U.S.-Japan Council Newsletter (February 5th, 2015)

JALD Program Orientation Held in Los Angeles

From January 30 to 31, members of the 2015 Japanese American Leadership Delegation (JALD) gathered in Los Angeles for a two-day orientation.

The meetings were held at the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center in Little Tokyo, and were facilitated by USJC President Irene Hirano Inouye and Senior Vice President Kaz Maniwa, along with Consul Izuru Shimmura of the Consulate General of Japan in Los Angeles. 2002 JALD participant Mitch Maki led the group on a tour of the exhibition, Common Ground, the Heart of Community, at the Japanese American National Museum. Naomi Takasu spoke on behalf of the Japan Foundation, and Consul General Harry H. Horinouchi gave a briefing on U.S.-Japan Relations. Several USJC Council Members also participated in the orientation; Yuko Kaifu spoke about current social issues in Japan, and Kenji Kushida provided an overview of Japan’s political economy. Program alumni Debra Nakatomi and Stan Koyanagi spoke about membership engagement with USJC, as well as what to expect during the trip to Japan.

Consul General Horinouchi speaking to the delegates

Consul General Horinouchi hosted the delegates, along with local program alumni, at his home on Friday evening. On Saturday, the Japanese Business Association of Southern California held a networking dinner for the group at the Miyako Hotel to conclude the orientation.

The 2015 delegation is comprised of ten leaders in business, law, medicine, science, technology and non-profit sectors from Chapel Hill, Chicago, Denver, Detroit, Honolulu, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, New York and Washington, DC. They are active in their communities, engaged in U.S.-Japan relations and committed to furthering relationships between Japanese Americans and Japan.

The group will travel to Tokyo and Hiroshima from March 6 to 14, where they will meet with top business and government officials and participate in a symposium co-sponsored by the Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership.

More information and delegate biographies can be found at the JALD webpage.


Click here to see more photos from this year’s orientation.

U.S. and Japan Experts Discuss Innovation in Silicon Valley

Professor Takeo Hoshi speaking at the conference at Stanford University (Photos by Rod Searcey)

From January 22 to 23, 21 experts from Japan and the United States gathered at Stanford University to discuss innovation, promote exchange of best practices, and enhance connections between the two countries. This was part of the Stanford-Sasakawa Peace Foundation New Channels Dialogue. The conference was sponsored by the Sasakawa Peace Foundation (SPF) and organized by the Japan Program at the Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center (APARC), in association with USJC. Speakers included USJC Members Kenji Kushida and Takeo Hoshi, as well as Ambassador John V. Roos (click here to see the agenda and full list of speakers).

Click here to read a detailed summary of the program on the APARC website.

Among the speakers were Council Member Takeo Hoshi (front row, second from left), Ambassador Roos (front row, third from left) and Council Member Kenji Kushida (back row, second from right). Also pictured: Associate Members Kei Ashizawa (back row, third from left) and Ginger Vaughn (back row, right)

Click here to see more photos.


There are a number of regional TOMODACHI events and activities coming up across the United States. Find out what’s happening near you. Get involved! Come out and support!

  • Recruiting for the TOMODACHI Leadership Conference has begun! We are seeking American and Japanese undergraduate and graduate students studying in Central/Northern California to participate in a weekend leadership conference April 10-12. The deadline for applications is Feb. 20, 2015. The conference flyer and information on applying can be found here.
  • Building the TOMODACHI Generation (Washington, DC) – This two-week college program brings together Japanese and American college students to learn about cross-sector partnerships. Groups will present their proposals for Tohoku-based cross-sector partnerships on Friday. Feb. 27, 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Presentations are open to the public.
Participants of the Building the TOMODACHI Generation Program

TOMODACHI Inouye Scholars Program (DC, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles and Honolulu) – From March 4 to 14, 100 Japanese college students from four universities will be in the United States for 10 days on the reciprocal portion of this exchange program. Created in honor of Senator Daniel K. Inouye, the scholars will spend time in DC, Los Angeles and a third city. Read more about the USJC faculty leads, program design and reflections by the U.S. students here. To get involved with this program in your area, contact Hiroyo Nonoyama at [email protected].

