The U.S.-Japan Council (USJC) is angered and alarmed by the rapid increase in anti-Asian violence and sentiment in our nation during this past year. As an organization dedicated to building personal connections and bridges between communities to strengthen the relationship between the United States and Japan, USJC is investing in diverse future leaders and educating others about the contributions and stories of Japanese Americans in the larger Asian American experience. These actions are central not only to our mission but to countering anti-Asian sentiment in the United States and negative impacts on Japanese Americans and Japanese businesses and communities.
Joining in solidarity with the entire AAPI family and our allies, we strongly condemn the rise in hate crimes and incidents — in the form of harassment, property vandalism, verbal abuse and physical violence — against Asians and Asian Americans in the United States. USJC is committed to ensuring the representation of our multi-generational, -ethnic and -racial perspectives as we engage in dialogue and action with the guidance of our Outreach and Allyship Committee. We advocate for enduring, systemic change for greater diversity and inclusion by critically examining how to correct structural practices that lead to inequities affecting all historically marginalized communities.
USJC includes more than 600 members who live and work throughout the United States and Japan, including leaders in business, government, nonprofits, academia and other fields. We strive to continue to inform and educate others about the Japanese American historical experience as part of the broader narrative of Asians in America, and build greater awareness of the rich diversity and contributions of Japanese Americans and Japanese in the United States.
To this end, USJC has been hosting ongoing discussions that include personal experiences with discrimination in our Japanese American Storytelling Program and the Japanese Americans and Japan: Legacies video series with influential leaders in our community. We continue to amplify the voices of USJC members, especially next-generation leaders, along with those of other AAPI and BIPOC leaders and allies through programs such as our TOMODACHI peer-to-peer series, “Critical Conversations,” confronting questions related to race and discrimination, and exploring intersectionality; and the video series, “Views from Inside America: Voices from the States,” featuring Asian American state legislators sharing U.S. local current events with Japanese audiences.
USJC is also positioned to support our sponsor companies’ DE&I efforts and partner with like-minded organizations, serving as a trusted resource for potential Japanese and Japanese American candidates for board directorships and other leadership positions, and act as a credible sounding board and partner to federal, state, and local government leaders in the U.S. and Japan.
We look forward to continuing to work with our networks of members, sponsors, and partners in developing new leaders, and building meaningful connections between increasingly diverse communities in the United States and Japan.