[ March 6 – 14, 2015 ]

September 1, 2014
Sponsored by: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Organized by: U.S.-Japan Council

The 2015 Delegation will be comprised of senior Japanese American leaders who are top leaders in their professions, have had moderate to extensive experience in U.S.-Japan relations, and will be committed to furthering the U.S.-Japan relationship upon their return. The 2015 Delegation seeks senior leaders from local, state or regional government sectors including appointed and elected officials, entrepreneurship in areas such as clean energy, new technology, culinary and tourism, and communications including social media.

The Japanese American Leadership Delegation (JALD) program provides the opportunity for a select group of Japanese American leaders from across the U.S. to travel to Japan to engage with Japanese leaders in the business, government, academic, non-profit and cultural sectors. The trip also allows Japanese leaders to gain a greater understanding of multi-cultural America through the experiences of a diverse group of Japanese Americans. Upon their return, delegates collaborate with program alumni, the local consulates, the U.S.-Japan Council and local and national community organizations to continue strengthening ties between the U.S. and Japan.

The Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) represented in the United States by the Embassy of Japan in Washington, D.C. and seventeen consulate general offices is the sponsor of the program. The U.S.-Japan Council provides administration and organization for this program. The program began in 2000 and 166 delegates have participated to date.
  • Improve understanding and strengthen long-term relations between Japanese Americans and Japan.
  • Develop and implement ongoing strategies to expand the role of Japanese Americans in advancing U.S.-Japan relations.
  • Develop a network of Japanese American leaders that will continue to advance long-term U.S.-Japan relations, at the regional, national and international levels.

The relationship between the U.S. and Japan is considered by many as the most important bilateral relationship in the world, and Japanese Americans are uniquely positioned to help shape it. The connections between Japanese and Japanese Americans are complex. While World War II played a major role in severing ties between Japanese Americans and Japan, today's opportunities for collaboration and mutual benefit are great and demand a renewed commitment to involving Japanese Americans in U.S.-Japan relations.

The Japanese American Leadership Delegation provides Japanese American leaders with the opportunity to become acquainted or re-engaged with Japan and participate in discussions related to the role that Japanese Americans can play in addressing key issues that face both countries, now and in the future.

The first delegation was invited by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) to visit Japan in 2000. It included third and fourth generation Japanese Americans selected from various professional fields including the educational, cultural, philanthropic, legal and political sectors. Since the initial trip, delegations of Japanese American leaders from throughout the United States have visited Japan every year since 2002.

Participants in this program have created an alumni network to ensure that the commitment to strengthening U.S.-Japan relations is maintained. A commitment to follow-up after the trip is a required part of the program.
  • The trip to Japan will be March 6-14, 2015
  • Orientation – January 30-31, 2015 in Los Angeles – This is mandatory for all delegates that will travel to Japan. Non-participation in the orientation will disqualify an individual from traveling with the delegation.
  • The itinerary will include travel to Tokyo and TBD.
  • Transportation, hotel and meals will be provided.
  • Delegates are required to attend all meetings and events during the trip.
As a rule, delegates are not permitted to extend their stay. In exceptional cases, however, they may extend their stays by up to five nights at the conclusion of the official program at their own expense and at the approval of MOFA. Requests will be considered only if the extension supports the general goals of the program. As a rule, spouses and family members are not permitted to accompany delegates during the official trip.

For the 2015 delegation, members will be comprised of senior leaders and executives with moderate to extensive experience in U.S.-Japan relations. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will approve the final ten Japanese American leaders for the 2015 delegation. Decisions will be based upon recommendations from the local Japanese consulates and Japanese embassy and recommendations from an advisory committee comprised of selected former delegates. The 2015 delegation will include leaders who have a demonstrated interest and commitment to strengthening U.S.-Japan relations, have interest or experience in the Japanese American community, and will be committed to future efforts to strengthen linkages between the United States and Japan. Selection for the 2015 delegation will give greater consideration to individuals with extensive experience in the following sectors:

  • Local, State or Regional Government including appointed and elected officials
  • Entrepreneurship in areas such as clean energy, new technology, culinary and tourism
  • Communications including social media
Selection Criteria will include:
  • Successful and senior leadership in one's profession
  • High level of interest or experience in U.S.-Japan relations
  • Commitment to strengthening U.S. -Japanese relations in the future
  • Interest in expanding the role of Japanese Americans in U.S.-Japan relations
Three members of the delegation will be selected to speak at a symposium in Japan co-sponsored by the U.S.-Japan Council. In the past, the delegation has participated in symposiums held in Fukushima, Sendai, Kyoto, Kobe, Nagoya, Hiroshima, Fukuoka, Okinawa, Osaka and Tokyo.
In making the final recommendations for the delegation, criteria will also include:
  • Regional representation
  • Diversity of professional backgrounds
  • Gender balance
  • Diversity of experience in Japan including first time travelers to Japan and moderate to extensive experience in Japan. (Note: Those who were previously invited to Japan by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the same program will not be eligible for consideration.
  • In principle, delegates should be 40 to 55 years of age to enable longer-term opportunities to build U.S.-Japan relations in their respective professional and community activities. In reflecting the goals of the program, priority will be given to sansei, yonsei and gosei, including Japanese Americans of multi-racial background.

Notwithstanding, candidates who do not meet all of the above criteria may still be considered if they demonstrate extraordinary qualifications.
* Deadline for receipt of applications: Friday, September 26, 2014

  Application Form ( PDF )

Application should be submitted by email, fax, or mail to the local consulate office based upon the applicant's residence (see attached for list of consulate offices). For residents of Washington, D.C., applications should be submitted to the Embassy of Japan. A duplicate copy should also be sent to the U.S.-Japan Council. Please note "Application for the Japanese American Leadership Delegation" on the front of the envelope if you mail the application.

Embassy of Japan/Consulate General of Japan in your region or

Consulate General of Japan in Los Angeles
    - Ms. Jennifer Usyak, (213) 617-6700 x166,, or
    - Consul Izuru Shimmura, (213) 617-6700,

For residents of Connecticut (zip codes beginning 068 and 069), Delaware, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, applications should be submitted to the following;

Consulate-General of Japan in New York, Political Section (Mr. Shinoihara)
299 Park Ave, 19th Floor New York NY 10171-0025
Tel: 212-418-4436 (Mr. Shinohara)
Fax: 212-688-2712

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan is one of the eleven ministries of the Government of Japan's Executive Branch, the Prime Minister's Cabinet. The Ministry oversees a network of embassies and consulates throughout the world, managing Japan's foreign relations. The North American Affairs Bureau sponsors a number of programs which facilitate the strengthening of Japan-U.S. relations, with the First North America Division overseeing Japanese American affairs.

The U.S.-Japan Council
The U.S.-Japan Council is a 501(c) 3 non-profit educational organization that contributes to strengthening U.S.-Japan relations by bringing together diverse leadership, engaging stakeholders and exploring issues that benefit communities, businesses and government entities on both sides of the Pacific. The Council promotes people-to-people relations as crucial to a strong U.S.-Japan relationship. Recognizing the catalytic role that Japanese Americans play in strengthening U.S.-Japan relations, the Council cultivates a national network of Japanese American leaders known as Council Members. The U.S.-Japan Council collaborates with other organizations and institutions to develop programs that allow Council Members to engage with their Japanese counterparts and leaders in the United States.
For more information, please visit the U.S. Japan Council Website (
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