JASC 67 Day 4— August 4, 2015 by Kyle Schiller

The Mazda exec puts a graph up on the screen.

On one axis, there’s price, on the other, quality. Most people, he explains, think that you have to sacrifice one for the other. This is visualized by a line that looks like this: \

Mazda doesn’t believe in that kind of exchange. At Mazda, you can have both. At Mazda, you can breakthrough.

Their insight feels a lot like marketing, but I think there’s a great deal of truth to it. More abstractly, presenting a dichotomy as an exclusive choice tends to promote myopia rather than logical clarity. It’s easy to pick out two contrasting ideals and begin to think that you can only have one, but that just isn’t true. This kind of thinking is important for JASC.

There’s a similar perception that you have to choose between helping other people and personal happiness. In some ways this makes sense. If you think of value as a limited thing that can either be held on to or given away, the more you give to others, the less you have for yourself. In practice, that just isn’t true. Just as teaching is the best way to learn, giving is often the best way to gain.

My thoughts here are even more radical. As Joanna mentioned in our reflection, peacekeeping starts on the individual level. In other words, the very framework of me/others creates a false dichotomy that prevents any real resolution. Inevitably, seeing selfishness as a sacrifice only leads to burnout and moral indulgence.

After Mazda, we head to the opening ceremony. After watching a video about JASC I’ve started to realize just how important this conference really is. This doesn’t come from the words of distinguished alumni nearly as much as it does from the historical context. It’s easy to see the U.S. government as an immense and all-powerful monolith that somehow exerts immeasurable control. The truth is that the entirety of U.S. Japan relations are managed by a large handful of foreign service agents who tend to move from country to country every few years. JASC is important because so little else is.

We also met the governor.

JASC 67 Day 3— August 1, 2015 by Nikki Oka

Today marked the last day of American Orientation for the Amedeles at Cal Poly Pomona. Our delegates rose early (and to the occasion) by breaking off into RT groups after breakfast and morning announcements to engage in meaningful discussion. For me, that discussion consisted of the points we wanted to discuss with our Japanese counterparts and the questions we wanted to ask.

After RT time, we were given time to pack for the journey ahead (LAX->SFO, SFO->Haneda, Haneda->Hiroshima). We also had time to work on the American Culture skit we plan to present to the Japadeles upon arrival in Hiroshima. This time was put to good use and we went through several run-throughs of the script, including one for the EC board. I wouldn’t want to give anything away in this post, but just know that working on this skit really helped us all to bond. Humor really is a great way to break the ice (even further.)

We also did a lot of traveling today. It took a while to get to LAX and to SFO due to some uncontrollable mishaps, but the EC did their best to mitigate the situation. I think today was a particularly stressful day for the EC, but I want to take the time to thank each of them for doing their part to keep us organized and on time for our flights. I know it’s not easy to coordinate travel plans, especially with a large group of people, and there were times when I noticed their frustration, but each of them did their best to rectify the situation.

I’m writing this from SFO, where we have a four-hour layover. I hope everyone sleeps well on our flight to Haneda and I can’t wait to get to Hiroshima!

JASC 67 Day 2— July 31, 2015 by Emma Woodyard

Here we are: first full day of JASC that graciously does not include any flying or running around to various quarters of the globe.  That will come in time, but for now, I take liberty to say we are content being mostly stationary.

Admittedly, this morning came a wee bit early.  Collectively we reacted with bafflement and quiet tears when we learned that we would be breakfasting at the hellish hour of 7:00 am.  Nonetheless, we looked f-i-n-e and in the height of fashion as we dined on coffee and bacon – because the world is a brighter and cheerier place with both – and then filed into the conference room for a talk by Peter Beck, in which we learned about various issues facing Japan at the moment, such at the US military presence in Okinawa.

Afterwards we were dispersed to our respective Round Tables for discussions of our topics.  For a group of people who have known each other scarcely more than 24 hours (and hardly that since thank God we were sleeping for some of them), our conversations are über deep.  As a wise man once said:

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    Anyway,

Photoshoots followed.  We were fierce, fiery, and highly attractive.  Naturally.  Little else need be said.

Lunch was a very pleasant, picnic-type affair on the lawn, and then we retired to the conference room again for a culture information session.  Much was learned, but especially this fun tid-bit: apparently it is instrumental to listen for the click of a phone camera on subways and not to step over people’s backpacks because they might be secretly documenting delicate body parts.  Moving on.  An extra part of the cultural information session was the proper distribution techniques of business cards, which is NOT (thank you, Kevin and Jackie), “making them rain”.  That is not proper.  And it is probably frowned upon.  Instead, one should formally hand one’s card over, and then receive the incoming card with due care and doting attention.

