U.S.-Japan Council Newsletter August 8th, 2014


Click here to see photos:https//www.flickr.com/photos/usjc/collections/72157646300135443/.

From July 28 to 29, as part of USJC’s Governors’ Circle initiative, USJC and the Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center (APARC) in the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford University convened a Japan Governors’ Meeting in Silicon Valley. More than 200 people attended, including a 75-person delegation from Japan. This was a rare opportunity for six Japanese governors and business leaders from their prefectures to gather in the United States at the same time. The event was packed with both theoretical and practical suggestions on state-prefecture collaboration.

The highlight of the two-day event was the plenary session on July 28, including a panel discussion with all six governors (from L to R, below): Gov. Yasushi Furukawa of Saga; Gov. Katsusada Hirose of Oita; Gov. Ryuta Ibaragi of Okayama; Dr. Heita Kawakatsu, Governor of Shizuoka and a Friend of the Council; Gov. Hiroshi Ogawa of Fukuoka; and Gov. Hidehiko Yuzaki, Governor of Hiroshima and a Friend of the Council. Prompted by moderator Ms. Emiko Higashi, USJC Member and Managing Director of Tomon Partners, the governors shared their prefectures’ economic strengths and focus points going forward, and explained how they are tackling the aging population and declining birthrate.

Other speakers of the plenary session included Dr. Daniel Okimoto, Chairman of the USJC Board of Councilors and Director Emeritus of Shorenstein APARC; Dr. Takeo Hoshi, USJC Member and Senior Fellow and Director, The Japan Program at APARC; Ms. Yoriko Kishimoto, former mayor of Palo Alto and USJC Member; and Keynote Speaker Mr. Dennis Boyle, Founding Member of IDEO, who spoke about the influence of Stanford University on the formation and success of Silicon Valley. Guests then attended a reception, where Gov. Hirose, USJC Chairman of the Board Tom Iino and USJC President Irene Hirano Inouye gave remarks, and Consul General Masato Watanabe of the Consulate-General of Japan in San Francisco delivered a toast. Guests were then invited to taste the sake and other products that each of the prefectures brought.

For the second day, July 29, the Japanese delegation and guests split into four industry groups: IT, automobile, biomedical/healthcare and consumer goods. USJC Member James Higa, Board Member Wally Tsuha, cardiologist Dr. Phillip Yang, Board Member Dennis Teranishi and Member Rona Tison were among the industry experts who led each of the four groups, discussing know-how, current trends and customs in Silicon Valley and the United States. Following presentations from the Japanese delegation and business-matching sessions, experts like Mr. Kish Rajan, Director of the California Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GOBIZ) and Ms. Tasha Yorozu, USJC Member and President of the Yorozu Law Group, spoke to the audience about the logistics of creating companies, opening offices or investing in the United States. Dr. Okimoto closed the event with recommendations for next steps, including establishing courses on entrepreneurship and innovation, conducting regular meetings among the prefectures to educate company executives and their own staff, and gathering resources among the six prefectures to open an office in Silicon Valley.

Click here for a full summary: governors_circle.


Early Bird registration rates for the 2014 USJC Annual Conference end THIS WEEKEND and regular rates begin August 11, so register now to save up to $75! Don’t miss this opportunity to attend our best Annual Conference yet in beautiful Honolulu, Hawaii at the lowest rate available!

(click here for a bilingual flyer)


Board of Directors Member Dennis Teranishi, staff member Hiroyo Nonoyama, Board of Directors Vice Chair Member Henry Y. Ota, Council Member Hal Amano and Board Chairman Thomas Iino

Click here to see photos: https//www.flickr.com/photos/usjc/sets/72157646241027924/.

On July 27, Hiro Ogawa, member of the USJC Board of Councilors, opened his Northern California home for a USJC reception. About 150 people attended, including Governor Hidehiko Yuzaki of Hiroshima prefecture (a Friend of the Council), Governor Katsusada Hirose of Oita prefecture, and government officials and business leaders of both prefectures as well as Shizuoka–all of whom were in the area for the Governors’ Meeting. Dr. Shinya Yamanaka, who recently joined the Board of Councilors and was in town for an upcoming conference, also participated. Other USJC leaders, members and supporters from the area or from Japan were also in attendance.

Chairman of the Board of Directors Tom Iino and President Irene Hirano Inouye made remarks, as did Senior Vice President Kaz Maniwa and Consul General Masato Watanabe from the Consulate-General of Japan in San Francisco. Mr. Ogawa spoke about his wife Betty, who passed away in May, and how it was her wish to host the event at their home, as they also had last year. Mr. Ogawa, who had brought Dr. Yamanaka as a Keynote Speaker to the USJC Annual Conference last year, also spoke about his support for stem cell research. He encouraged the business leaders among his guests to become entrepreneurs and to take risks.

USJC would like to once again thank Mr. Ogawa (pictured below) and his family for their kind generosity.