TOMODACHI Inouye Scholars
  • Host families needed for the TOMODACHI Social Innovation in Seattle Scholars program (Seattle) – Starting Feb. 23, a group of 25 talented Japanese college students and early professionals will come to Seattle for a five-week intensive training in leadership and social entrepreneurship. 2-, 3-, and 5-week hosting options are available! More information can be found here.
Participants of the TOMODACHI Social Innovation in Seattle Scholars Program

Kizuna Across Cultures is seeking Japanese high schools to participate in its Global Classmates virtual classroom exchange program. Information about the program and applying can be found here. Deadline for schools in Japan to apply is Feb. 20. Recruitment for U.S. schools will begin later this spring.

For more information about the above programs or to volunteer for opportunities in your area, please contact Mya Fisher at [email protected]. And if you know of exchange or international opportunities for young people (i.e. the TOMODACHI generation) that you would like to share, please submit them for the newsletter.

TOMODACHI Emerging Leaders Program News Corner

This is a year-long series of articles by the 2014 class of the TOMODACHI Emerging Leaders Program.

Reflection from Lynn Miyahira (ELP 2014)

Lynn Miyahira (center) received a Kenjin Kai Young Achiever Award from the United Japanese Society of Hawaii on January 24

They say that “success breeds success” and I find that to be very true. After I was selected for the 2014 class of the TOMODACHI Emerging Leaders Program (ELP), the United Japanese Society of Hawaii (UJSH) honored me as one of three 2014-2015 Kenjin Kai Young Achievers. The Kenjin Kai Young Achiever award is given to several young members from the various groups that make up the UJSH, and I had the honor of representing the Hawaii United Okinawa Association. I’m sure that my participation in USJC’s ELP played a big role in why I was selected for this honor.

I was incredibly humbled by how many people from our Okinawan association came to the luncheon on January 24th, where the UJSH also honored our very own Dennis Teranishi (Chairman of the Board of Directors at USJC) for his imperial decorations, which were bestowed on him by the Government of Japan. Just looking around the room, I recognized a lot of faces from the USJC Annual Conference, and it was a really nice feeling when they recognized me as well!

In my speech to the audience at the luncheon, I mentioned that a common concern that all of our Japanese cultural groups face is the need to get more young people involved. I am often asked, “How do we get more young people?” My question back to them is often “How did you get involved?” and almost always the response has something to do with a personal relationship to someone who was already involved—either a parent, grandparent, or friend—someone important in their life asked them to get involved. For me it was my father. My dad Wayne was slated to be president of UJSH back in 2008 before he suddenly passed away. I’m proud that I am able to follow in his footsteps and that many of his friends still mentor me along the way. I know that he would be proud of my involvement with the U.S.-Japan Council.

Being part of the ELP group has truly given me an appreciation for the larger Japanese American community. It’s really exciting to see what all of our fellow Emerging Leaders are doing all over the country! We all share a common pride in our heritage, and we understand how that connection is deeper than just a simple networking tool—we “get it.” I am incredibly grateful to be part of ELP, and I’m looking forward to see what other successes it breeds.

UJSH also honored USJC Chairman of the Board of Directors Dennis Teranishi (front row, right) on the same day


Feb. 19 – JAPAN in 2015 Symposium

  • Date & Time: Thursday, February 19, 2015 at 2 p.m.
  • Location: InterContinental Los Angeles Century City at Bevery Hills

JAPAN in 2015 Symposium will gather leading experts on Japan from across the United States and Japan to take an in-depth look and “forecast” the coming year on Japanese domestic affairs, U.S.-Japan bilateral economic and security relationship and U.S.-Japan cooperation in international affairs. This event will feature Mr. Larry Meyer, Chief Executive Officer of UNIQLO USA, as the keynote speaker.

Presented by the Japan America Society of Southern California with the Japan Business Association of Southern California. USJC is a co-sponsor. For more information and to register, click here.


Executive Director, TOMODACHI Initiative

The U.S.-Japan Council is seeking a talented, dynamic individual for the position of Executive Director, TOMODACHI Initiative. The Executive Director of the TOMODACHI Initiative is responsible for the implementation of the goals and objectives of the initiative, providing leadership and oversight of program development and management, fundraising, communications and operations for TOMODACHI. The Executive Director will be based in Tokyo and manage the TOMODACHI staff in Japan (currently 8 people), and will work closely with the Senior Vice-President and U.S.-Japan Council staff in the United States. The Executive Director will have the primary responsibility for day-to-day liaising with the U.S. Embassy leadership and staff.

