U.S.-Japan Council Annual Conference: Member’s Forum

To kick off the Annual Conference, members came together for the 2022 Members Forum on October 27, 2022. The Members Forum was hosted by Master of Ceremony, USJC Board Member and 2022 Annual Conference Host Committee Chair Scott Sato. 

The program started with Chair of the Board Paul Yonamine and CEO & President Suzanne Basalla providing updates on USJC’s accomplishments this year and plans for 2023.  USJC Chair Paul Yonamine announced he will be stepping down as Chair of the USJC Board of Directors, and introduced Susan Morita (JALD ‘11) and Kathy Matsui as next year’s USJC Board Co-Chairs.

The exemplary work of several USJC programs led by members were also highlighted.  A report from the Shin-Issei Affinity Group was delivered by Masami Tyson and Ichiro Sekimitsu. The committee was joined by students and faculty from the girls school Shinagawa Joshi Gakuin. A unique program established by the committee allows committee members to share their overseas experiences, with the objective of developing a global outlook for the students.  The committee plans to expand their program to boys at the Keio Senior High School.

Erika Ninoyu (ELP ‘16) and Amy Watanabe (ELP ‘18) reported on the accomplishments of the Emerging Leaders Program, while Tim Higashide (ELP ‘14), Niki Robins (ELP ‘19) and Brent Sabati (ELP ‘21) provided a summary of the 2022 U40 Denver Summit.  Yuga Cohler (ELP ‘19) concluded the report from ELP with a quick overview of ELP50, which was conducted just days before the Members Forum.  

Japan Region Co-Chair Darin Arita represented the 12 regions with updates on regional events.  He introduced a Regional Leader Video which highlighted regional leaders (video is available for viewing until December 8, 2022). Steve Sugino represented the Japanese American Storytelling Program and gave highlights of the committee’s exemplary work which provides USJC members the opportunity to share personal stories with university students across Japan.  Nominating and Governance Committee Chair Josh Morey (ELP ‘16)  thanked outgoing board members and announced new board members.  The program ended with an inspiring message and personal story at USJC from Representative Director of the USJC Japan Board, Royanne Doi. 

Click here for a complete list of speakers.

Special thanks the regional and program leaders for their hard work.  Congratulations on the amazing successes our leaders accomplished this year! 

More photos can be found here.