Mission: The u. S. -japan council is a japanese american-led organization fully dedicated to strengthening ties between the united states and japan in a global context. By promoting people-to-people relationships through its innovative programs in networking and leadership, the usjc serves as a catalyst to inspire and engage japanese and americans of all generations. It develops the next generation of leaders committed to a vibrant and dynamic relationship.
Programs: Tomodachi initiative: the tomodachi initiative is a public-private partnership, born out of support for japan's recovery from the 2011 great east japan earthquake. The initiative invests in the next generation of japanese and american leaders through educational and cultural exchanges as well as leadership programs. The tomodachi initiative is led by the usjc in partnership with the u. S. Embassy in tokyo and supported by the government of japan. Financial support is provided by corporations, organizations and individuals from the united states and japan. Tomodachi raises funds from u. S. And japanese donors that will invest in the next generation of japanese and americans in ways that strengthen cultural and economic ties, and deepens the friendship between the united states and japan over the long-term. The usjc administers the tomodachi initiative which began in late 2011 and will be implemented over the next several years. The initiative support programs in 1) educational exchanges, educational partnerships and student exchanges between the u. S. And japan; 2) youth exchanges in arts, sports and culture; and 3) leadership development. In 2012, the u. S. -japan council (japan) was created to support the administration of tomodachi. The u. S. -japan council (japan) is a registered public interest corporation (koeki zaidan hojin) and maintains offices in tokyo, japan. In 2017, program and event participants totaled 1,073 young people in japan and the united states. There were 39 programs implemented throughout japan and in the united states, with 33% of participants from the tohoku region, the area impacted by the triple disasters of 2011. From inception to the end of 2017, 26,346 people participated in tomodachi programs in the united states and japan
general education programsasian american leadership delegation (aald):through the asian american leadership delegation (aald) program, usjc works with elected officials to broaden the understanding of u. S. -japan relations at the state legislative level. The 2017 program selected six elected state officials from diverse backgrounds and regions of the country. From september to october , the delegates traveled to tokyo, kyoto, and osaka to meet with japanese political and government leaders, business executives and non-profit leaders to exchange ideas as well as create networks that can mutually benefit the u. S. -japan relationship. The delegates also spoke about their varied personal and professional journeys at a panel discussion in kyoto titled "diversity in leadership: the journey of asian american state legislators. " aald is funded by the sasakawa peace foundation and implemented by usjc, in collaboration with the national asian pacific american caucus of state legislators and the national conference of state legislators. Japanese american leadership delegation program (jald):the japanese american leadership delegation (jald) program provides the opportunity for a select group of japanese american leaders to travel to japan to engage with japanese leaders in the business, government, academic, non-profit and cultural sectors. The program also provides an opportunity for japanese leaders to gain a greater understanding about multi-cultural america through the experiences of a diverse group of japanese americans. Each year, three delegates participate in a symposium hosted by the japan foundation center for global partnership and the usjc. The 2017 japanese american leadership delegation traveled to kanazawa and tokyo in march. In kanazawa, they spoke at a symposium about culture and community engagement that was co-sponsored with the japan foundation center for global partnership. In tokyo, they met with senior leaders in the business and government sectors, including prime minister shinzo abe. Jald is generously sponsored by the ministry of foreign affairs of japan. Women in leadership:the usjc has developed several programs to support the government of japan's goal of advancing women in japan. In 2017, usjc's support for women in leadership was stronger than ever. Several events and programs led to dynamic discussions and stronger networks, inspiring women and men of all generations. Usjc held rwl events in six cities in 2017, including four new locations: portsmouth, nh; providence, ri; cleveland, ohio; and little rock, ar. During the 2017 annual conference, in an interactive forum called "women's leadership & success on corporate boards," seven distingued women who serve on the boards of japanese and american companies and organizations shared their personal journeys. Leadership institute:the u. S. -japan council is developing a new leadership institute which will be launched in 2019. With seed funding to