U.S.-Japan Council Newsletter (December 30th, 2013)


Dear USJC Friends,

Before the year comes to a close, I want to extend sincere thanks to everyone who has supported the U.S.-Japan Council.  We are fortunate to have dedicated Council Members, Leadership and Staff along with our many supporters and partners.    

This year, the Council has furthered our mission of building people-to-people relationships through our many programs and events.  Signature programs like the Japanese American Leadership Delegation (JALD) program in March and legislative programs throughout the year were important cornerstones to our work. Our two major events, Japan Week in May and the Annual Conference in October, both had a record number of attendees, speakers and events. These programs showcased the wide range of fields in which the United States and Japan are cooperating, from trade, security and science to sports and culinary diplomacy.  Our Emerging Leaders Program continues to foster the next generation of Japanese American leaders. 

We have been honored to work with the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo to grow the TOMODACHI Initiative, which concluded a second highly successful year reaching over 10,000 young people.  TOMODACHI’s nearly fifty programs focus on young professionals as well as students; center on subjects that range from music to sports to NPO and women’s leadership; and invite participants from all across the United States and Japan. Former Ambassador John V. Roos and Susie Roos led a dedicated team to build TOMODACHI as a significant U.S.-Japan partnership.  We are fortunate to have an incredible new partner in Ambassador Caroline Kennedy, whose dedication to education and passion to support young people make her the perfect Ambassador for TOMODACHI’s future.

2014 promises to be another exciting year. Our Annual Conference will be in Honolulu, Hawaii from October 9 to 10, 2014.  We are planning another set of meetings in Japan at the end of May, and will bring six Governors from Japan to the Silicon Valley to build new regional business and government collaborations.  A year-long slate of TOMODACHI programs will reach even more young people in Japan and the United States.

I’d like to thank those of you who have provided invaluable financial support this year of the U.S.-Japan Council’s programs including TOMODACHI.  Generous contributions and membership gifts make our activities possible.  I invite you to consider a year-end contribution to the Council by using the DONATE button below which will help ensure the success of our 2014 programs.   

In closing, I would like to acknowledge the outpouring of support from throughout the United States and Japan, since the passing of Senator Dan Inouye a year ago.  As one of the Council’s founders, Dan wanted to ensure that there would be an organization dedicated to ensuring that Japanese Americans would play a significant role in strengthening U.S.-Japan relations.  I know he would be proud of the many ways that we have engaged leaders across all generations to work together to build a vibrant organization that will be committed to his vision of ensuring a strong and vibrant relationship between the United States and Japan far into the future.  

Our best wishes for the Holiday Season and we look forward to working with you in the New Year!


Irene Hirano Inouye

The U.S.-Japan Council is a 501(c)3 non-profit and donations to the organization will be tax deductible.  The U.S.-Japan Council’s Employer Identification Number is 90-0447211.


The new year is approaching in two days, but adding to the excitement this time is the 125th Tournament of the Roses Parade (a.k.a. the “Rose Parade”) in Pasadena, Calif. American Honda, which is the Presenting Sponsor of the 2014 Rose Parade, has made it possible for former TOMODACHI students in southern California to actively participate in the Rose Parade.  Students will be carrying the banner on the Honda float (see the rendering below), where a video messagefrom TOMODACHI students in Japan will be played to convey their gratitude for the support given to Japan by the American people after the Great East Japan Earthquake (and wish everyone a new year). Honda’s upcoming NSX sports car, HondaJet, and the humanoid robot ASIMO will also be part of the float. 

The Rose Parade will be televised in 220 locations worldwide, and in the U.S. will be shown 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Eastern / 8 a.m. – 10 a.m. Pacific. Council Member Frank Buckley will be covering a pre-parade show with KTLA Channel 5. 

Honda plans to create the “TOMODACHI Honda Cultural Exchange Program,” which will be implemented for a three-year period between 2015 and 2017. Participation in the Rose Parade serves as a kick-off to this Program, which will develop future generations with an experiential learning program of Music as a Universal Language. Guided by the slogan “The Power of Dreams,” it will continue to forge friendships and understanding between the people of the United States and Japan while giving the people of the Tohoku region the opportunity to thank those who help them rebuild. For more information, see the press release here.