U.S.-Japan Council Newsletter (Sep 12, 2019)

Governors from Japan and California Discuss Economic Collaboration, Education and Healthcare

Over 200 leaders convened at the California-Japan Governors’ Symposium, held at Stanford University on August 26. This symposium, co-hosted by USJC and the Silicon Valley Japan Platform (SVJP), brought together governors from five prefectures to discuss ways to strengthen economic cooperation between Silicon Valley and Japan.

Governor Katsusada Hirose (Oita Prefecture); Governor Ryuta Ibaragi (Okayama Prefecture); Dr. Heita Kawakatsu (Governor of Shizuoka Prefecture), Friend of the Council; Vice Governor Yutaka Ota (Nagano Prefecture); and Governor Hidehiko Yuzaki (Hiroshima Prefecture), Friend of the Council; spoke at a panel discussion highlighting the various challenges their prefectures face, from an aging, shrinking population to disaster preparation and response.

Moderator Dr. Daniel Okimoto, Co-Chair of SVJP and a member of the USJC Board of Councilors, highlighted how Silicon Valley’s technology offers solutions to many of those issues.

Representing California was keynote speaker Ambassador Eleni Kounalakis, Lieutenant Governor of the State of California. “We are extremely proud of and grateful for our close relations with Japan,” she said, noting statistics that include the following: California is the #1 state in exports ($13 billion) to and imports ($33.5 billion) from Japan; Japanese investments in California translate to 85,000 jobs in more than 2,500 firms; and over 5,000 Japanese students, or nearly one-third of all Japanese students in America, are studying in California.

Governors Hirose, Ibaragi and Yuzaki also spoke on a panel themed on education. Joined by Rie Kijima and Mariko Yoshihara Yang, Co-Founders of SKY Labo—a nonprofit organization that encourages STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) education for young women—as well as Dr. Gary Mukai, Director of the Stanford Program on International and Cross-Cultural Education (SPICE), the panel discussed how to build confidence and global citizenship in youth.

Governor Kawakatsu and Vice Governor Ota spoke on a panel themed on healthcare. Alongside Dr. Caleb Bell, Cofounder & CEO, G4S Capital and Ikigai Accelerator; Dr. Devang Thakor, Founder and President, Anioplex, LLC; and Dr. Phillip C. Yang, Associate Professor, Stanford University School of Medicine, the speakers discussed the application of AI and machine learning to healthcare in their respective fields or regions.

Ambassador John Roos, Partner at Geodesic Capital and Former U.S. Ambassador to Japan, was another featured speaker. He noted the “incredible firepower” at the symposium, which connected California, the fifth largest economy in the world, with five prefectures that represent 9% of Japan’s GDP.

The following day, business delegations from the prefectures showcased their products and services at a private event.

The California-Japan Governors’ Symposium was part of USJC and SVJP’s Governors’ Circle initiative, and followed the success of the Governors’ Meeting in Silicon Valley in July 2014.

Media coverage so far includes Dr. Mukai and Mr. Takamori’s appearance on Asian Pacific America, an interview of Dr. Kawakatsu by Mountain View Voice (p. 15), a SPICE article written by Dr. Mukai, and photos and articles in J WeeklyPalo Alto Weekly and Sanyo Shimbun.

Click here to see more photos.

Recent Events

Members Discuss Women in Technology in Silicon Valley

On August 25, nearly 25 women gathered in Silicon Valley to meet and discuss developing programs for women in technology. Led by USJC Board Chair Phyllis Campbell and Representative Director in Japan Royanne Doi, the event allowed attendees to network and brainstorm ways in which USJC programs can promote and support women within a range of fields.

Northern California Members Gather for Networking Dinner

On August 27, USJC Board Secretary Tasha Yorozu and Northern California Regional Co-Chairs Dana Heatherton and Emily Murase welcomed members of the Northern California region to a networking dinner in San Francisco. Through wonderful food and company, attendees had the opportunity to get to know one another and share their interests in U.S.-Japan relations.

ELP News

Introducing the 2019 Emerging Leaders

USJC is proud to announce the members of the 2019 Emerging Leaders Program (ELP). 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.

In its tenth year, the program will bring 13 Japanese American young professionals to Los Angeles for the 2019 U.S.-Japan Council Annual Conference. They will become USJC Associates and join program alumni in bridging the future of the U.S.-Japan relationship.