Introduction from Kay Fukunaga, ELP 2012:
On July 17, LT Jaden Risner, a helicopter pilot and representative of the U.S. Navy, shared a first-hand account of “Operation Tomodachi” relief efforts. In a mesmerizing and deeply-moving presentation that included photographs and video footage captured from the sky, Risner provided an intimate glimpse into the wreckage and rubble that awaited first responders to the March 11, 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

In his account, Risner painted a portrait of a nation that remained highly organized even after infrastructure and houses had been swept out to sea by the raging waters, and a people who banded together to distribute supplies in the most efficient ways possible, sharing what little they had and asking the pilots to fly on to neighboring villages to share food.

His account of “Operation Tomodachi” also shed light on a lesser-known side of America’s military: how our ships and troops are not just deployed in times of war, but also in times of peace on humanitarian missions to save lives and build friendship and goodwill among nations.

Update from LT Jaden Risner (ELP 2013)

It is hard to believe that it has been almost a year since last year’s USJC Annual Conference in Washington, DC. I feel extremely fortunate that my ELP cohort has been in constant communication since last October. Despite our busy lives, we have all made a strong effort to see one another when we find ourselves in each other’s backyard. Whether it is for work or personal reasons, we find the time to continue to build our relationships, as we all recognize the importance of our USJC connection along with our growing friendships.

I was recently provided the opportunity to travel to Hawaii to present my experiences while I was involved in Operation Tomodachi as a first responder following the 2011 Earthquake and Tsunami. As a Nisei, my experience as a first responder was unique and very personal in many ways. By timing and virtue, I was given the opportunity to help those in need in Japan, and I thank USJC Board Member Colbert Matsumoto for generously hosting the venue for this event.

With my mother being from Japan, it is truly amazing to think that I was back in Japan, helping those we consider “family.” To have my Japanese grandmother, whose generation witnessed the origin of the alliance, express support and affirmation demonstrates the profound importance of our sustained efforts to strengthen the many bridges that connect the United States and Japan. As a military humanitarian operation, Operation Tomodachi has and continues to have a profound and permanent impact on the U.S.-Japan alliance. The experiences and bonds forged during the operation are everlasting, the TOMODACHI Initiative being a perfect example.

I recognize the importance of the U.S.-Japan alliance to the security of the entire Western Pacific, and as an Officer in the United States Navy I will always do my best to maintain this strength. In an era where our strategic interests remain inextricably linked to political, security, economic and demographic trends in Asia, the United States must now more than ever strengthen its alliance with Japan.

My time in Hawaii was also an opportunity for ELP alumni to come together with many future ELP candidates. As my involvement in the Japanese American community continues to grow with the Emerging Leaders Program and the U.S.-Japan Council, I encourage everyone to continue to critically think about how they can contribute to the future of USJC. I am proud to have taken part in the program last year and am excited to see how much more we can accomplish together in the years to come.

Hawaii is truly the center point of U.S.-Japan relations and my recent trip to Hawaii was far too short. The water is warm, the sun is out and I’ve already saved my spot in the sand. I hope to see everyone this October in Hawaii!


Thank you to all of the U.S.-Japan Council Members who have supported TOMODACHI programs throughout the United States and Japan so far this summer. Because of your tremendous support and enthusiastic engagement, we have successfully completed a number of summer programs. Due to limited space, we can only highlight a few here. But we encourage you to sign-up for the monthly TOMODACHI newsletter, follow USJC and TOMODACHI on Facebook or read articles about the programs on the TOMODACHI website.

USJC President Irene Hirano Inouye traveled to Georgia and California where she met participants of the TOMODACHI Summer 2014 Coca-Cola Educational Homestay Program, the TOMODACHI Summer Softbank Leadership Program and the TOMODACHI MUFG Summer International Exchange Program.

TOMODACHI U.S.-Japan Youth Exchange Program

Friday, August 1, marked the end of the TOMODACHI U.S.-Japan Youth Exchange Program. This program promotes cultural awareness and sensitivity among Japanese and American high school students by focusing on service learning and social entrepreneurship. The participants – six Japanese and six DC high school students concluded the program by giving a presentation to their host families, USJC representatives, and representatives of the TOMODACHI Fund for Exchange sponsors, Toyota Motor Corporation, Mitsubishi Corporation, and Hitachi Ltd. During the presentation, the students highlighted their thoughts on the program and expressed their gratitude to the sponsors and organizers.

Japanese students conclude their presentation with TOMODACHI sponsor representatives: (from left to right) Mr. Tsunehiko Yanagihara (Mitsubishi), Mr. Shunji Yoshida (Toyota) and Mr. Norihiro Suzaki (Hitachi).

The TOMODACHI Inouye Scholars Program

University of Hawaii and University of Massachusetts Boston participants on the TOMODACHI Inouye Scholars Program have finished their program and returned to the United States on August 7th. The group of Hawaii traveled to Ehime prefecture, where they spent time with students at Matsuyama University and “Spread a Little Aloha” with a cultural performance there. See the video of their performance and entries from their travel blog here.

