U.S.-Japan Council Newsletter (July 24th, 2014)

2014 Annual Conference Early Bird Registration Rates Ending Soon!

Early Bird registration rates for the 2014 USJC Annual Conference end on August 11, so register now to save up to $75! Keep an eye on your inbox for updates including speaker information and full event descriptions.

Join us in Honolulu for this year’s Annual Conference, October 9-11!

July 28-29 Governors’ Circle Meetings In Silicon Valley – Registration Remains Open

As part of the U.S.-Japan Council’s Governors’ Circle initiative, USJC and the Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center (APARC) will convene a Japan Governors’ Meeting in Silicon Valley next week.

A plenary session and networking reception/sake tasting will take place on Monday, July 28 from 2:00 to 7:30pm at Stanford University’s Arrillaga Alumni Center.

For more information and to register, visit bit.ly/GovCircle.


Terry Shima And Mary Murakami Speak To Tomodachi Students About Their Japanese American Experience

On July 23, Veteran Terry Shima and former internee Mary Murakami (pictured above) presented their stories of being Japanese Americans in the United States during the latter years of World War II with the 2014 cohort of American and Japanese participants of the TOMODACHI U.S.-Japan Youth Exchange program. Mary shared with the students her experience with her family leaving San Francisco and settling in internment camps in California and ultimately in Camp Topaz, Utah. Terry spoke about the accomplishments of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team and the military service of other Japanese Americans. Participants of the TOMODACHI program asked questions and were moved by the photos and other materials shared by Ms. Murakami from her days in the camps, including her high school diploma. For the students it was their first time to hear about the lives of Japanese-Americans at this particular point in history. In closing, Mr. Shima and Ms. Murakami gave words of encouragement to the students. “I hope you can overcome the barriers you face in life,” stated Ms. Murakami. The TOMODACHI students will also visit the Memorial to Japanese-American Patriotism in World War II during their time in Washington, DC.

Tomodachi Programs Summer Updates

There are a number TOMODACHI programs happening around the United States right now. Here are a few highlights of TOMODACHI programs where USJC Members have taken part in supporting programming and or that contain educational elements related to Japanese-Americans.

Japan to United States

Sixty Japanese participants of the TOMODACHI Coca-Cola Educational Homestay Program arrived in Atlanta on July 21 to begin their two-week visit to the United States. The next day, Coca-Cola hosted a reception (pictured above) for the students and USJC President Irene Hirano Inouye attended, meeting students, host families and Coca-Cola executives. The students are disbursed among four communities for their 10-day homestay and language study program. The host communities are Elizabethtown, Kentucky; Athens, Georgia; Columbus, Ohio; and Salem, Oregon.

The TOMODACHI Summer SoftBank Leadership Program began on July 23 with an opening ceremony in Berkeley, California. Council Member Susan Muranishi spoke to the 100 student participants from Japan about the Council. Members in the Bay Area have also volunteered to host students for a weekend during the program!

Twenty six students from the disaster-affected areas of Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures arrive in California today to participate in the two-week TOMODACHI MUFG International Exchange Program.

Students from Keio Shonan Fujisawa High School arrived in Washington, DC on July 21 to participate in the 2014 TOMODACHI U.S.-Japan Youth Exchange Program alongside six high school students who attend DC public schools. On Wednesday, TOMODACHI Atlas Corps fellows Mari Seto and Moeko Shinohara joined USJC Program Manager Mya Fisher, Kazuya Kato, Sasakawa Peace Foundation USA and Shanti Shoji, Kizuna Across Cultures on a panel titled “Pathways to Global Citizenship: Stories of U.S.-Japan Cultural Exchange.”  The panelists shared stories of how they found their careers as well as how they made some of their educational choices. Following the panel, the students mingled with the speakers to ask more questions, share their own ambitions and seek advice.

Thirty six Japanese college students will arrive in Des Moines on July 30 to join their American peers for the 66th Annual Japan America Student Conference. After Iowa, the group will be traveling to San Francisco, New York City and Washington, DC. In San Francisco, they plan to meet with participants of the TOMODACHI Softbank program. In New York City, they are holding a day-long series of panels reflecting on the U.S.-Japan relationship in the years immediately following WWII as well as a career fair. In Washington, DC, they welcome USJC Members to attend their Final Forum presentations. TOMODACHI is one of many financial supporters of this year’s program.

United States to Japan

The final two groups of TOMODACHI Inouye Scholars will depart for Japan on July 28 for their 10-day visit. The delegation from the University of Massachusetts Boston, led by Council Member Paul Watanabe (pictured above; article here), will be visiting Tokyo and Hiroshima. The University of Hawaii group, organized by Member Dennis Ogawa, will be visiting Matsuyama City in Ehime Prefecture and Tokyo. Click here to view program website and profiles of the students.

There is a lot going on with TOMODACHI just within these next couple of weeks! Check back in the next newsletter for more updates and photos!



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: httpsgoldleaders.org/gold_uevents_2014_symp_about.htm

U.S. & Japan In The News

  • 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
  • Record 6.26 Mil. Foreign Visitors Arrive in Jan.-Jun
    The Japan News, July 23, 2014
  • Heart Mountain Pilgrimage to Honor Veterans
    Rafu Shimpo, July 22, 2014
  • Japan to Invite Not Only Japanese- But Asian-American Leaders from 2014
    Kyodo News, July 21, 2014
  • Interview: Minister Mori on Japan’s Declining Birthrate
    The Wall Street Journal, July 18, 2014
  • Messaging App Firm Line Corp Filed for U.S. IPO: Report
    Reuters, July 17, 2014
  • Nissan’s Ghosn Wary of Japan PM Abe’s Target of 30 Percent Women in Top Jobs
    Reuters, July 17, 2014
  • Japan Outlines Rules on Using Secrecy Law
    Japan Times, July 17, 2014
  • Japan Gives Green Light to Restart Pair of Nuclear Reactors
    The Washington Post, July 16, 2014
  • JA General Awaits Senate Confirmation
    Rafu Shimpo, July 16, 2014
  • Serial Entrepreneur William Saito on Startups in Japan
    Tech In Asia, July 16, 2014
  • 60% of Top Keidanren Firms Set Targets for Women Execs
    The Japan News, July 15, 2014
  • Japan’s Robot Revolution
    CNN, July 15, 2014
  • Go For Broke to Lease Space in JANM’s Historic Building
    Rafu Shimpo, July 13, 2014
  • Hagel’s Budding Bromance with Japan’s Onodera
    The Wall Street Journal, July 12, 2014
  • Abe Vows TPP Deal by End of Year; U.S. Pork Lobby Pushes for Concessions
    Japan Times, July 11, 2014
  • Goldman Sachs’ Matsui Challenges “Myths” of Womenomics
    The Wall Street Journal, July 10, 2014
  • Inflation is Changing Japan, Says Incoming Suntory President Niinami
    The Wall Street Journal, July 10, 2014
  • 442nd Combat Medic Kuwayama Dies at 96; Saved Sen. Inouye’s Life in Po Valley Campaign
    Rafu Shimpo, July 09, 2014