U.S.-Japan Council Newsletter (May 24th, 2018)

Texas and Japan Leaders Strengthen Ties at Economic Summit in Houston

From May 7 to 9, more than 400 leaders from throughout the United States and Japan convened in Houston for the Japan-Texas Economic Summit (JTES). USJC hosted the Summit in collaboration with close to 50 cities and organizations. Issues discussed included trade and investment; opportunities for further collaboration; sister city ties; and people-to-people exchanges.

(L-R) Donna Cole, USJC Board Member and Summit Chair; Hideaki Ohmura, Governor of Aichi Prefecture; Irene Hirano Inouye, USJC President; and Henry Cisneros, Founder & Chairman, CityView, Former HUD Secretary and Former Mayor of San Antonio, TX

The Summit featured keynote addresses from Bruce Culpepper (President, Shell Oil Company), Shigeru Hayakawa (Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors, Toyota Motor Corporation and Vice Chair, Keidanren), Shigeki Maeda (Executive Vice President, Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO)), Hideaki Ohmura (Governor, Aichi Prefecture, Japan) and Secretary Rolando Pablos (Texas Secretary of State). They shared how the approximately 400 Japanese companies in Texas are creating 50,000 jobs; how Texas is the top state whose market Japanese companies think will continue to expand; and how Japanese companies in Texas and vice versa leads to exchange programs between American and Japanese students and professionals.

Texas Secretary of State Rolando Pablos addresses the audience

Other speakers included Mitsuru Claire Chino (President & CEO, ITOCHU International Inc.); Henry Cisneros (Founder & Chairman, CityView, Former HUD Secretary and Former Mayor of San Antonio, TX); U.S. Ambassador to Japan William Hagerty, who spoke in a video message; Ambassador Tom Schieffer (Former U.S. Ambassador to Japan, and President and CEO of Envoy International); and Japanese Ambassador Shinsuke J. Sugiyama, who traveled from Washington, DC.

Panel discussions explored the many aspects of Texas-Japan relations, including security and defense; energy; healthcare; workforce development; technological innovation; food and beverage; and people-to-people exchanges, including the Japanese American Leadership Delegation Program and the TOMODACHI Initiative. Business professionals from diverse industries also gave short presentations about the latest developments in Texas and how they strengthen the bonds between the United States and Japan.

(L-R) Ambassador Tom Schieffer; David Sutton, President of Kubota Credit Corporation and Kubota Insurance; Ms. Chino of ITOCHU International; Takeshi Ebisu, President and CEO of Goodman Global Group, Inc.

The summit also included a unique session of 15 speakers, each representing various regions across Texas, as well as sister cities in Japan. Mayors and other officials shared the strengths of their cities, which included metropolises like Dallas and Houston, cities with close Japanese ties like Plano (which recently welcomed Toyota Motor North America’s new headquarters), cities with distinct characteristics like El Paso (which borders Mexico and boasts a large bilingual, bicultural workforce), and Japanese locales Kumamoto City, Chiba City and Oita City (sister cities to San Antonio, Houston and Austin, respectively). Following the session, many of the regions further presented their charms with booths, regional delicacies and music.

This was USJC’s second regional summit, following the Japan-Hawaii Economic Summit held in Kona in 2017.

For a full schedule of the Summit and bios of the speakers. Please click here to see more photos.

Media coverage included the Houston ChronicleHouston Public Radio and a press release from the Texas Secretary of State’s office.

Recent Events

USJC Recognized by the Japan America Society of Southern California

USJC was ​recently ​honored ​by the Japan America Society of Southern California’s ​​Kokusai Shimin Sho “International Citizens Award.” The award ​was presented to USJC and co-awardees MUFG and MUFG Union Bank​ at the Society’s 109th Anniversary Dinner and Gala Celebration on May 16 aboard the Queen Mary in Long Beach, CA. ​The 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. Several USJC ​members were in attendance to celebrate the occasion, including ​Board Member ​Yuko Kaifu, ​member of the Legacy Council Tom Iino​,​ and ​Council Leader ​Sandy Sakamoto. We thank our friends at JASSC for the honor and the years of strong partnership​, and congratulate MUFG and MUFG Union Bank (who have also long supported USJC)!

(L-R) USJC members and staff at the gala: Treasurer David Nishida, Program Manager Allison Murata, Associate Evelyn Tokuyama, Board Member Dennis Sugino, President Irene Hirano Inouye, Legacy Council member Tom Iino and Associate Emi Kamemoto​

2018 JWLI Spring Program Concludes

Many thanks to Fish Family Foundation’s Aya Abe for the following article and photos!