A favorite part of the day was the Special Topics session, where we discussed normally sensitive issues like “Does God Exist?” and “What is the American Dream to You?” and that type of thing.  Happily, this went so smoothly and civilly as to make us very cozy and comfortable, and was a perfect transition into our next scheduled event: The Planning of The Skit.  Now, from what I hear, we are at a great disadvantage, relative to our Japanese counterparts who, by all accounts, have been preparing their act for a great amount of time, and are probably at this moment going over an elaborate dance routine or dramatic scene yet one more time for good measure.  Well, I proudly announce that in a mere 50 minutes, we had a theme, scenes, characters, and part of a script.  So there.  It’s fine.  We will make this epic yet.

I’d like to end this day by touching on our American Orientation Reflection Session. While I cannot delve into details (what happens in the Reflective Session stays in the Reflective Session), I will say that in one day’s acquaintanceship, the overwhelming consensus is that we are very happy with the prospects of this conference, and the prospects of our company.

JASC 67 Day 1— July 30, 2015 by Caitlin Hoppel

I hopped off the plane at L.A.X. with a dream and a cardigan…

Hi everyone! My name is Caitlin Hoppel. I am a rising junior marketing major at Villanova University and an American delegate of the Power and Responsibility in the Business World RT. I am incredibly excited to be a part of the 67th JASC and cannot wait to see what these next few weeks hold!

The first day of JASC was a whirlwind of smiling new faces and never-ending introductions. Just yesterday afternoon, the American delegates met at the Tom Bradley International terminal. As the delegates slowly filtered into the small seating area, we passed the time sharing stories and getting to know each other. Nothing says bonding like sitting on a linoleum floor for three hours! But truthfully, it was wonderful meeting everyone and winding down after a long flight. Although we were caught in LA traffic, the bus ride to Cal Poly Pomona was another opportunity to find out more about each other.

After a much anticipated bento box dinner (for the record, I’m awful with chopsticks), we all gathered together to break the ice. Now usually icebreakers make participants want to crawl and hide, but this group was different. JASC is different. Everyone here is so warm and welcoming, and by the end of the exercises many of us already felt like old friends. Personally, my favorite activity was two truths and a lie; I love listening to all the incredible experiences and stories the American delegates have to share. Although I have not been here 24 hours, I know that this conference is going to be absolutely life-changing. I am so grateful to be surrounded by such amazing and open-minded people. The 67th Japan-America Student Conference is certainly going to be one for the books! Stay tuned!

Third Day of KASC-JASC Trilateral Symposium (by SoYoung Chung of Korean Executive committee)

We went to the Japaneses Embassy for a luncheon with the Minister for Public Affairs, Masato Otaka. KASC and JASC ECs had a wonderful discussion on Korea-US- Japan relations based on our trilateral symposium round table topics (Immigration, Urban Future, and Security Alliances.) The Minister was so helpful and he let the conversation very well. He was willing to listen to us as student leaders and we also paid attention to what he said. It was so great time.

Remembering Trilateral Symposium(by Ji Yeon Rho, 8th KASC Recruitment Chair)

I had a hard time transforming into words the feelings we went through over the past couple of days. On the last night of our journey, we finally found time to sit down and calmly go over what we’ve done throughout Trilateral Symposium. Our reflection was hard to describe in just a few words. There were unexplainable tears, laughter, regrets, irresistible passion and mostly thankfulness.

First, I would like to thank JASCers who welcomed us warmly. The conference was only for three days. We didn’t have enough time to know each other in a personal manner. Even so, I believe we all felt the same thing. We were strangers, yet not strangers because KASC ECs were another version of JASC ECs. We didn’t know each other but at the same time we knew each other in a sense there was no wall between us from the start. We were eager to know more about each other. We were different, yet the same in the sense that we had the same goal of improving our own conference, knowing the responsibility of being leaders and having the passion to devote ourselves fully in the roundtable discussions. The mindset that we are accepting our differences as they are by sharing the common grounds as being the leader of each community made us overcome time constraints, the possibility of lacking emotional exchange on personal level and mostly different perspectives on our roundtable topics. So thank you to all the JASCers for having receptive attitude and letting us feel immediate bonding even within three days. 

