-0817
Ms. Allison Murata: [email protected], (202) 750-4030

Application and Trip Timeline:

  • Application Deadline: September 15, 2023
  • The trip to Japan including travel will be March 1 to March 9, 2024 (except Guam: departing March 2).
  • Orientation: January 29-30, 2024 in Los Angeles. This is mandatory for all delegates that will travel to Japan. Non-participation in the orientation will disqualify an individual from traveling with the delegation.
  • The itinerary will include travel to Tokyo and Osaka (and one additional city in Kansai).
  • Transportation, hotel and meals will be provided.
  • Delegates are required to attend all meetings and events during the trip.


The relationship between the U.S. and Japan is considered by many as the most important bilateral relationship in the world, and Japanese Americans are uniquely positioned to help shape it. The connections between Japanese and Japanese Americans are complex. While World War II played a major role in severing ties between Japanese Americans and Japan, today’s opportunities for collaboration and mutual benefit are great and demand a renewed commitment to involving Japanese Americans in U.S.-Japan relations. In their May 2022 Joint Statement, Prime Minister Kishida and President Biden “paid tribute to the history, contributions and cultural heritage of Japanese Americans and concurred to engage next generation Japanese American leaders in the future Japan-U.S. cooperation.” (Joint Statement of the United States and Japan)

The Japanese American Leadership Delegation provides Japanese American leaders with the opportunity to become acquainted or further engaged with Japan and participate in discussions related to the role that Japanese Americans can play in addressing key issues that face both countries, now and in the future.

The first delegation was invited by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) to visit Japan in 2000.  It included third and fourth generation Japanese Americans selected from various professional fields including the educational, cultural, philanthropic, legal and political sectors.  Since the initial trip, delegations of Japanese American leaders from throughout the United States have visited Japan every year since 2002, except during the pandemic years (2020-2022).

Participants in this program have created an alumni network to ensure that the commitment to strengthening U.S.-Japan relations is maintained.  A commitment to follow-up after the trip is a required part of the program.

Program Alumni

JALD alumni have created a network to ensure that the commitment to strengthening U.S.-Japan relations is maintained. There have been JALD national reunions and several alumni groups have traveled back to Japan together to build on and sustain important relationships built on the program. Alumni of the program are invited and encouraged to join the U.S.-Japan Council’s international network of leaders and participate in Council programming and events.

Click here to read about the 2023 delegation’s trip to Japan. Click here for reports from previous classes.