U.S.-Japan Council Annual Conference: Sustainability Roundtable Recap

On October 27, USJC convened its first in-person Sustainability Roundtable, gathering over 50 Japanese and American sustainability leaders from the corporate, finance, non-profit, academia and government sectors. This gathering was made possible by the generous anchor funding from the Climate & Sustainability Initiative Founding Strategic Partner, Amazon. 

The meeting included senior executives, next generation leaders, and thought leaders and was held under Chatham House rules. Speakers from Amazon, Salesforce, Hitachi, Japan Airlines, and Toyota shared roadmaps and lessons for their peers; representatives from the U.S. and Japanese governments outlined key agenda items for the future. The group was fortunate to close the event with a fascinating presentation by the former Executive Director of the International Energy Agency, Dr. TANAKA Nobuo.  

USJC’s programming in the new paradigm focuses on being of service, networking and community building, and investing in the next generation. Climate and sustainability sits at the nexus of these focus areas. In the Sustainability Roundtable, USJC presented five themes that have emerged through structured interviews and virtual dialogues throughout 2022, including: (1) energy security’s position as a top bilateral priority; (2) the need to prevent “Japan passing” in the climate and sustainability business areas; (3) the importance of collaboration on a “just” energy transition; (4) the need to prioritize key technology and business opportunities to clear the way for significant capital investment; and (5) the need for integrated solutions with cross-sector, cross-border, and cross-cultural collaboration. The Roundtable dialogue advanced understanding through quality information sharing, offered inspiration, and contributed to the sense of community among sustainability leaders.

We couldn’t help but notice that nearly all the speakers were women, as were many of the participants, and took the opening photo to memorialize them. We thank each and every participant who joined us for the roundtable, and look forward to working on the next steps. 

If your company is interested in joining Amazon as a key partner of USJC’s Climate and Sustainability Initiative, please let us know ([email protected] or [email protected]).