U.S.-Japan Council Newsletter
February 2nd, 2012

Sorry folks, six more weeks of winter.

Featured Photos

2012 Japanese American Leadership Delegation Orientation in Los Angeles, CA

The 2012 Japanese American Leadership Delegation with trip leader Irene Hirano Inouye. Front row (left to right): Janet Ikeda, Barry Taniguchi, Susan Onuma, Shannon Hori and Mark Mitsui. Back row (left to right): Paul Watanabe, Barbara Hibino, Michael Tanimura, Neil Horikoshi, Michael Bosack and Irene Hirano Inouye. 

Ms. Yuko Kaifu, 2012 Delegate Neil Horikoshi, JALD Alumna Moni Miyashita, 2012 Delegate Susan Onuma and JALD Alumna Tracey Doi at a reception at the residence of Consul General Jun Niimi on January 20th.

2012 JALD Delegates with Representatives from the Japanese Business Association (JBA) of Southern California at a reception hosted by JBA on January 21st.

Click here for more photos from orientation. Click here to read delegate biographies.

Click here to read a Rafu Shimpo article about the delegation.

Recent Event Recap

New Years Networking and Diet Welcoming Reception

Senator Daniel K. Inouye and Irene Hirano Inouye with Japanese House of Councilors Member Tetsuro Fukuyama

Irene Hirano Inouye, Secretary Norman Mineta and Senator K. Daniel Inouye with and Diet Members Rintaro Ogata, Hitoshi Hagihara, Junya Ogawa and Hidenori Tachibana

On January 18, 2012, the U.S.-Japan Council hosted a reception honoring five visiting members of the Japanese Diet. The event, held at Washington, DC's Firefly Restaurant, allowed Washington-area professionals to meet with Mr. Tetsuo Fukuyama of the House of Councilors, as well as Mr. Hitoshi Hagihara, Mr. Rintaro Ogata, Mr. Junya Ogawa and Mr. Hidenori Tachibana of the House of Representatives. The four House members were in Washington participating in the U.S. Department of State's International Visitor Leadership Program. USJC President Irene Hirano Inouye presided over the reception, which was attended by USJC Board Members and Members, Japanese American Leadership Delegation Alumni and representatives from the State Department and Embassy of Japan, in addition to leaders in the business and academic communities. Click here to see photos.

Yamakiya Taiko Group Meets Ambassador Roos

As a part of a January 16 visit to Fukushima Prefecture, the Ambassador of the United States to Japan met with young school children, some of whom will be making a special trip to the United States soon. The Honarable John V. Roos met with young students at Kawamata Minami Elementary School, home of the Yamakiya Taiko Group. Twelve members of the taiko (Japanese drumming) group will be visiting Washington, DC and the surrounding area as a part of this year’s centennial National Cherry Blossom Festival. Among other performances, Yamakiya Taiko will play at Washington’s John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. The group’s visit is sponsored in part by TOMODACHI. More information will be available through the U.S.-Japan Council and TOMODACHI as the April visit draws closer. 

Upcoming Events

Washington, DC

Georgetown SFS Asian Studies Program Ambassador Lecture Series Event with Ambassador John V. Roos

What: Japan’s Mega-Disaster: An On-the-Ground Perspective

When: Wednesday, February 8, 2012 - 5:30 PM 

Where: Georgetown University 
37th & O Street NW
Washington, D.C. 20057

RSVP: http://ambjohnroos.eventbrite.com/

About: Following the devastating 9.0 earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear crisis on March 11, 2011, Ambassador Roos helped lead the American mission to support Japan’s response to the multi-dimensional and unprecedented disaster.  Ambassador Roos will share his first-hand account of what it was like to be on the ground as events unfolded, discuss U.S. efforts to assist Japan, and explain what the experience means for U.S.-Japan relations.

Ambassador Roos’ tenure in Tokyo comes at an historic period.  Shortly after his arrival, power shifted from the Liberal Democratic Party for essentially the first time in fifty years to the Democratic Party of Japan and Ambassador Roos played a key role in managing the relationship through the transition.  On August 6, 2010 he became the first U.S. official ever to attend the commemoration ceremony of the atomic bombing in Hiroshima.  During his two and a half years in Japan, Ambassador Roos has built relationships and established a rich and active dialogue with government leaders, businesspeople, media and students over the course of his travels across 44 of Japan's 47 prefectures.

CLICK HERE TO RSVP for this event.

2:46 and thereafter Art Exhibit

Starting this month, Washington, DC will feature an art exhibition showcasing the works of eighteen emerging Japanese artists reacting to the earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear disaster of March 2011. Drawing its name from the time that the March 11 earthquake struck the Tohoku region, 2:46 and thereafter will be on display from February 16 through March 25 at Edison Place Gallery, 702 8th St NW. Artwork ranges from sculptures to video and will focus on how the younger generations in Japan see their country in the post-March 11 world. The exhibit is presented by transformer, a DC-based arts non-profit, and DANDANS, a Tokyo-based artist collective. The U.S.-Japan Council is proud to support 2:46 and thereafter in conjunction with the 100th anniversary of the National Cherry Blossom Festival. More information is available at the transformer website here.

Los Angeles

Moving Forward: Life After the Great East Japan Earthquake Symposium 

Led by Hitoshi Abe, UCLA Terasaki Center for Japanese Studies; Malka Older, Save the Children; Hideya Terashima, The Kahoku Shimpo; Masashige Motoe, Archi+Aid; Junko Mabuchi, ADRA; Toshio Hirano, JEN; Christopher Hawthorne, Los Angeles Times 

Saturday, March 10, 2012, Fowler Museum 
Symposium: 1:30pm - 3:30pm Reception: 4pm - 5:30pm 

Click here for more information.

Nikkei Student Union at UCLA presents their 26th Annual Cultural Night Show: Our Identity - It's more than Blood

What: A solely student-run performance show educating the community and campus about the Japanese American experience! This year's theme is the current and future state of  the Japanese American community, specifically focusing on the concept of identity. The show will consist of a student-written drama, along with performances by NSU odori, NSU modern, Kyodo Taiko and V-TONE, UCLA's newest acapella group.

Where: UCLA Royce Hall

When: February 20th, 2012 7pm-10pm

Doors open 6:30pm (President's Day, so parking will be free on campus)

ADMISSION IS FREE; however, RESERVE tickets by Feb 6.

Email nsu.cnproducers2012@gmail.com for reservations and any other questions!

Just for Fun

The short film, TheTsunami and the Cherry Blossom has been nominated for an Oscar! 

About the film:

Survivors in the areas hardest hit by Japan's recent tsunami find the courage to revive and rebuild as cherry blossom season begins.

A stunning visual poem about the ephemeral nature of life and the healing power of Japan's most beloved flower.

Directed by Academy Award Nominated filmmaker Lucy Walker (Waste Land), featuring photography by Aaron Phillips and music by Moby.

Click here to watch a trailer and learn more: http://thetsunamiandthecherryblossom.com/.

U.S. & Japan in the News

Featured story: 2012 JA Leadership Delegation to Visit Tsunami Zone
Rafu Shimpo, 1/25/2012

Japan Warns of Grim Population Decline
NPR News, 1/30/2012

63% See Need for Consumption Tax Hike
Yomiuri Shimbun, 1/30/2012

State Won't Fund Free Medical Care in Fukushima
Japan Times, 1/29/2012

Mitsubishi Electric Inflates Fees for Gov't Defense, Space Projects
Mainichi Daily News, 1/28/2012