U.S. Japan Council Newsletter ( December 5th, 2019)

1. 2019 Annual Conference: Watch Highlights Online

If you did not have the opportunity to attend the 2019 USJC Annual Conference last month, you can now experience it online. Check out our video playlist to watch each plenary session and hear from speakers such as Kazuo Hirai, Senior Advisor and former CEO of Sony; Ambassador Eleni Kounalakis, Lieutenant Governor of California; futurist Amy Webb, CEO of the Future Today Institute; Bobby Webster, General Manager of the 2019 NBA Champion Toronto Raptors, as well as hear reflections from leaders within the USJC community and alumni of the TOMODACHI Initiative and Emerging Leaders Program (ELP).

Click here to watch the video playlist, or here to see photos from the conference.

2020 Annual Conference
The 2020 USJC Annual Conference will be held in Chicago, IL from November 20 to 21. Please mark your calendars and plan to join us!

2. Announcements

The Watanabe Scholarship Application Period Opens January 6, 2020

The Toshizo Watanabe Endowed Scholarship Program‘s application period opens in one month. This scholarship is offered to both American undergraduate or graduate students who plan to study in Japan as well as Japanese students intending to study in the United States. If you or someone you know is seeking financial aid to study abroad in either the United States or Japan, please click here to learn more about application requirements and eligibility.

This scholarship is possible thanks to a generous endowment gift of $10 million from Mr. Toshizo (Tom) Watanabe to the U.S.-Japan Council. It supports students for whom study abroad would not be possible without financial support, with special consideration for students from single-parent households and/or students who are the first in their family to attend college.

3. Member News

Keiko Orrall Honored by the Government of Japan

Congratulations to Council Leader Keiko Orrall, who recently received the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Rays award from the Government of Japan! She was recognized for her work furthering friendship and mutual understanding between Japan and the United States. Ms. Orrall served for more than seven years in the Massachusetts State Legislature, and now heads the state’s Office of Travel and Tourism. She participated in the JALD Program in 2014, and actively promotes people-to-people relations between leaders in her state and Japan. Consul General in Boston Setsuo Ohmori presented the award and spoke at the conferment ceremony. Please click here to see Ms. Orrall’s Facebook post about her impressions on receiving the award.

4. Upcoming Events

Building Home Away From Home: The Women’s Work from Homemaker to Careerbuilder

When: December 8, 2020 from 2:00 pm-5:00 pm
Where: Lehigh University (Bethlehem, PA)

The Lehigh Valley-JAJAJA, with support from the U.S.-Japan Council, is hosting a summit this Sunday, December 8 titled “Building Home Away From Home: The Women’s Work from Homemaker to Careerbuilder.” The U.S.-Japan community is invited to attend this event, which will explore how Japanese and Japanese American women are balancing new and traditional expectations in an adopted culture. The summit will include an interactive workshop facilitated by speaker, author and professional development coach Shawn Kent Hayashi. Click here to learn more and register to attend.

This program is made possible thanks to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan and the Lehigh University Asian Studies Program.

Diversity in Leadership: The Journey of Asian American State Legislators in 2019

When: December 12, 2019 from 4:00 pm-5:30 pm
Where: Nippon Foundation Building, 2nd Floor Conference Room (Tokyo, Japan)

Six elected state officials from diverse backgrounds and regions of the country will join the 2019 Asian American Leadership Delegation (AALD) program and speak at this symposium to discuss their respective political and personal journeys in the United States. Many of the delegates this year have followed non-traditional paths, choosing to become a politician after pursuing different careers. The audience will have the opportunity to learn about their personal choices, as well as the important role Asian American politicians play in their political arenas, especially in light of current events. The speakers will also reflect upon their experience in Japan. This discussion will be moderated by Mrs. Nobuko Sasae, President of Nobuko Forum Japan.

Please register from the QR code on this flier or fax your information to 03-5157-5158 by 5:00PM on Wednesday, December 12, 2019 JST.

Chiura Obata: American Modern

When: November 27, 2019 – May 25, 2020
Where: Smithsonian American Art Museum (Washington, DC)

Chiura Obata (1885–1975) is a Japanese American artist who was born in Okayama and immigrated to California. Today Obata is best known for majestic views of the American West. During World War II, he created art schools in the Japanese American incarceration camps to help fellow prisoners cope with their displacement and loss.

Chiura Obata: American Modern presents more than 150 paintings and personal effects, many on public display for the first time in this tour. The exhibition’s presentation at the Smithsonian American Art Museum (SAAM) is the final stop of a five-museum tour and the only venue east of the Rocky Mountains. For more information, please visit the SAAM website.

5. Opportunities

Intern (Washington, DC)

The intern will provide support for Programs and Communications on a part-time or full-time basis. Duties will consist of program and event coordination and support, website/social media support, organization of and attendance at special events, outreach and communication, writing and translation (if able). This is an excellent internship for those hoping to gain experience in the programmatic, digital and strategic marketing and/or nonprofit fields. USJC’s internship program offers outstanding opportunities for college students, graduate students and graduates who are interested in U.S.-Japan relations. 

Click here for more information about the position.

Intern (Tokyo, Japan)

The TOMODACHI Initiative is seeking qualified interns on a part-time or full-time basis. This internship program offers outstanding opportunities for college students, graduate students and graduates who are interested in U.S.-Japan relations. Duties generally consist of program and event coordination and support, website/social media support, organization and attendance at special events, student outreach and communication, writing and translation (as able). Duties may be tailored to the intern’s interests. Interns will work with individuals from the U.S.-Japan Council, the U.S. Embassy and other key TOMODACHI team members.

Click here for more information about the position.