JASC Summer 2013 Newsletter

The Summer 2013 edition of the JASC Journal is now available online. You can view the journal by clicking here. A print version of the journal will soon be mailed. Please email jasc@iscdc.org to update your mailing address if you have a new address and still wish to receive the journal.

Enjoy the Summer 2013 edition of the JASC Journal!


Asia Society Hosts, “An Asian American Triumph: From Internment Camps to Reparations”

On Thursday, June 20th, Asia Society hosted an extraordinary event titled, “An Asian American Triumph: From Internment Camps to Reparations.” As one of the event’s outreach partners, International Student Conferences was invited to attend. Yuuki Shinomiya, Executive Director of ISC was joined by Jenny Kai, KASC 3 (2010), and Rachel Horton, JASC 63 & 64 (2011 & 2012), in representing both conferences and engaging in discussion afterwards. A few other JASCers  were also in attendance, most notably, Ambassador and Consul-General of Japan in New York, Shigeki Hiroki, JASC 28 & 29 (1976 & 1977), and Consul Kengo Yoshihara, JASC 41 (1989).

The event was both informative as well as inspiring. Ambassador Hiroki and Nicholas Platt, Asia Society President Emeritus, introduced the speakers and significance of the event. Fred Katayama, the moderator of the event, told his father’s story of internment in the United States during World War II. After he spoke, he welcomed Grant Ujifusa, Redress Strategy Chair of the Japanese American Citizens League, and then Tom Kean, former Governor of New Jersey, to share their personal stories of President Ronald Reagan reversing his opposition to the Japanese American redress bill and eventually signing the HR 442 on August 10, 1988.  The event continued with questions and answers that added even more to the history surrounding the redress and how we can use what happened in the past as a way to pave a future of less suffering and segregation. By signing the HR 442, President Ronald Reagan showed the United States that justice being served and the reparations paid to those interned were more important than the fiscal budget.

Although the history of Japanese Americans interned during WWII is not taught in all schools across the United States, it is a shameful part of the nation’s history and a lesson that should be imparted so as to never be repeated. JASC has always made efforts to educate young leaders from the US and Japan about Japanese American community’s history and contributions to the American society.

For further reading:

This article was written by Rachel Horton, alumna of JASC 63 & 64 (2011 & 2012).


JASC Fundraiser a Success in New York

John Shook, JASC 29 (1977) speaks about his JASC experience

On Wednesday, May 8, 2013 JASCers and supporters gathered in New York City for a fundraiser. The event was graciously hosted by MetLife at their Bryant Park building. Over 100 people were in attendance for the event that rekindled JASC memories and introduced the program to some new friends. The event, along with the online campaign for fundraising has brought in over $16,000 for JASC this year.

JASCers from JASC 61-64 reunite during the event

John Shook, JASC 29 (1977), was the first speaker of the evening. He spoke on how JASC impacted him personally and helped launch his esteemed career for Toyota and now the Lean Enterprise Institute. More about John and his work here.

Kengo Yoshihara speaks at the JASC Fundraiser

He was followed by Kengo Yoshihara, JASC 41 (1989) and Consul of Japan in New York City. Kengo spoke on the importance of JASC to U.S.-Japan relations and his own experience as a delegate.

Jillian Anderson speaks at the JASC fundraiser

Jillian Anderson, JASC 63 & 64 (2011 & 2012) spoke next and gave an account of what she gained during her experience as a delegate and as chair of the American Executive committee and how the skills she has learned are helping her now as a young professional.

The keynote speaker of the evening was Glen S. Fukushima, JASC 22 & 23 (1970 & 1971) and Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress. He gave a speech about the impact of JASC on 3 levels, the personal, the national, and the international. In addition to learning skills he found valuable in his career as a U.S. trade representative at the JASC, Glen also met his wife of over 40 years, Ms. Sakie Fukushima, also JASC 22 & 23 (1970 & 1971), during the conference. More about Glen on his website.

Glen S. Fukushima speaking at the JASC Fundraiser

The purpose of the event was to help ISC reach its goal of raising $20,000 from individuals and $20,000 from corporations in support of the upcoming conference thanks to generous supporters like our corporate sponsors, MetLife, Toyota, Sojitz, Marubeni, and the Japan Chamber of Commerce. ISC is still progressing towards this goal and donations of any amount are appreciated. More at www.iscdc.org/donate/.


John Shook’s (JASC 29) Challenge to JASC Alumni

ISC Board Member, Mr. John Shook, JASC 29 (1977) with Ambassador Shigeyuki Hiroki, JASC 28 & 29 (1976 & 1977).

Not many people can say they were once the only non-Japanese person working for Toyota in Toyota City, Japan. Mr. John Shook, JASC 29 (1977), can. He has embodied the essence of JASC throughout his career. Currently the Chairman and CEO of Lean Enterprise Institute, John spent a significant part of his career working for Toyota. While working at Toyota’s headquarters in Japan, he became the company’s first American kacho (manager). John’s career trajectory did not always have Japan as a focus: it was the life-changing experience of JASC that sent him on a path to a career associated with Japan. (Catch up with John’s current activities, blogs and books at www.lean.org/shook/.)

John Shook and Makimi Kato during the 28th JASC in 1976.

As a college student in Tennessee, JASC 28 happened to visit his hometown where his family hosted a JASCer , which led to his application for and attending of JASC 29 and later joining the executive committee to plan JASC 30. Through his JASC experience, John’s eyes were opened to the culture of Japan, and he developed lifelong friendships as well as a lifelong interest in Japan. His continued involvement in JASC, through serving on the ISC Board, attendance at JASC events, and financial contributions to ISC, has been extremely significant.

Most recently, John attended a JASC reception in New York where he rekindled his friendship with the host, Ambassador Hiroki, whom he used to call simply, Shige. There he spoke about the influence JASC had on both his personal life and his career, his continued and lifelong friendship with Ambassador Hiroki, and how important he believes the long-term values of JASC, mutual understanding, friend and trust, are to a peaceful and prosperous world.

John is challenging first time donors to get involved with JASC: in conjunction with the JASC Fundraising event on May, 8 2013, in New York City, John has agreed to match first time donations up to $5,000! Your donation can be made here. If you’re in the New York area, or if you will be on May 8, and would like to attend the fundraising event (with keynote speaker Glen S. Fukushima!), please RSVP to Chelsea Irvin at cirvin@iscdc.org.

More information at http://iscdc.org/donate/campaigns/JASC-2013/


John Shook (JASC 29) receives Best Paper Award

Mr. John Shook
Mr. John Shook is a JASC 29th alum and ISC board member. He received an award from the MIT Sloan Management Review for the best article of 2010.  Here are PDFs of the one-page article about the prize in the current issue of MIT’s Sloan Management Review and of the original article from Winter 2010, Volume 51, Number 2, pp. 63-68, Reprint 51211. The article can also be downloaded from the site, or it is currently available again on the SMR site so can be linked to.