U.S.-Japan Council Newsletter (July 19th, 2018)

Supporting Those Affected by the Japan Floods


Japan is currently experiencing what is considered the worst weather disaster the country has faced in 36 years. The floods and landslides in western Japan this month led to severe damage, most notably in the Ehime, Hiroshima and Okayama Prefectures. Hundreds of people have lost their lives, many have suffered damages to their homes, and many more are left without water.

The U.S.-Japan Council (USJC) and our friends at other U.S.-Japan related organizations offer heartfelt thoughts to all who are affected. Many in the U.S. have strong ties to the Ehime, Hiroshima and Okayama communities through people-to-people programs and exchanges. Many Japanese Americans also have family ties or personal connections to the region.

USJC, the Japanese American Citizens League, the Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California (JCCCNC), the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai‘i and the United States-Japan Foundation have established the Japan Flood Friendship Fund (JFFF) to aid those who are affected. 100% of the contributions will go to relief efforts through our network of nonprofit organizations that are working on the ground. We also welcome organizations that would be interested in partnering with us to support those in need.

Please consider donating through the form here. If you would prefer to pay by check, please make your check payable to the U.S.-Japan Council and mail to:

U.S.-Japan Council
Attn: Japan Flood Friendship Fund
1819 L Street, NW, Suite 800
Washington, DC 20036

If you have any inquiries or would like to partner with us, please write to [email protected] or call 202-223-6840.

Recent Events

Members and Friends Come Together for DC Summer Barbecue

On July 14, DC Regional Chair and Council Leader Edson Mori hosted nearly 100 attendees at his home for a summer barbecue, where he treated guests to his grilled Brazilian picanha. His wife Lisa and friends prepared pão de queijoonigiri, potato salad, grilled corn, pineapple and other dishes and desserts.

Mr. Mori (left) and Member of the USJC Board of Directors Dave Boone take their second annual Aloha shirt photo

Many USJC members, Corporate Members and members of the Japan Commerce Association of Washington attended the barbecue and spent a warm summer evening with great food and engaging conversations.

Thank you to Mr. Mori for hosting a lovely barbecue, and thanks to all who helped or brought dishes!

Click here to see more photos from the barbecue.


The following article is part of a year-long series by participants of the 2018 Japanese American Leadership Delegation (JALD).

Reflection from Chris Uehara (JALD ’18)

A trip of a lifetime–that’s what the JALD alumni told me during briefings prior to my trip this past March. They were right; this trip woke my soul and spoke to me about where I came from and how I can make a difference for others to follow.

As JALD delegates, we had access and opportunities during our weeklong visit that many never have in a lifetime. Our access to dignitaries, business executives and leaders of Japan was unprecedented. We held conversations surrounding the stability of Japan, changes to the political landscape in the United States, diplomatic challenges facing Japan in its East Asian relations, and the nation’s economic growth and security challenges. These are all very important discussions, but perhaps the larger takeaways from this trip for me were the rich culture, wonderful people and incredible sights that make Japan what it is.


Anyone visiting Tokyo must visit the Meiji Shrine and the adjacent Yoyogi Park, which create a unique footprint within the city. Meiji Jingu’s forest consists of approximately 100,000 trees that were donated from regions across the entire country. On New Year’s Day and the days that follow, more than three million visitors visit the shrine for the year’s first prayers (hatsumode).

A fond memory for me was our visit to Princess Takamado’s residence. After all, it isn’t every day you get to meet a princess. Princess Takamado is a member of the Japanese Imperial Family as the widow of Norihito, Prince Takamado, who was a first cousin of Emperor Akihito. Princess Takamado is elegant, graceful and has the most charming personality. The princess made us feel important, and I now feel a deep responsibility to the people of Japan that I will carry forward.


No visit to Japan is complete without a stop at the Tsukiji Fish Market. It is the biggest wholesale fish and seafood market in the world, and one of the largest wholesale food markets of any kind. In January 2013, a 222-kilogram bluefin tuna was sold there for 155.4 million yen.


As I reflect upon my JALD experience, I feel compelled to call attention to the fact that the United States of America was built upon the diversity of immigrants from all over the world. We must embrace our individual cultures and pay forward the stories we were told, keeping our heritage alive, so that our children will take the dreams of the generations before them and turn them into lived experiences.

In closing, I want to thank the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Consul General Kojiro Uchiyama, the U.S.-Japan Council and Irene Hirano Inouye for providing me with this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.


