2024 JALD: Japanese American Leaders Visit Osaka and Tokyo to Meet Top Japanese Officials

2024 JALD delegation with Japan’s Prime Minister KISHIDA Fumio

WASHINGTON, DC – Ten Japanese American leaders traveled to Japan from March 1 to 9 for the 2024 Japanese American Leadership Delegation Program (JALD). Organized by the U.S.-Japan Council and sponsored by Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the JALD program aims to strengthen the U.S.-Japan relationship by facilitating people-to-people connections between prominent Japanese American and Japanese leaders.

The trip, which marked the 21st delegation since the program’s inception in 2000, brought the delegation to Osaka and Tokyo to meet with top government, business, non-profit and other notable Japanese business leaders. The group had the opportunity to visit various locations to deepen their understanding of Japanese society, culture and the Japanese economy.

Delegates met with Prime Minister KISHIDA Fumio, Foreign Minister KAMIKAWA Yoko, Cabinet Secretary for Public Affairs SHIKATA Noriyuki, Minister of Digital Affairs KONO Taro and Mayor of Shibuya City HASEBE Ken. The delegation also met with KEIDANREN (the Japanese Business Federation) and Keizai Doyukai (the Japan Association of Corporate Executives), and members of the Japan-US Parliamentary Friendship League, including President NAKASONE Hirofumi. They also met with senior diplomats from both the U.S. and Japanese governments, as well as diverse cultural and civic leaders from various sectors of society.

As part of the program, the U.S.-Japan Council co-hosted a symposium with the Japan Foundation titled, “Culture, Sports, and Community: Harnessing Global Experiences for Local Economic Revitalization.” Keynote remarks were provided by Professor Munehiko Harada, Chairman of the Japan Sport Tourism Alliance (JSTA). Several of the delegates participated in a second panel discussion where they discussed the power that culture, sports and communities hold in revitalizing local economies based on their own experiences in their respective leadership roles.

The delegates were accompanied by U.S.-Japan Council President and CEO Suzanne Basalla and included:

  • Naomi Otswald Kawamura (Seattle, WA), Executive Director, Densho
  • Yoh Kawanami (Honolulu, HI), Director, Hawaiian Electric Company
  • Derek Kenmotsu (San Mateo, CA), Head of Partnerships, AI/ML and Indo-Pacific, Defense Innovation Unit
  • Darin Mano (Salt Lake City, UT) City Council Member, Salt Lake City Council
  • Susan Miyagi McCormac (New York, NY) Founder & Editor-in-Chief, JapanCulture-NYC
  • Tomoko Hosaka Mullaney (Washington, DC), Executive Director, U.S.-Japan Business Council, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
  • Anna Ninoyu (Chicago, Illinois), Owner & Principal Architect, METIS Design
  • Rob Ohno (Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida), President and CEO, ANNIKA Foundation
  • George Tanaka (Los Angeles, California), Managing Director, U.S. Bank
  • David Yoshimura (Des Moines, Iowa), Partner, Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP

For more information about the program, or to read the biographies of the delegates, please click here.

About the U.S.-Japan Council

The U.S.-Japan Council develops and connects global leaders to create a stronger U.S.-Japan relationship.   Members of the nonprofit organization believe people-to-people relationships are a powerful way to bring together leaders in the United States and Japan to address and create solutions to mutual concerns. The Council is a 501(c) 3 nonprofit educational organization that was founded by a group of Japanese American leaders in 2009, and in 2012, the U.S.-Japan Council (Japan) was created and in 2013, it became a Public Interest Corporation (koeki zaidan hojin).

Washington, DC Headquarters
Alison Aadland
Senior Communications Manager
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Japan Office
Mark Ikeno
Executive Director of the U.S.-Japan Council (Japan)
[email protected]