Next Generation Summit 2020


*More sessions will become available for online viewing soon. Please check back for updates.

The Next Generation Summit was held on December 11-12, 2020. Through the programs panels and discussions, the event gave spotlight to the young and emerging leaders in the U.S.-Japan Council community, including members and program alumni. Read more about the event below.

A full recording of Day 1 of the U.S.-Japan Council Next Generation Summit 2020 is available for online viewing. Click here or above to watch.

Above: The panel “Reflection of Study Abroad Experiences and Resilience in the New Normal” featured Yusuke Kido (TOMODACHI Sumitomo Corporation Scholarship Program), De’Jia Long-Hillie (Toshizo Watanabe Study Abroad Scholarship Program) and Michael Turner (Public Affairs Officer, U.S. Embassy Tokyo.)


The USJC Next Generation Summit, held December 11-12, 2020, gave light to the voices of the young and emerging leaders in our community, including U40 members, TOMODACHI alumni and Watanabe scholars on the lessons learned from this year of change and the power of resilience. Themes focused on the ripple effect of social justice movements, mentorship through virtual connectedness, the value of cultural exchange in times of crisis, and perspectives of resilience from the next generation. Attendees heard from our rising stars and future leaders who took part in critical dialogues around building vision, hoping to empower each other to take action during these challenging and uncertain times. The Summit was organized into two days: the first day was open to the public on a range of topics mentioned above. 

Day 2 offered an opportunity for participants from Day 1 to take part in workshops and discussions focused on the three themes: Reflective, Resilient, and Revolutionary. One workshop helped participants reflect on their leadership styles in times of crisis through the distributed leadership model developed by MIT professors; another workshop focused on disaster resilience and the skills needed for preparedness and better communication; and the third workshop was the TOMODACHI Critical Conversations Part 3 that was inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, which created a safe space for honest peer-to-peer dialogue on these critical issues.  

Schedule of Events

Public Session (Day 1)

Dec. 11, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm ET // Dec. 12, 8:30 am – 10:30 am JT

  • Welcome & Opening Remarks
  • Panel: Reflection of Study Abroad Experiences and Resilience in the New Normal
  • TOMODACHI Alumni Speakers, Part 1
  • Special Remarks
  • TOMODACHI Critical Conversations Part 3: Voices Within ~ How is BLM Reshaping Conversations About Discrimination? ~
  • TOMODACHI Alumni Speakers, Part 2
  • Panel: Leadership Lessons Learned from 2020 (Year of Change) 

Workshop Session (Day 2)

Dec. 12, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm ET // Dec. 13, 8:30 am – 10:30 am JT
These workshops are open to those who register for Day 1. You will receive an invitation separately.

  • Welcome Remarks
  • Breakout Sessions (descriptions below)
    • Reflective (Leadership Style)
    • Resilient (Disaster Resilience)
    • Revolutionary (Critical Conversations
  • Networking
  • Closing Remarks

Breakout Sessions:

[Breakout Session 1] Reflective
Reflective dialogue on leadership in the age of uncertainties

[Breakout Session 2] Resilience
Are you prepared? Disaster resilience skills needed for preparedness and better communication

[Breakout Session 3] Revolutionary
Addressing the issue of race through peer-to-peer dialogue; Inspired by the Black Lives Matter Movement


(See below for bios)

Day 1 (Public Session)

Welcome, Opening and Special Remarks

Suzanne Basalla
President & CEO, U.S.-Japan Council

Masaharu Kohno
Special Representative of the Government of Japan

Joseph M. Young
Chargé d’Affaires ad interim, U.S. Embassy Tokyo

Yoshiaki Hirayama
Senior Officer
Prudential Holdings of Japan, Inc.

Panel: Reflection of Study Abroad Experiences and Resilience in the New Normal

Yusuke Kido
TOMODACHI Sumitomo Corporation Scholarship Program

De’Jia Long-Hillie
U.S.-Japan Council Toshizo Watanabe Study Abroad Scholarship Program

Michael Turner
Public Affairs Officer, U.S. Embassy Tokyo

TOMODACHI Alumni Speakers

Shiori Hara
TOMODACHI MUFG International Exchange Program 

Shunsuke Watando
TOMODACHI U.S.-Japan Youth Exchange Program; TOMODACHI RISE Leadership Program

Naho Shigihara
TOMODACHI Summer SoftBank Leadership Program; TOMODACHI J&J Disaster Nursing Training Program 

Haruka Kurosawa
TOMODACHI Summer English Language Study Program & TOMODACHI RISE Leadership Program

Panel: Leadership Lessons Learned from 2020 (Year of Change)

Jennifer Butler
TOMODACHI Mitsui & Co. Leadership Program

Ellen Kamei
U.S.-Japan Council Emerging Leaders Program 

Sakura Yagi
U.S.-Japan Council Emerging Leaders Program 

TOMODACHI Critical Conversations: Impact of BLM on Discrimination in Japan

Kota Kondo
U.S. Embassy-Keio SFC-TOMODACHI Entrepreneurship Seminar; TOMODACHI Sumitomo Corporation Scholarship Program

Ella McCann
International Program Manager, Chicago Sister Cities International

Felix Garcia
TOMODACHI Daiwa House Student Leadership Conference

Master of Ceremonies 

Reika Mihara
Building the TOMODACHI Generation: Morgan Stanley Ambassadors Program; TOMODACHI Alumni Internship Program 

Iain Ryo Yamakawa Mason
TOMODACHI Daiwa House Leadership Conference 

Day 2 (Workshop Session)

Welcome Remarks

Sarah Keh
Vice President, Inclusive Solutions, Prudential Financial

Breakout Sessions

Mio Yamamoto 
Co-Founder and Executive Director, WIT

Makoto Sasaki
TOMODACHI Summer SoftBank Leadership Program; TOMODACHI Disaster Resilience Training Program

USJC Outreach & Allyship Committee 

Presenting Sponsor for the Next Generation Summit

2020 USJC Supporters

2021-2022 Sponsors






Advantage Partners

Anonymous Donor

Asahi Kasei America, Inc.

Shizuka Asakawa

Delsole Corporation

Dr. Hiroyuki Fujita, Quality Electrodynamics

Fujitsu Limited

Leona Hiraoka

Hitachi High-Tech Corporation

Tom Iino

Industrial Growth Platform, Inc. (IGPI)

Japan Airlines Co., Ltd.

Japan Industrial Partners, Inc.

Stan Koyanagi

KPMG Japan

Lawson, Inc.

Mitsui Chemicals America, Inc.

Gary S. Moriwaki

Satoru & Hiroko Murase

Northrop Grumman

Palo Alto Networks K.K.


Sompo International


Lance Stuart

Steve Takeda

Takenaka Partners LLC

Tokio Marine America

Tokio Marine Holdings


Toyo Suisan Kaisha, Ltd.

ValueAct Capital