Register Now for the 2018 USJC Annual Conference in Tokyo!


U.S.-Japan Council 2018 Annual Conference
Partnering for Impact Today, Investing in a Sustainable Tomorrow
Cerulean Tower Tokyu Hotel, Tokyo, Japan
November 8-9

Registration is open for the U.S.-Japan Council 2018 Annual Conference, to be held November 8-9!

Each year, USJC’s Annual Conference is attended by distinguished U.S. and Japanese leaders from all sectors, including business, government and civil society. This year, USJC returns to Tokyo to discuss how the United States and Japan can build a sustainable future together. The Conference will explore ways to collaborate toward mutual goals like supporting women leaders, and face common challenges, including aging populations and security issues in Asia. We will also discuss regional ties among various cities in both countries, the impact the midterm elections will have in the United States, strengthening philanthropy in Japan, and ways Tokyo can leverage the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games for future growth.

Join USJC & USJC (Japan) in Tokyo to discuss how to create lasting partnerships and benefit communities on both sides of the Pacific. Click here to learn more and to register.

Staffing Update: New Program Coordinator in USJC DC Office

Tamaki Laycock has joined us as Program Coordinator, working out of the Washington, DC office. Prior to joining USJC, Tamaki worked for Fontheim International, a social corporate responsibility firm, as Executive and Research Assistant to the CEO. Prior to her move to the United States, she studied at the University of York in York, England, and earned a BA in Politics with International Relations. As a student, she was elected as Academic Officer for the University of York Students’ Union, working to benefit students locally and nationally on matters of education policy and national politics. She was active on campus as an organizer and campaigner and followed her passion in the arts as Chair of the World Cinema Society. She was born in Mie Prefecture, Japan, and raised internationally, leading to an appreciation for people-to-people relations on an international scale.

Upcoming Events

U.S.-Japan Council Emerging Leaders Program Day at Angel Stadium


When: August 12, 2018 at 1:07pm
Where: Angel Stadium (Anaheim, CA)

Join the Emerging Leaders Program alumni as they host a special Japanese Heritage Day at Angel Stadium! Each ticket guarantees a bobblehead of two-way Japanese baseball star Shohei Ohtani. After purchasing tickets, please see your confirmation email for information on how to pick up your bobblehead at the game. Click here or on the image above to purchase tickets.

Righting a Wrong: Japanese Americans and World War II


When: Ongoing through December 8, 2018
Where: National Museum of American History (Washington, DC)

Last year, the National Museum of American History opened an exhibit to mark 75 years since Executive Order 9066 authorized the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. On display are artifacts, photographs and stories collected from Japanese American families. There will also be public programming throughout the year related to this exhibit.

For more information on the exhibit, please visit the official website.


Director of Partnerships & Development (Washington, DC)

USJC’s DC office seeks a candidate who is committed to the goals of the organization and can bring experience in development and in building and maintaining effective partnerships with donors, sponsors and other stakeholders. The Director of Partnerships & Development would work closely with corporate and individual donors that have a vested interest in U.S.-Japan relations. We seek a candidate who will serve as a key member of the leadership team to develop mid- to long-term strategies in development and work closely with staff and board leadership in the implementation of development plans.

Click here for more information about the position.

Development Coordinator (Washington, DC)

The Development Coordinator position will be primarily responsible for administrative and operational support for USJC development activities. This position will provide direct support to the Director of Partnerships & Development and to the President. Administrative office support is also given as assigned. The Development Coordinator will interface with donors and related stakeholders.

Click here for more information about the position.

Intern (Washington, DC)

The intern will provide support for Programs and Communications on a part-time or full-time basis. Duties will consist of program and event coordination and support, website/social media support, organization of and attendance at special events, outreach and communication, writing and translation (if able). This is an excellent internship for those hoping to gain experience in the programmatic, digital and strategic marketing and/or nonprofit fields. USJC’s internship program offers outstanding opportunities for college students, graduate students and graduates who are interested in U.S.-Japan relations.

Click here for more information about the position.

TOMODACHI Marketing & Communications Manager (Tokyo)

The Marketing & Communications Manager is responsible for developing and implementing a comprehensive strategic communications program to develop the profile and brand of the TOMODACHI Initiative among a diverse audience and stakeholders, including senior corporate executives, government leaders, program participants, donors, press and the general public. The Marketing & Communications Manager will work closely with teams within the TOMODACHI Initiative in the implementation of this mission, as well as with the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo.

Click here for more information about the position.