The 2018 Spring Fellows of the Japanese Women’s Leadership Initiative, which is led by USJC Board Member Atsuko Fish and supported by USJC​​, recently completed the Boston portion of the program. Over the four weeks (April 17-May 11) they spent in Boston, the Fellows’ Action Plans improved significantly. We are excited to see the Fellows executing their Action Plan once they go back to Japan. A small graduation ceremony was held in our office on the last day of the program. Each Fellow received a completion certificate from Atsuko. Details of the Fellows’ four-week program in Boston can be found here.

JWLI is a two-year leadership development program for Japanese women leading the social sector. The core of the program is the four-week training in Boston. We provide each Fellow a mentor who acts as a sounding board for their Action Plan. The program is offered twice a year, in the spring and again in the fall. The application for the 2018 JWLI Fall program will open in the beginning of June. Details will be coming soon!

The graduating 2018 Spring Fellows with Atsuko Fish (back row, third from left) and Fish Family Foundation Program Manager Kozue Sawame (also a USJC Associate; front row second from right)

Japan Members Enjoy Riverside BBQ

Many thanks to Japan Regional Chair Russell Kawahara for the following blurb and photo!


On May 19, USJC Japan region members and friends gathered at Tama River for a casual BBQ outing. Attendees made new connections while taking turns preparing the meat/veggies, as well as a giant tray of yakisoba! This quarterly meet-up event was organized by USJC U40 members.


Many thanks to Hendrix College for the following article and photos about their participation in the 2017-18 TOMODACHI KAKEHASHI Inouye Scholars program!

Students from Hendrix College and the Prefectural University of Hiroshima Reunite on the TOMODACHI KAKEHASHI Inouye Scholars Program

A Hendrix College student hugs a PUH student

Twenty-three Hendrix College students participated in the TOMODACHI KAKEHASHI Inouye Scholars Program from March 18 to 25, and spent a week in Japan. Dr. Mark Goadrich, Associate Professor of Computer Science, and Claudia Courtway, Assistant Director of International Programs, led the student delegation.

In Hiroshima, they were reunited with friends from the Prefectural University of Hiroshima (PUH), who visited Hendrix College in February 2018. While at PUH, Hendrix students learned about college life in Japan, enjoyed okonomiyaki and other local food, and celebrated the day with karaoke. PUH students joined the Hendrix students for an afternoon at the scenic Miyajima Island, where they visited Itsukushima Shrine, taking photos with the deer, and sampling various kinds of Momiji Manju, cakes shaped like a Japanese maple leaf and filled with bean paste.

The group in Miyajima

The most moving experience for the Hendrix students was hearing a lecture by an atomic bomb survivor, seeing the Hiroshima Peace Memorial, and visiting the Peace Memorial Museum. As the students heard the story of the survivor and learned about the history of Hiroshima, they reflected on what they could do to promote peace in their own communities in the United States. Students were grateful to have PUH friends who provided insight and perspective.

The next stop was in Akiota, where families showered the students with kindness as they enthusiastically welcomed them into their homes and shared meals, culture and much laughter. Students and home stay families built relationships and beautiful memories that made saying goodbye very difficult.

Students and their host families, with calligraphy and hina dolls

In Tokyo, the students enjoyed a lecture by Mr. Hideo Kimura, Executive Managing Director of Strategic International Management Associates, who discussed Japanese society, culture and politics. The students learned about technology and interacted with robots at the Association for Technological Excellence Promoting Innovative Advances (TEPIA). They also enjoyed Japanese traditional culture by hand painting Edo wind bells, which they then took home.

An important part of the students’ experience in Japan was the Reporting Session in Tokyo, where students presented what they learned and crafted an action plan to share their experience with others in the United States. The group decided to participate in Arkansas Peace Week in September 2018 by creating a Peace Week at Hendrix College, sharing what they learned at the Hiroshima Peace Park.

The students had an unforgettable time with their host families

The week ended with a visit to the Meiji Jingu Shrine, where students deepened their understanding of Japanese history, culture and religion. The students relished their last moments among the cherry blossom trees that were in full bloom, as they ate, shopped and enjoyed the atmosphere. The students were sad to see the life-changing week come to an end.


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

Reflection from June Taylor (JALD ’18)

Enjoying a meal with fellow delegates

It is apropos that as I draft this reflection, I am traveling via the Nozomi Shinkansen from Shin Yamaguchi to Tokyo for our return home. Like the Shinkansen, my thoughts are moving a million miles an hour. “One million miles per hour” is the equivalent of 300 kilometers per hour, correct? Fine, my thoughts and emotions are running at 300 km per hour.