Please join us in welcoming:

  • Yumi Adachi (Honolulu, HI)
    Vice President, Aichi Fukkou Co., Ltd.
  • Dana Baba (San Diego, CA)
    Dental Officer, United States Navy
  • Joy Champaloux (Washington, DC)
    Program Officer, Sasakawa USA
  • Yuga Cohler (Cambridge, MA)
    Senior Software Engineer, Google; Orchestral Conductor, Ridgefield Symphony
  • Robert Gondo (Houston, TX)
    Director, Tokyo Gardens Catering
  • Naomi Hattori (Chicago, IL)
    Acting Vice President, Global Development, Choose Chicago
  • Derek Hirano (Torrance, CA)
    Owner, Hirano Homes Real Estate Team, Keller Williams Realty
  • Stephanie Nitahara (Los Angeles, CA)
    Executive Director, Kizuna
  • Kelly Nuibe (Tokyo, Japan)
    Senior Admissions Counselor, Temple University, Japan Campus
  • Takashi Ohno (Honolulu, HI)
    State Representative, Hawaii State Legislature
  • Niki Robins (Denver, CO)
    Content Director, Spectacle Marketing
  • Ryota Sekine (Chicago, IL)
    Cofounder, Cubii
  • Courtney Taira (Gardena, CA)
    Consumer Promotions Manager, King’s Hawaiian

Reflection from Alexis Ayano Terai (ELP ’18)

Click here or on the image above to hear Alexis talk about her ELP experience. Alexis is passionate about her work as a bridge-builder between the United States and Japan through bipartisan international legislative exchange programs. By connecting with the ELP community, Alexis believes she has had the opportunity to reflect upon her cultural identity and values and better serve her mission of fostering the relationship between her two home countries.

Video is part of a year-long series by participants of the 2018 Emerging Leaders Program (ELP).


Applications for the 2020 Japanese American Leadership Delegation Due Tomorrow!

2019 Delegates at their orientation in Los Angeles

Applications for the 2020 Japanese American Leadership Delegation (JALD) program are due tomorrow! This program provides the opportunity for a select group of Japanese American leaders from across the United States to travel to Japan to engage with Japanese leaders in the business, government, academic, nonprofit and cultural sectors. The Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), represented in the U.S. by the Embassy of Japan in Washington, DC and 17 consulate general offices, sponsors the program. USJC provides administration and organization for the program.

The deadline to apply is September 13, 2019. Please see the Japanese American Leadership Delegation webpage for more information and to apply.

Register Now for the 2019 Annual Conference!

U.S.-Japan Council 2019 Annual Conference
Bold Ideas, Bolder Leadership: The Next Stage of U.S.-Japan Relations
Loews Hollywood Hotel, Los Angeles, California
November 4-5, 2019

Registration is open for the 2019 USJC Annual Conference in Los Angeles! Held in Hollywood, the center of global entertainment, this conference will highlight diverse leadership styles that transform bold ideas into reality. We will also celebrate USJC’s 10th anniversary, and offer leadership training under USJC’s new Leadership Institute.

We also encourage you to enjoy the Japan Cuts Hollywood Film Festival, presented by the Japan America Society of Southern California from November 1 to 3, prior to the conference.

Don’t miss our lineup of unique speakers and timely topics.

Speakers Include:

Kazuo Hirai

Senior Advisor,
Sony Corporation

Amy Webb

Founder & CEO,
Future Today Institute

John V. Roos

Geodesic Capital

Taro Kono

Minister of Defense,
Government of Japan

Takeshi Uchiyamada

Chairman of the Board of Directors, Toyota Motor Corporation

Other Speakers Include:

Bill Allen, CEO, Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation
Bill Imada, CEO, IW Group, Inc.
Maria S. Salinas, President & CEO, Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce
Michelle K. Sugihara, Executive Director, CAPE (Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment)

Upcoming Events

Japan Texas Career Fair

When: September 28, 2019 at 11:00am
Where: Houston Community College – West Loop (Houston, TX)

In collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Houston Community College, USJC is hosting the Japan Texas Career Fair. This one-day career fair is designed for students, working professionals and companies seeking employees to work in Houston and/or Japan. This career fair will feature dynamic speakers, networking opportunities and plenary sessions. Additionally, there will be career coaching, mock interviews and resume reviews for students entering the workforce.

Click here for more information and to register.

Leading and Managing Change

When: October 14, 2019 at 5:00pm
Where: Law Offices of Lane Powell, PC (Portland, OR)

Please join Consul General Takashi Teraoka and members of USJC for a networking event titled Leading and Managing Change. This event will feature a presentation by Steve Hanamura, president of Hanamura Consulting, Inc. Leading and Managing Change will discuss principles and insights everyone can use in their professional and personal lives, from front line supervisors to C-Suite managers.

Click here for more information and to RSVP.


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.

Intern (Tokyo, Japan)

The TOMODACHI Initiative is seeking qualified interns on a part-time or full-time basis. This internship program offers outstanding opportunities for college students, graduate students and graduates who are interested in U.S.-Japan relations. Duties generally consist of program and event coordination and support, website/social media support, organization and attendance at special events, student outreach and communication, writing and translation (as able). Duties may be tailored to the intern’s interests. Interns will work with individuals from the U.S.-Japan Council, the U.S. Embassy and other key TOMODACHI team members.

Click here for more information about the position.