Press Release






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.







Embassy of Japan

July 9, 2007




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