Promising Educational Practices in U.S.-Japan Relations

he following is the summary of a breakout session that was part of the 2016 Annual Conference.



  • Moderator: Gary Mukai, Ed.D., Director, Stanford Program on International and Cross-Cultural Education, Stanford University
  • Naoko Dunnigan, Director of Global Scholarships & Exchange Programs, Institute of International Education (IIE)
  • Mya Fisher, Ph.D., Director of Education, U.S.-Japan Council
  • Naomi Funahashi, Manager, Reischauer Scholars Program & Teacher Professional Development, Stanford Program on International and Cross-Cultural Education, Stanford University
  • Maiko Tamagawa, Advisor for Educational Affairs, Consulate General of Japan in San Francisco


Gary Mukai led the four panelists in a discussion, where they explained the ways in which they internationalize their respective curriculum and prepare students to “think globally.” Mya Fisher used numerous TOMODACHI Initiative programs as case studies, highlighting long- and short-term programs, domestic and international programs, as well as cultural and educational programs. Naomi Funahashi brought the Reischauer Scholars Program and the Stanford e-Japan program to the table. She utilizes discussion forums, virtual classroom sessions, videotaped lectures, etc. in order to engage with students from throughout the United States. Topics of those discussions include the Japanese American experience and U.S.-Japan relations. Maiko Tamagawa followed her, noting the many ways that the JET Programme enhances internationalization. She described ALTs and CIRs as “grassroots cultural ambassadors” who become members of their respective local communities and are immersed in Japanese culture. Naoko Dunnigan closed the discussion, giving a brief overview of the Institute of International Education and the various programs that they implement.