Press Release (Aug . 2007)
With the goal of enhancing U.S.-Japan relations, the fourth international meeting was held in New York on June 25, 2007 that brought together Japanese American leaders (primarily Sansei and Yonsei) from seventeen regions in the United States, fifteen Consuls General of Japan and representatives from the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Japan Foundation. His Excellency Ryozo Kato, Ambassador of Japan to the United States, the Honorable Daniel K. Inouye, United States Senator and executives from the Japanese business community.
The meeting was co-chaired by His Excellency Motoatsu Sakurai, Ambassador/Consul General of Japan at New York, Susan Onuma, Partner, Kelley Drye and Warren, LLP, and President of the Japanese American Association of New York, and Irene Hirano, President/CEO Japanese American National Museum headquartered in Los Angeles, California.
This year’s meeting included seven new regions of the country: Anchorage, Atlanta, Boston, Detroit, Hagatna (Guam), Miami and New Orleans. Previous regions participating in the meeting included: Chicago, Denver, Honolulu, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, Portland, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington, D.C.
Ambassador Ryozo Kato opened the meeting by remarking, “It has been a most pleasant surprise for me to witness the great progress in our interaction with Japanese Americans. For this, I am deeply grateful to all of the dedicated people involved. Our next step is to even further broaden the reach and range of these exchanges. To be more precise, I believe we have reached the stage where we should start exploring new approaches to exchange and networking”.
Senator Daniel Inouye commented, “Japan-U.S. relations can be described as being excellent but we should always be prepared for misunderstandings that may result from trade, defense, culture or past events. In this matter, these meetings are vital to maintain this high level of relationship.”
The meeting provided a forum for Japanese American and Japanese leaders to discuss issues of mutual concern related to the long-term U.S.-Japan relationship as well as to discuss steps that would strengthen future ties between the United States and Japan through the greater involvement of Japanese Americans.
Following a discussion on key issues, the meeting participants agreed that that future action would include:
- Defining the current Japanese American and Japanese communities in the United States.
- Enhancing Japanese American - Japanese relations through communication and education.
- Expand and strengthen Japanese American and Japanese networks at the regional and national level including business networks.
- Strengthen the follow-up of the Japanese American Leadership Delegation Program to Japan. Another key program of this initiative is the Japanese American Leadership Delegation sponsored by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership. Seven Japanese American delegations of Sansei/Yonsei leaders have traveled to Japan since 2000, totaling eighty-four participants to date. An alumni conference will be held this summer in Honolulu, Hawaii with plans to formalize an Alumni Association.
The meeting concluded with the consensus of the participants that specific steps to implement key areas of agreement would be taken at the regional and national level as appropriate.
The list of attendees
Japanese American Attendees
- Mr. David H. Masuo Eligibility Technician, Health & Human Services, State of Alaska
- Ms. Sachi Koto President, Sachi Koto Communications, Inc.
- Dr. Paul Watanabe Director, Institute for Asian American Studies Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, University of Massachusetts Boston
- Mr. Calvin Manshio Attorney and Principal, Manshio Law Firm, P.C.
- Mr. Thomas J. Migaki Grants Manager, City and County of Denver, Officer of the Controller
- Dr. Scott Kurashige Associate Professor, Asian/Pacific Islander American Studies, History, and American Culture, University of Michigan
- HAGATNA, GUAM
- Mr. Frank Ishizaki Senator, Guam Legislature
- Mr. Robert K. Ichikawa Partner, Kobayashi, Sugita & Goda
Mr. Eric K. Martinson Managing Director, Tradewind Capital Group,Inc.