Upon returning to Tokyo, they visited the offices of Hitachi Ltd. and attended a career panel organized by the Council that included Japan-based members Eriko Talley, Evelyn Tokuyama, and Royanne Doi.

Scholars from UMass Boston enjoyed their first day in Tokyo before continuing on to Hiroshima where they spent a number of days in the city and surrounding areas visiting cultural sites. Upon returning to Tokyo, they attended a panel organized by TOMODACHI Tokyo staff on “Women Leaders: Challenges and Opportunities in Japan.” Speakers included U.S. Embassy in Tokyo Diplomats and TOMODACHI program alumni.

Read entries from the student blogs here.

Programs Currently in-progress

The 66th Japan-America Student Conference (JASC) kicked off in Iowa on August 3rd. Follow their activities on the ISC blog here.

The TOMODACHI Matsue-New Orleans Grassroots program, brought a nine delegates from Matsue, Shimane Prefecture to learn about the history of Jazz and the American South. Honorary Consul General for Japan, Mrs Donna Fraiche hosted a welcome reception at her home for the delegates and leaders of the local community.

The Japan America Society of New Orleans has an active Facebook page, where you can see photos as the group explores the city of New Orleans.


Calvin Manshio (R) with Council Member Jose Fuentes at the 2011 Annual Meeting of the Ambassador, Consuls General and Japanese American Leaders

Last month, USJC and the Japanese American community lost Calvin Manshio, a key figure in the Japanese American community. A long-time Member of the U.S.-Japan Council, Mr. Manshio had also served as the President of both the Chicago Japanese American Council and the Japanese Mutual Aid Society of Chicago. He was a participant in the 2006 Japanese American Leadership Delegation and in 2009 received a commendation from the Japanese Foreign Minister for his contributions to the U.S.-Japan relationship.

You can read more about Calvin Manshio’s efforts on behalf of the Japanese American community in this 2009 interview with the Consulate General of Japan at Chicago.


August 11 – Prime Minister Abe’s Economic “Third Arrow”: Implications for the U.S.-Japan Alliance (Torrance, CA)

In June 2014, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe completed an update of his economic policy agenda, putting forward proposals on subjects from tax and investment to agricultural reform that he hopes will improve Japan’s growth prospects and impress global investors. This “third arrow” is part of Abe’s three-pronged effort to invigorate Japan’s economy, along with the fiscal and monetary stimulus he introduced last year. What impact will the components of the “third arrow” have on U.S.–Japan business, political and economic relationships

Please join USJC, Japan America Society of Southern California and the Japan Business Association of Southern California for a panel discussion among members of the U.S. and Japanese houses of representatives. A networking reception will follow the program.

Council Members receive a $10 discount on registration; click here to reserve your space.

An event flyer is available here.

September 19 – GOLD Symposium (Tokyo)

USJC is proud to be a cooperating organization in the sixth annual Global Organization for Leadership and Diversity (GOLD Symposium). “The Power of Inclusion: Viewing Diversity Through Different Lenses” will allow innovative and creative business executives, social entrepreneurs and artists share best practices and describe new possibilities for building a culture of inclusion. For more information and to register, visit the GOLD website at:


  • Full Text of Hiroshima Peace Declaration 2014
    The Japan Times, Aug 6, 2014
  • What T-Mobile Retreat Means for Japan’s Softbank
    The Wall Street Journal Aug 6, 2014
  • Discussion on Abe’s ‘Third Arrow’ in Torrance
    Rafu Shimpo, Aug 5, 2014
  • Japan’s Security Fears Grow as Neighbors Build Up Arms
    Reuters, Aug 5, 2014
  • Japan Imposes New Sanctions on Russia But Keeps a Diplomatic Door Open
    The New York Times, Aug 5, 2014
  • Caroline Kennedy To Attend Hiroshima Ceremony
    The Wall Street Journal, Aug 4, 2014
  • Fukuda May Have Met Xi During Secret China Visit
    The Japan Times, Aug 2, 2014
  • “Womenomics” in Japan: In Brief – Congressional Research Service
    Federation of American Scientists, Aug 1, 2014
  • Japan’s Abe Wants More Women to Work, So He’s Got Big Plans for Day Care
    The Washington Post, Aug 1, 2014
  • Govt vows to cooperate with G-7 on Ukraine
    The Japan News, July 29, 2014
  • HondaJet makes public debut at U.S. aviation event
    The Asahi Shimbun, July 29, 2014
  • U.S. Ospreys to take part in Japan tsunami drill in October
    The Japan Times, July 29, 2014
  • Cutler: Now ‘Right Time” to Conclude TPP Talks
    The Japan News, July 25, 2014
  • Suntory’s Niinami Says Companies Need Fresh Talent
    The Wall Street Journal, July 24, 2014