U.S.-Japan Council Newsletter (June 23rd, 2016)

USJC Members in DC Build Relations with the Embassy of Japan

On June 15, Minister Takuya Sasayama, Minister and Head of Chancery at the Embassy of Japan, held an informal discussion with USJC members in the Washington, DC region.

Minister Sasayama arrived in Washington in February to assume responsibilities that include maintaining relations with the local Japanese American community. He was previously posted in South Korea, Malaysia and Mexico in between his years in Tokyo, working on free trade agreements and multilateral meetings like APEC and ASEAN.

(L-R) Minister Sasayama, Council Leader & DC Regional Chair Mark Uyeda and Council Leader Janet Nuzum

The interactive discussion addressed how Japanese Americans and the Japanese government can collaborate in the DC region. Members expressed their wish to have more Japanese supermarkets and restaurants, and asked that the Embassy support such businesses. They also noted that a Nikkei community center would be ideal because the Japanese and Japanese American community is dispersed throughout DC, Virginia and Maryland, making it difficult for people to meet one another easily. Additionally, this limits the ability for the Japanese American community to conduct businesses across state borders, as each state and the District has its own regulations.

Members drew upon their varied experience, with professions ranging from the U.S. government, non-profit organizations and private businesses, to provide insightful comments about the social scene in DC. They discussed opportunities to tap into underexplored communities, such as U.S. military personnel who were previously stationed in Japan. Members also noted the importance of the Japanese American narrative in light of recent events, and how, based on their experiences during World War II, they could help defend Muslims against prejudice.

(L-R) USJC Associate Rei Tsuchiya, Minister Sasayama, Council Leader David Boone and USJC Membership Coordinator Lauren Mosely

Other topics included the Japanese American Leadership Delegation program, which is sponsored by the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), the upcoming U.S. presidential elections and the U.S.-Japan military alliance.

Annual Conference

2016 USJC Annual Conference: Early Bird Rates Expiring at the End of June


Monday, November 14, 2016 to Tuesday, November 15, 2016*(*There will also be TOMODACHI Emerging Leaders programming on Nov. 12 and USJC Members Day programming on Nov. 13)

Imagine. Innovate. Inspire. – The Silicon Valley Experience

Have you registered for USJC’s Seventh Annual Conference, to be held in Silicon Valley, California? Early bird rates expire after June 30. Register now to get the best rate available!

Held in the center of high-tech startups and development, this year’s Conference will be an opportunity to advance an innovative agenda in U.S.-Japan relations, exchange views among leaders about challenges and opportunities, and identify ways that the U.S.-Japan relationship can be strengthened. It will be attended by hundreds of distinguished American and Japanese leaders from all sectors, providing a unique opportunity for learning and networking. It will highlight innovation and entrepreneurship, and inspire the next generation of leaders.

Featured keynote speakers this year include Hiroaki Nakanishi, Chairman & CEO of Hitachi, LTD., and Brad Smith, President & CLO of Microsoft Corporation.

If you have questions about the 2016 Annual Conference, please contact Shane Graves, Director of Program Development, at [email protected] or +1-202-223-6855.

To register, please visit the USJC Annual Conference webpage in either English or Japanese.

We look forward to seeing you in Silicon Valley in November!

Want to win FREE REGISTRATION for the Conference? Check out our ongoing Social Media Contest!


Chicago Orientation Held for American Delegates of TOMODACHI Mitsui Program

From June 3 to 4, USJC members in Chicago welcomed ten American delegates of the TOMODACHI-Mitsui & Co. Leadership Program for an orientation preceding their trip to Japan. USJC Midwest Regional Co-Chairs, Dayne Kono and Marion Friebus-Flaman, as well as other Chicago-based USJC members, contributed to the ongoing success of the program. Mr. Kono and Ms. Friebus-Flaman moderated two leadership panels and attended a dinner reception hosted by Consul General Toshiyuki Iwado at his residence Friday evening in Evansville.

Mr. Kono (right) moderating a discussion with Japanese business leaders

The American delegates will travel to Fukushima and Tokyo for one week in July. As part of their trip, they will meet their ten Japanese delegate counterparts, who will in turn experience Detroit and Washington, DC in September.

Generously funded by Mitsui & Co., Ltd., the TOMODACHI-Mitsui & Co. Leadership Program is now in its fourth year. It contributes to building a “TOMODACHI generation” of creative thinkers and driven doers who are invested in the future of U.S.-Japan relations.

The American delegation pictured with Consul General Iwado and USJC President Irene Hirano Inouye

Seeking DC Area Host Families

The TOMODACHI U.S.-Japan Youth Exchange Program is seeking host families for nine Japanese high school students, and their chaperone, for just under two weeks this summer. The dates of the program are July 19-31. Students have programming during the day on weekdays, and would be with hosts most evenings and the weekends. Please consider hosting them, and sharing this information with others. This is a short but high-impact program.