Secondly, thank you to all the KASC ECs. We all know these past few months have been a downhill road for us. We were getting tired, losing our passion and radiant expectations we had at the start of our journey. I now know how important it is to be next to those who are running with me when they need me, so thank you to everyone for keeping up even though it must have been hard for all of you to keep only yourselves up. And thank you to those who pushed themselves through to break their personal limits. I would like to especially recognize one of our Korean Executive Committee members, Soyoung, who was an introvert during our summer conference. I never saw her speak in front of an audience. However, in this conference, she has given us courage and another motivation by throwing herself wholly into most of the lectures and networking times.

Thirdly, special thanks to our leaders of the leaders, Hannah Jun, Jumpei Matsui, Tiffany Xiong, and Hannah Koh. It was because of their lack of sleep, stress from preparation even before the actual symposium, dedication toward KASC and JASC, and most of all, sincere caring for each and every one of our ECs that enabled us to achieve the best result from our short schedule. I just want to tell them, “Believe in your leadership and decisions, because we believe in you”

Finally, I would like to express my utmost appreciation to all the people who worked behind the scenes to make Trilateral Symposium successful. All the supporters of KASC and JASC, including panelists, lecturers, our board of directors, and sponsors—thank you so much for providing this wonderful experience. Also, Minjun, Chelsea and especially Yuuki—thank you for molding this experience into memories that we will keep for the rest of our KASC journey. I believe Trilateral Symposium will be remembered as a crucial turning point for KASC as a new-born program. We drew out the model for KASC, recharged our motivation for the next half of our marathon, broke through personal limits as leaders of the next KASC and, mostly, felt from bottom of our heart the mission of ISC to promote peace by furthering mutual understanding, friendship and trust through international student interchange.

 – Ji Yeon Rho, Korean Executive Committee Recruitment Chair for 8th KASC-

Trilateral Symposium Experience

Immensely enjoyable.

There’s no other way to describe my week with the Japan-America Student Conference (JASC) and Korea-America Student Conference (KASC) Executive Committee members (ECs). From forging new connections, learning about and from each other, and sharing best practices for our respective conferences, the JASC-KASC Trilateral Symposium was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that we are eternally grateful for.

As most of my colleagues have already posted about, Trilateral Symposium was a chance for the JASC and KASC ECs to break up into mixed groups, discuss issues relevant to our roundtable (RT) topic, and collaboratively create and present a 20 minute presentation for a panel of experts.

My RT, Urban Future and Its Challenges, was especially challenging; most of us came into the Symposium with little knowledge and expertise on urbanization and urban issues. On Monday, Jan. 5, International Student Conferences (ISC) invited Dr. Bertrand Renaud, an expert on financial and urban development and real estate finance, to speak with us regarding our RT. Although a lot of information was packed into the hour-and-a-half meeting, everyone in the Urban Future RT was very impressed by Dr. Renaud’s remarks and feedback. We subsequently incorporated what we learned into our Trilateral Symposium presentation, which received positive feedback from the panel of experts and audience members.

Without a doubt, I can definitely say that Dr. Renaud and the Urban Future RT inspired me to learn more about urban cities not only in Japan, Korea, and the U.S., but also around the world. I want to continue what we started at Trilateral Symposium and learn more in order to hopefully move the world and create a better future.

I would like to thank ISC, including Yuuki Shinomiya, Minjun Chen, and Chelsea Irvin, for the extremely well-organized conference. All of the JASC and KASC ECs left Trilateral Symposium feeling very empowered and grateful for an amazing and unforgettable experience. Special thanks as well to Trilateral Symposium sponsors, donors, lecturers, and supporters; the Symposium wouldn’t have happened without you! Finally, thank you to my colleagues, the JASC and KASC ECs, for continuing to serve as role models and inspiration to me (even though I am older than most of you all!). I can’t wait to continue working with you all in the future!