When we started this trip just a few short days ago, I thought I had been to Japan before. My passport stamps certainly demonstrate my travels. I’ve visited Kinkakuji in Kyoto, the Peace Memorial Museum in Hiroshima, and Todaiji in Nara, but not until the JALD trip did I truly experience Japan.

Each day has been filled with unique, once-in-a-lifetime experiences. When would I have ever imagined that I would meet a princess? A prime minister? A foreign minister? Or members of the Diet? The conversations about policy and economics were intellectually stimulating and highlighted that we have much in common. I now have a new lens through which to view similar challenges that we face in the States, such as diversity, education, infrastructure or economic growth.

Dinner in Tokyo with Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy JosephYoung

It was not until we met the master potter’s family in Hagi that my impressions of the trip crystalized. As we experienced the tea ceremony, we learned of the very precise process of creating these masterpieces. I was overwhelmed that I was but one person to drink from a tea cup created many years ago. After multiple generations, the family still had joy of the craft, and continued to create new pieces and introduce new techniques. What impressed me the most about the princess, the prime minister, the foreign minister (and his team), or the shoyu master was their very deliberate and thoughtful approach to each meeting and interaction. I learned that every moment, every action is an opportunity to make an impact.

Posing with a curling broom

At the Symposium in Yamaguchi, I had the privilege to present on Japanese Americans today, 150 years after Japanese people boldly immigrated to Hawaii. At the reception afterwards, I was most often asked about Governor Carr of Colorado and his courage to stand up for Japanese Coloradans in the face of Executive Order 9066. Every moment is an opportunity to create change.

Presenting at the symposium in Yamaguchi

I am humbled by the immense amount of investment Japanese and Americans have made in this relationship between the two countries. At the Symposium, David Ono said that the 2016 U.S.-Japan event at Pearl Harbor reflected a culmination of a relationship where the parties made decades of effort to continue to choose peace, moving forward and building a partnership. I could not help but think that relationships are dynamic and must be cultivated. And I am but one small piece of that. I recognize that I must do what I can to invest in and cultivate this precious relationship

Member News

Part Two of Bruce Hollywood’s Story Featured in The Washington Post


Part two of Council Leader Bruce Hollywood’s (JALD ’16) story was featured in The Washington Post. The article talks about Mr. Hollywood reuniting with his Japanese birth mother, learning more about his American family and finding his Japanese American identity in the process. Click here or on the image above to read the article. Read part one of his story here.

This series was written by Japanese American journalist Kathryn Tolbert, who spoke to students about her work documenting war brides as part of the 2016-17 TOMODACHI MetLife Women’s Leadership Program’s trip to Washington, DC.

Mike Bosack Selected for JAVA’s 2018 Daniel K. Inouye Memorial Scholarship

Congratulations to Associate Mike Bosack for receiving the Japanese American Veterans Association’s 2018 Daniel K. Inouye Memorial Scholarship! This memorial scholarship “honor[s] the late Senator Daniel K. Inouye’s iconic career of military and civilian public service.” Mike is an Air Force veteran pursuing his Ph.D. in International Relations at the International University of Japan in Niigata Prefecture. He is also a 2015 Emerging Leaders Program alumni and the son of Council Leader Mike Bosack.

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.

Paper Lanterns Film Screening


When: May 24 and 25, 2018
Where: Asian Art Museum (San Francisco, CA) and Community School of Music and Art (Mountain View, CA)

Paper Lanterns, a documentary film about Hiroshima, will be shown on May 24 and 25 in Northern California. Directed by Barry Frechette (who spoke at the 2016 Annual Conference in Silicon Valley) and produced by Council Leader Nobuko Saito Cleary, the film follows Shigeaki Mori, a Japanese historian and atomic bomb survivor, and his 35-year journey to find the families of 12 American POWs that perished during the Hiroshima bombing. Mr. and Mrs. Mori will travel from Japan to attend the film screenings.


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 have primary responsibility for administrative and operational support to 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.


 Program Coordinator (Washington, DC)

We seek a candidate who can bring enthusiasm and commitment to program coordination, primarily with signature programs such as our Annual Conference, as well as the Council’s leadership & diversity programs around areas including legislative and business networking, Japanese and Asian American leadership, women’s leadership initiatives and more. Duties will also include coordinator-level work related to public sector and government external relations.

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.

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.