U.S.-Japan Council Newsletter (March 29th, 2018)

Thirteenth Business Advisory Board Welcomes Ambassador William Hagerty

On March 14, the thirteenth U.S.-Japan Council Business Advisory Board (BAB) was held at the Tokyo American Club, welcoming Ambassador William “Bill” Hagerty as the featured speaker.

USJC leaders and BAB attendees, including TOMODACHI alumni: (L-R) Scott Sato, Kazuki Kokubun, Sarah Chambers, Irene Hirano Inouye, Ambassador Hagerty, Tomomi Takata, Kathy Matsui, Kosuke Baba, Masaaki Tanaka

The meeting opened with remarks from Scott Sato, Member of the USJC Board of Directors, and Masaaki Tanaka, Chairman of the Business Advisory Board. USJC President Irene Hirano Inouye shared updates on USJC’s activities, including the 2018 Japanese American Leadership Delegation that visited Japan in early March, the Japan-Texas Economic Summit to be held in Houston in May, and the 2018 USJC Annual Conference to be held in Tokyo in November.

Ambassador Hagerty answering questions from the attendees

The talk with Ambassador Hagerty was moderated by Kathy Matsui, Chair of the USJC (Japan) Board of Councilors. They discussed the importance of U.S.-Japan relations and the significant role USJC plays in developing people-to-people relations and future leaders. The Ambassador then discussed current issues, including the nomination of the new U.S. Secretary of State, the status of the Trans-Pacific Partnership and U.S.-Japan trade relations.

Ambassador Hagerty also discussed the importance of promoting study abroad as a means to improve people-to-people relations. He applauded the TOMODACHI Initiative’s efforts in supporting exchange students. He also praised USJC’s work in empowering women and promoting gender equality.

During the Q&A session following the talk, the Ambassador discussed topics that include the need to bring more FDI to Japan and the United States, strengthen company-to-company relationships, and further involve governors in both countries. The evening concluded with networking by all attendees, including TOMODACHI alumni.

Kazuki Kokubun, TOMODACHI alumnus, asks Ambassador Hagerty a question

Click here to see more photos from the event.

Recent Events

USJC Welcomes Delegation from Miami-Dade County to Tokyo

On March 26, USJC supported a business presentation event held by the Miami-Dade County in Florida. Headed by Hon. Carlos A. Gimenez, Mayor of Miami-Dade County, the delegation of 27 people comprised county government officials, assembly members and business leaders who were visiting China and Japan to seek business opportunities with potential partners. Council Leader Jose Fuentes, who is the USJC Southeast Regional Chair, was one of the delegates.

The delegates gave three panel discussions and shared the potential of the county as the business center of Miami and the gateway to Latin America. They shared details of the county’s infrastructure development, tourism and food services as areas of focus for businesses. Over 50 people from Japanese corporations and the public sector gathered to learn about various possibilities for collaboration.

USJC’s support for this event was part of its efforts in strengthening regional collaboration.The delegation presented a plaque to USJC in appreciation.

(L-R) Mayor Gimenez, USJC (Japan) Executive Director Junko Tsuda and Mr. Fuentes


Early Bird Rates for the Japan-Texas Economic Summit End March 31!


When: May 7 – 9, 2018
Where: Marriott Marquis Houston (Houston, TX)

Register now to take advantage of early bird rates for the Japan-Texas Economic Summit! Following the highly successful Japan-Hawaii Economic Summit in 2017, the Japan-Texas Economic Summit will bring together business leaders, investors, state and local officials, and economic development organizations from across the Lone Star State and Japan. Texas is a leading destination for foreign direct investment from Japan, and we will welcome government and business representatives from the Government of Japan and prefectures throughout the country to explore further opportunities to strengthen the relationship between Japan and the state of Texas.

Join us for what will be a momentous step forward in the Japan-Texas economic partnership! Please visit the event page to see more details and to register.

Applications Open for the 2018 TOMODACHI-Mitsui & Co. Leadership Program

*Please note that the first city for Japanese Delegates to visit has been changed to Boston from Seattledue to unexpected schedule conflicts. Travel to all other cities and travel dates remain unchanged.

2017 U.S. Mitsui delegates in Japan

We are now accepting applications for the TOMODACHI-Mitsui & Co. Leadership Program. Generously funded by Mitsui & Co., Ltd., and entering its sixth year, this exchange program provides participants with unique access to leaders in the U.S.-Japan arena, and the opportunity to broaden their perspectives to enhance work or initiatives in their professional fields. Selected through a competitive process, participants represent professional, geographic, and gender diversity.

Ten (10) American and ten (10) Japanese young professionals from a mix of public and private sectors will travel to each other’s country for one week to engage as a group and meet with established and up-and-coming leaders from business and government. The American delegation will travel to Miyagi Prefecture and Tokyo, and the Japanese delegation will travel to Boston, Massachusetts and Washington, DC.

The deadline for the American delegation is April 5, and the deadline for the Japanese delegation is April 19. Click here for more information.

Member News

Kevin Otsuka Selected for Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia


Congratulations to USJC Associate Kevin Otsuka (ELP ’17) on being selected for Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia – Social Entrepreneurs! Kevin founded ABC Coffee Club, a startup social enterprise in Tokyo operating its own cafe and mail subscription service. The subscription partners with the Japan Social Employment Council to support individuals with intellectual disabilities. The cafe also serves as an innovation and creator hub for local makers and artists, and holds events and a free monthly gallery to showcase their work.

Upcoming Events

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.

Allegiance (Los Angeles Premiere)

When: February 21 – April 1, 2018
Where: Aratani Theatre – Japanese American Cultural & Community Center (Los Angeles, CA)

Broadway musical Allegiance, created by Member of the USJC Board of Councilors George Takei, is currently showing in Los Angeles, CA. Inspired by true events, Allegiance tells the story of the Kimura family, whose lives are upended when they and 120,000 other Japanese Americans are forced to leave their homes following the events of Pearl Harbor. An uplifting testament to the power of the human spirit, Allegiance follows the Kimuras as they fight between duty and defiance, customs and change, family bonds and forbidden loves. The Los Angeles premiere of this landmark Broadway musical is epic, timely, and vital.

The Los Angeles premiere of Allegiance is a special engagement and co-production of East West Players and Japanese American Cultural & Community Center, by special arrangement with Sing Out, Louise! Productions and ATA. Click here for more information.

Hold These Truths

When: February 23 – April 8, 2018
Where: The Arena Stage (Washington, DC)

“Hold These Truths” is a play based on the true story of Gordon Hirabayashi, the American son of Japanese immigrants who defied an unjust court order to uphold the values on which America was founded.

Invitation Program for Japanese American Students

When: June 23 – July 3, 2018
Where: Tokyo and the Kansai region

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan is now recruiting Japanese American high school students for its invitation program this summer! This program, which runs from June 23 to July 3, enables four Japanese American high school students to travel to Tokyo and the Kansai region.

The program aims to provide students with an opportunity to learn more about Japan, and promote mutual understanding and exchange between Japanese and Japanese American youth. The application deadline is Tuesday, April 17. More information is available here.

The Japan America Society of Southern California’s 109th Anniversary Dinner & Gala


When: May 16, 2018
Where: The Queen Mary (Long Beach, CA)

USJC is proud to be an honoree of the Japan America Society of Southern California’s Kokusai Shimin Sho “International Citizens Award” at the 109th Anniversary Dinner & Gala Celebration. This award recognizes individuals, businesses or organizations who have significantly enhanced the U.S.-Japan relationship and are committed to strengthening bonds between the two nations.

For more information, please visit this page.


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.

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 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.