—Christina Bui, American Executive Committee Recruitment Chair, 8th KASC

Trilateral Symposium Day3 (by Joongil Son, 8th Korean Executive Committee)

 

It has been 2 days since JASC and KASC executive committee members met to start Trilateral Symposium. Today, my roundtable, Security Alliance and Historical Controversies, picked the best topic among the 5 topics related that we have discussed since arriving at Georgetown University. Even though we read many articles about the U.S., ROK, and Japan relations before coming to Washington D.C, it was hard to choose a specific topic that we can work together equality. We decided choosing topic that how and what we are going to focus of for three countries in the future and how to harmonize between three countries.
Frank Jannuzi, CEO of Mansfield Foundation, came and gave us a lecture today about U.S. foreign policy in East-Asia. He has a lot of experienced in East-Asia policy. Jannuzi is an international affairs political expert who served under Chairman John Kerry as Policy Director for East Asian and Pacific Affairs for the Democratic staff of the United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. Through Jannuzi insight, our roundtable gain some ideas on our topic, what to research, consider security alliance and policy, and the economy structure. During roundtable, professor Nishino Junya and Professor Andrew Oros, who specialize in relations between the U.S, Japan and Korea, joined our roundtable and shared their thoughts on our roundtable’s topic. I appreciated the professors for coming in during our roundtable to share their knowledge and for being panelists at final forum.
In the evening we were invited to Republic of Korea Ambassador’s Residence. It was great honor to meet Ambassador Ahn and the ISC board members. I am very thankful to meet with student leaders from Korea, Japan, and the United States at symposium. They were all amazing students and I learned so much from them. It was great getting to know each other.

                                   — JoongIl Son, 8th KASC Korean Executive Committee

 

First Day of the 3rd JASC- KASC Trilateral Symposium

The first day of the trilateral symposium reminded me of the 7th Korea-America Student Conference last summer. However, it was much more cohesive and fulfilling experience in terms of academic and professional growth. Starting with a brief self-introduction game, which helped us break the ice, we had a highly informative lecture on leadership from Lieutenant Dianna Dietrich, U.S. Navy. Especially, her professional advice on peer leadership suggested us, who work with peers to run a month-long student conference, practical guideline for how to reduce unproductive and unprofessional behaviors and improve the working environment. After her impressive lecture, we had roundtable discussion and a special speaker, Dr. Bertrand Renaud from International Consultant was invited to Urban Challenges and Its Future Roundtable discussion.

Jiehwan Yang, one of the roundtable members of Urban Challenges Its Future, said, “Although I didn’t know much about issues related to Urban Challenges, I could look at the issues from a boarder perspective because he brought us various knowledge and information. After the discussion session with DR. Renaud I could know the issues out.”

Even though the official schedule was over at 6pm, each roundtable continued their roundtable discussion enthusiastically and proactively, thinking about what the roles of Korea, Japan, and the United States were and how the trilateral relationship could help solve problems regarding their roundtable topics.

 

 – Hannah Koh, the Korean Executive Committee Chair, 8th KASC

 

Final Day of Trilateral Symposium (by Yna Divinagracia, 8th KASC Executive Committee)

Trilateral Symposium came and went unapologetically, leaving us ECs exhausted and consumed with the weight of our positions as student leaders. But more importantly, Trilateral Symposium left us reflective.

Thursday morning began sharply at 6:30 AM with bagels, cream cheese, and no time for complaints. We were hauled by Uber to the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, where the culmination of our week was being held. Presentations were still being memorized, speeches were being written, and it was a criminal 12 degrees Fahrenheit in DC.

But despite the stress and lack of sleep, the response to our presentations was overwhelmingly positive. We received praise and comments from all our panelists, and I was told several times while networking how amazing this opportunity we had was. Even Yuuki Shinomiya, the executive director of ISC, described us as “phenomenal.”

We successfully went through a month’s worth of research and hard work within three to four days, and suddenly last July seemed so long ago. Transitioning from delegate to EC has been a process—an admittedly long and strenuous one. But the level of confidence and leadership I saw in that single day was once unfathomable to me.

I still remember my first conversation with 8th KASC American Executive Chair, Tiffany Xiong, back in late June. We were waiting together with other 7th KASCers on our first day of American Orientation. Our ECs were stuck in LA traffic, and I was senselessly hoping I still remembered which social formula to use when making friends.

But I specifically remember Tiffany sharing what expectations she had for our coming month. She mentioned to me how one of her friends had once participated in a weekend long conference and essentially came back a new person, and pensively, she turned to me and said, “I can’t even imagine how much we might change this month.”

Yet here we are, almost half a year later, changed people with new close friends. I’m inexplicably proud of how we’ve grown together within this time as KASC ECs and within this one week with the JASC ECs.

Trilateral symposium, like our upcoming summer conferences, was only possible because it was supported by a unit. So I’d like to share thank-yous to our panelists, lecturers, and special guests, to our board of directors and sponsors, to all of the JASC and KASC ECs, to Mijun, Chelsea, and most especially, to Yuuki. Thank you for being a part of this week. It has been a pleasure.

Good luck this summer, everyone!