plan and develop the institute, the council evaluated its current leadership programs, reviewed other leadership programs related to u. S. -japan relations and other global organizations, and developed a business plan for the new institute. The first inaugural program of the leadership institute will be implemented in 2019. Regional programs in the u. S. And japan:the usjc holds regional programs in the u. S. Throughout the year to provide opportunities for japanese and americans to come together to hear speakers and explore areas of potential collaboration in their respective regions. In 2016, programs were held in los angeles, new york, washington dc and tokyo. Watanabe scholarship:the toshizo watanabe study abroad shcolarship program provides financial assistance to undergraduate and graduate students for a semester or year-log study abroad program in the united states to japan. A generous endowment gift of $10 million from mr. Toshizo watanabe to the u. S. -japan council makes it possible to award scholarships to students for whom study abroad would not be possible without financial support. For the 2017-18 year, scholarships were awarded to 21 japanese students 18 undergraduate and three graduate students studying at institutions in 10 states across the united states. This second cohort of watanabe scholars represent universities in fukuoka, kyoto, miyagi and tokyo. Beginning in 2018, the scholarships will also support u. S. Students who wish to study in japan. Japan-hawaii economic summit:more than 200 leaders gathered in kona in may for the inaugural japan-hawaii economic summit, which usjc co-hosted with the state of hawaii department of business, economic development & tourism (dbedt). This 3-day summit connected hawaii with seven japanese prefectures: those with which it has sister-state relationships, as well as those that are part of usjc's governors' circle initiative. Silicon valley japan platform:the silicon valley japan platform (svjp) is an initiative of usjc and the asia pacific initiative (ap initiative). Svjp aims to connect the technological dynamism of silicon valley with the current and future needs of econmic revitalization in japan. In 2017, svjp held various benkyokais, workshops and meetings with corporate leaders over the course of the year. Svjp was also instrumental in organizing panel discussions during the 2017 usjc annual conference called "innovation hubs from silicon valley to kendall square to japan's bit valley". Other networking and outreach activities:the usjc holds various outreach activities bringing together usjc members in various parts of the country with regional leaders involved in promoting strong u. S. - japan relations. Through developing regional networks of business, civic, and governmental leaders, the usjc assists in the dissemination of information on current related to u. S. And japan and fosters dialogue in area of mutual interests. The usjc also fosters business networking in key regions in the u. S. Including washington, d. C. ,los angeles, san francisco and honolulu by fostering networks of japanese chambers of commerce in the u. S. And japanese american leaders in these regions. Regular educational programs and networking events are held to deepen professional and personal relationships. The regional business networks is also held at the time of the usjc annual meeting. In japan, the usjc began a business advisory board, which is a group of business leaders in japan with experience in the united states who are supportive of the usjc's mission and goals. In november 2014, 70 business leaders gathered to launch the advisory board which convenes quarterly to hear from leading experts on current topics related to u. S. -japan relations and to enable board members to exchange information on current topics with each other. The usjc's mission of building people-to-people relationships at the government and political sector includes bringing together elected officials and governmental officials from the u. S. And japan to work together on areas of mutual interest. The usjc hosts members of the japanese diet who visit washington, d. C. And other cities in the u. S. To connect them with key governmental and political leaders. The usjc also meets with u. S. Officials to provide information on issues affecting u. S. -japan relations. Government and legislative networking:the annual cg-ja meeting is sponsored by the japanese ministry of foreign affairs and organized by the usjc and the embassy of japan. Prominent japanese americans selected by their respective consuls general from across the united states gather for a discussion with japanese government leaders. The 2017 discussion, held in washington, dc focused on key issues such as strengthening regional ties, public diplomacy abd bilateral exhange programs. Participants shared their views on the us-japan relations under the new u. S. Presidential administration, the importance of supporting programs that build goodwill, opportunities to build relationships across regions. Through legislative networking, usjc seeks to facilate exchange between elected officials in the united states and japan at the state, local and national levels.