- Ms. Donna Fujimoto Cole President, Chief Executive Officer, Cole Chemical
- LOS ANGELES
- Ms. Irene Y. Hirano Present & Chief Executive Officer, Japanese American National Museum
Mr. Thomas Iino Chairman of the Board, Pacific Commerce Bank
Mr. Henry Y. Ota Partner, Reed Smith LLP
- Mr. James S. Mihori President, Japan America Society of South Florida and Vice President, Morikami Museum & Japanese Gardens
- NEW ORLEANS
- Mr. Greg M. Tokuyama Business Manager, LSU Health Sciences Center - New Orleans, School of Medicine, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Department
- NEW YORK
- Ms. Mariko O. Gordon Founder and President, Daruma Asset Management, Inc.
Ms. Susan J, Onuma Partner, Kelley Drye & Warren LLP
- Mr. Sho Dozono President & Chief Executive Officer, Azumano Travel
- SAN FRANCISCO
- Mr. Kaz Maniwa Attorney-at-Law, Chair, California Japanese American Community Leadership Council
Ms. Diane Matsuda Executive Officer, California Historical & Preservation Endowment
- Mr. Kip Tokuda Division Leader, Family Youth Services Division, Department of Human Services, Seattle
- WASHINGTON, D. C.
- Mr. Hideki Hamamoto President, CEO, HH Trans Pac Inc.
- SPECIAL GUEST
- The Hon. Daniel K. Inouye United States Senator, State of Hawaii
- Ambassador and Consuls General
- Mr. Ryozo KATO Ambassador of Japan to the United States
Mr. Motoatsu SAKURAI Ambassador and Consul General, NY
Mr. Shoji OGAWA Consul General, Atlanta
Mr. Makoto YAMANAKA Consul General, San Francisco
Mr. Kazuo TANAKA Consul General, Seattle
Mr. Kenji SHINODA Consul General, Chicago
Mr. Tamotsu SHINOTSUKA Consul General, Detroit
Mr. Yuzo OTA Consul General, Denver
Mr. Masaru SAKATO Consul General, New Orleans
Mr. Tamio TOMINO Consul General, Hagatna
Mr. Yoshihiko KAMO Consul General, Houston
Mr. Akio EGAWA Consul General, Portland
Mr. Yoichi SUZUKI Consul General, Boston
Mr. Shigeo IWATANI Consul General, Honolulu
Mr. Hiroshi YAMAGUCHI Consul General, Miami
Mr. Kazuo KODAMA Consul General, Los Angeles
Embassy of Japan
- Mr. Kimihiro ISHIKANE Minister, Embassy of Japan
Consulate General in Los Angeles
- Mr. Hiroshi FURUSAWA Consul, CGJ in LA
Consulate General in New York
Mr. Mikio NUMATA Deputy Consul General, CGJ in NY
Mr. Masaki SUGAMIYA Consul, CGJ in NY
Mr. Jiro OKUYAMA Consul, CGJ in NY
Mr. Takashi HAMADA Consul, CGJ in NY
Mr. Issei HATAKEYAMA Consul, CGJ in NY
Mr. Hirotaka ONO Consul, CGJ in NY
Ms. Keiko NAKANO Vice Consul, CGJ in NY
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
- Mr. Shinichi NISHIMIYA
Director-General, North American Affairs Bureau, MOFA
Mr. Tomohiko TANIGUCHI
Deputy Director-General, Public Diplomacy Department, MOFA
Mr. Toyohisa KOHZUKI
Director, Management and Coordination Division, MOFA
Mr. Takeo MORI
Director, First North America Division, MOFA
Mr. Hirofumi MURABAYASHI
Deputy Director, First North America Division, MOFA
Mr. Takeomi YAMAMOTO
Official, First North America Division, MOFA
- Mr. Natsuo AMEMIYA Executive Vice President, Japan Foundation
Mr. Isao TSUJIMOTO Director General, Japan Foundation New York
Mr. Masao ITO Director, Japan Foundation Los Angeles
Mr. Atsushi Yamakoshi
Nippon Keidanren (Japan Business Federation), U.S. Office
Mr. Ryoichi UEDA
President & CEO, Mitsubishi International Corporation
Mr. Shinichi GOTO
Senior Vice President, Toyota Motor North America