Any inquiries can be directed to Benjamin Gaylord (American Councils for International Education) at [email protected]. ACIE is seeking to identify host families in the next week.


TOMODACHI Emerging Leaders Program 2016 – Applications Open!

Are you a Japanese American young professional interested in U.S.-Japan relations? The TOMODACHI Emerging Leaders Program wants you!

USJC’s TOMODACHI Emerging Leaders Program (ELP) is now accepting applications. ELP identifies, cultivates and empowers a new generation of Japanese American leaders. Emerging Leaders participate in leadership education, design and implement original USJC programming, and develop powerful, lifelong personal and professional friendships. This year’s participants will also attend the 2016 Annual Conference in Silicon Valley in November for multi-day workshops and programming.

Learn more and apply today on the ELP webpageThe application deadline in Sunday, July 10.

Upcoming Events

June 18 – 26: Pan Asian Repertory Theatre Presents: NO-NO BOY (NY)

Throughout the month of June, the Pan Asian Repertory Theatre is producing NO-NO BOYa play adapted from John Okada’s 1957 novel of the same name. Written by Ken Narasaki in 2010, the play explores the fate of Japanese and Japanese Americans during the post-Pearl Harbor internment. It gives special attention to the “No No Boys,” Japanese Americans who answered “no” to questions 27 and 28 on the Leave Clearance Application Form “loyalty questionnaire.”

The play will be performed from June 21 to 25 at Theatre Row’s Studio Theatre in New York, NY.

For more information and to buy tickets, please visit the National Tour page.

June 29 – July 4: FandangObon (Washington, DC)When: June 29 through July 4Where: Jefferson Drive and Fourth Street SW (in front of the National Air and Space Museum)

FandangObon is a collaborative effort between California-born Japanese and Mexican American artists. These performances, taking place between June 29th and July 4th, will explore the connections between the music and dance traditions of fandango son jarocho of Veracruz, Mexico and the Japanese Buddhist ritual of obon.

Japanese American artists will also teach workshops on Japanese American festival traditions, such as dancing and drumming. Learn about how Japanese Americans commemorate their ancestors and deceased loved ones through obon.

Multiple sessions will be presented each day, from 11am to 5pm.

For more information about this project and others, please visit the Smithsonian Folklife Festival page.

October 18: JWLI – Women Leading Social Changes in Japan (Tokyo, Japan)

When: October 18, 2016 at 9am – 6pm
Where: Tokyo American Club (Tokyo, Japan)

JWLI 2016 東京サミット

The Japanese Women’s Leadership Initiative (JWLI) is celebrating its 10th anniversary by hosting a Tokyo Summit titled “Women Leading Social Changes in Japan.” JWLI is led by USJC Board Member Atsuko Fish. Among the speakers at this summit are Irene Hirano Inouye and Council Leader Mari Kuraishi.

This summit will allow participants to:

  • Observe successful cases of social change in Japan achieved by women leaders
  • Learn from the U.S experience: “What is different from Japan? What is similar? What can be learned?”
  • Meet role models from Japan’s social sector leaders and social entrepreneurs
  • Explore obstacles for Japanese women leaders and how to overcome them

To learn more information, please visit the JWLI website or the summit’s website.



USJC seeks a candidate who can bring experience in digital communications, primarily with information technology, web design and social media, to our organization. We seek a candidate who will develop mid- to long-term strategies in communications and work closely with staff and board leadership in the implementation of communication strategies.

This position offers an opportunity to make an impact in a growing non-profit and an opportunity to network with prominent leaders at the forefront of U.S.-Japan relations. Fluency in English is required and Japanese language proficiency is desirable.

For the full description, please visit the job posting on our website.


USJC seeks a candidate who is committed to the goals of the organization and can bring experience in fundraising, primarily with corporate and major donors that have 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 fundraising and work closely with staff and board leadership in the implementation of development plans.

This position offers an opportunity to make an impact in a growing non-profit and an opportunity to network with prominent leaders at the forefront of U.S.-Japan relations. Fluency in English is required and Japanese language proficiency is desirable.

For the full description, please visit the job posting on our website.


USJC seeks a talented, dynamic individual for a newly-created position of Executive Director, U.S.-Japan Council (Japan). The Executive Director will provide leadership and oversight of the Council’s general programs and activities and of the TOMODACHI Initiative. This will include responsibility for the implementation of program goals and objectives, providing leadership and oversight of program development and management, fundraising, communications and operations. The Executive Director will be based in Tokyo and manage the staff in Japan and will work closely with the U.S.-Japan Council (U.S.) staff in the United States.

For the full description, please visit the job posting on our website.