Review of applications will begin February 23, and the preferred start date is April 1. A listing of qualifications and responsibilities is available on the USJC website.

U.S. and Japan in the News

  • Decision on new sports for Tokyo Games put off until 2016
    The Washington Post, Feb 5
  • Facing up to international terrorism / Foreign intelligence key against terrorism
    The Japan News, Feb 5
  • McDonald’s Japan pushed into loss by food safety woes
    Reuters, Feb 5
  • Abe seeks national referendum for amending the Constitution as early as late 2016
    The Asahi Shimbun, Feb 4
  • Sony trims full-year loss forecast to $1.4 billion
    The Washington Post, Feb 4
  • Top WSJ Stories on Japan: BOJ Nominee, TV Makers, Muslims
    The Wall Street Journal, Feb 4
  • Facing up to international terrorism / Crisis response, a turning point
    The Japan News, Feb 3
  • Work begins to build interim nuclear soil storage in Fukushima
    Mainichi Shimbun, Feb 3
  • Japan and Islamic State: The bitter end
    The Economist, Feb 2
  • Tokyo offers to cut tariffs on U.S. pork in TPP talks, sources say
    The Japan Times, Feb 2
  • Beloved Japanese Author Answers Questions At ‘Mr. Murakami’s Place’
    NPR, Feb 2
  • Super Bowl Party is Good Business in Tokyo
    The Wall Street Journal, Feb 2
  • Departing From Japan’s Pacifism, Shinzo Abe Vows Revenge for Killings
    The New York Times, Feb 1
  • Researcher works to make database of A-bomb survivor accounts
    Mainichi Shimbun, Feb 1
  • ISIS: Japanese hostage beheaded
    CNN, Jan 31
  • Weaker yen boosts forcasts at major firms
    The Japan News, Jan 31
  • Honda lowers forecasts after recalls push profit down
    The Washington Post, Jan 30
  • Gov’t panel calls for watchdog to oversee controversial foreign trainee program
    Mainichi Shimbun, Jan 30
  • Japan, U.S., South Korea seek credible denuclearization talks with North Korea
    The Japan Times, Jan 29
  • U.S. Textbook Skews History, Prime Minister of Japan Says
    The New York Times, Jan 29
  • Dollar slips below ¥118 as selling picks up pace
    The Japan News, Jan 29
  • New message says ’24 hours left’ for Islamic State’s Japanese hostage
    Mainichi Shimbun, Jan 28
  • Toyota’s global output reaches new record
    The Japan News, Jan 28
  • Nishikori Bows Out of Australian Open
    The Wall Street Journal, Jan 28
  • Top WSJ Stories on Japan: $5 Million Gift to Columbia University, Uniqlo, Social Withdrawal
    The Wall Street Journal, Jan 27
  • DPJ questions Abe’s timing of Mideast aid
    The Japan Times, Jan 27
  • Clothes to be certified ‘Made in Japan’
    The Japan News, Jan 27
  • 2014 trade deficit hits record high of ¥12.78 tril.
    The Japan News, Jan 26
  • Former DPJ lawmaker Goto wins Yamanashi gubernatorial race
    Mainichi Shimbun, Jan 26
  • Australia deal may spur resolution of TPP
    The Japan News, Jan 25
  • Abe in Contact With Jordan Amid Hostage Crisis
    The Wall Street Journal, Jan 25
  • Two Japanese Hostages, as Different as Can Be, Linked by Fate in Syria
    The New York Times, Jan 25
  • Diet session to start Monday, with focus on security bills
    The Japan Times, Jan 24
  • Nursing to be added to foreign trainee program, but Japanese skills required
    The Asahi Shimbun, Jan 24
  • Memorial ceremony held for Japanese war dead on Iwo Jima
    Mainichi Shimbun, Jan 24
  • Fate Of Japanese Hostages Unclear After Islamic State’s Deadline Lapses
    NPR, Jan 23
  • Govt keeps economic outlook unchanged
    The Japan News, Jan 23
  • Sumo Yokozuna Hakuho Breaks All-Time Championship Win Record
    The Wall Street Journal, Jan 23