JASC Fall 2013 Newsletter

The Fall 2013 edition of the JASC Journal is now available online. You can view the journal by clicking here. This addition includes a profile of Rachel Horton, a JASC 63 & 64 (2011 & 2012) alumna who is now working for Japan’s Permanent Mission to the UN, a recap of JASC 65, an invitation to ISC’s Washington, D.C. fundraiser, a call for applicants to JASC 66, and your JASCer notes.

Enjoy the Fall 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/.


JASCers Head to Japan as Bridging Scholars

Alexander Evans (left), Kimberly Julien (middle) and Rachel Horton (right), Villanova students at JASC 63 American Orientation at Carleton College in Northfield, MN

Two JASCers will study in Japan this Spring as Bridging Scholars. Kimberly Julien, JASC 63 & 64 (2011 & 2012) and Alexander Evans, JASC 63 (2011), both of Villanova University, join 18 other students around the country in receiving the prestigious scholarship.

List of Spring 2013 Bridging Scholarship Recipients  

The US-Japan Bridging Foundation awards scholarships to U.S. undergraduate students to study for one semester or academic year in Japan.  The Foundation aims to expand the opportunities for study abroad in Japan to help prepare America’s young people to assume future global leadership roles. Since 1999, 1275 scholarships have been awarded by the US-Japan Bridging Foundation to students studying abroad in Japan.

Applications will be accepted in April 2013 for the next group of Bridging Scholarships, for study in Japan beginning in Fall 2013. For information on the scholarships and to access the application form, visit the Bridging Project online at www.aatj.org/studyabroad/scholarships.html. For information on the Bridging Foundation, visit www.bridgingfoundation.org.


Manabu Taketani shares personal reflection on his JASC 64 Experience

Manabu Taketani of Calvin College

Memories of our Time Together
Manabu J. Taketani
64th Japan-America Student Conference

During the summer of 2012, I had the incredible privilege of participating in the student-led Japan-America Student Conference which I heard about through my Japanese language professor at Calvin College. Instead of detailing the academic aspect of each site that we visited: Dallas, Madison, Berkeley, San Francisco, and Seattle, I will summarize the personal connections that JASC cultivated. However, I must confess that no words will ever do complete justice in describing the Conference; it simply must be experienced to fully grasp the adventure of a lifetime. That being written, I will do my best to describe several memorable aspects of the Sixty-Fourth Japan-America Student Conference that I experienced.

Even before arriving in Dallas, I felt that I had already made friends through Skype meetings with my Round Table members and with the Japanese students I worked to help design the 64th JASC t-shirts. However, when I arrived at the airport in Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas, I was still slightly nervous about meeting people whom I had never met and had hardly if any contact with at all. My fears were quickly diffused by the friendliness of my fellow JASCers. I believe that when the barriers of distance and communication are overcome, people are able to become friends with each other if they put forth the effort.

After months of contacting each other via e-mail and Skype, we were all really excited to finally meet our Japanese counterparts. When the Japanese delegates arrived at the first site—South Methodist University; we had a special welcoming planned for them. Our welcoming was a huge success, as the Japanese delegates really enjoyed how we surprised them and surrounded them with chants of “J.A.S.C. This is where we want to be!” Then we headed back to our dorms and got ready for the awesome journey that was to come.

Manabu during a special topic discussion. Also pictured Nobuko Masuno of UC-Berkeley (left) and Mari Kobayashi of Waseda University (right)

A fun unplanned moment that happened at University of California- Berkley stands out in my mind as one of the most interesting and memorable moments of JASC. Invoking the theme of the 64th Conference, “Share in the Present, Connect for the Future: Strengthen Ties to Inspire Change”, we jokingly called it the run that strengthened ties for mutual understanding. Because of the time constraint, we were told that we had to run from one event to the next which was a guest lecture— the only problem was that it was roughly a mile away and we were told that we only had about ten minutes to get there. While wearing our business formal-ware and shouldering our loaded backpacks, we sprinted the mile across campus laughing and gasping for air along the way. By the time we arrived at the lecture hall, we were drenched in sweat and did not feel like listening to a lecture but we respectfully did. However awkward and slightly painful it was at that time, it was worth it because it created memories to cherish.

Although we attended many lectures and had multiple round table meetings during JASC, I believe the lasting impact of JASC occurred outside of the official programming sessions—where the true friendships really had time to develop. There is nothing better in the world than being around friends that you care deeply about, and that is what made the Japan-America Student Conference an incredible experience. By the time end of JASC, we were all family to one another and sad to see each other go. While I cannot guarantee it, I certainly hope that we will all keep in contact with each other for the years to come. JASC was and truly is an experience of a life time


Final Forum Broadcast to the Masses

Risako Matsura (University of Tokyo), member of the Business and Ethics Roundtable speaks at the Final Forum

On August 17th the 64th JASC delegation gave their Final Forum presentations on campus at the University of Washington. About twenty guests, mostly alumni, attended the event in person, but over 75,000 viewers watched the live streaming video of the Final Forum on Nico Nico Japan, a popular Japanese Social Networking site. After each roundtable made their presentation, the fruit of their one-month effort, Dr.Donald Hellmann gave a keynote speech on the future of U.S. Japan relations.


Atomic Bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki Revisited during 64th JASC

Atomic bomb survivor Takashi Tanemori speaks while filmmaker Bryan Reichhardt looks on

Delegates of the 64th JASC took time to remember the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the U.S. during World War II as part of the discussion during JASC 64. The August 9th anniversary of the bombing of Nagasaki was marked by a presentation on the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by JASC delegates Hiroshi Watanabe (Okayama University) and Noriaki Santo (University of Tsukuba). Both students, originally from Hiroshima, gave a historical overview of the bombings and a personal reflection on the relevance of the bombs in people’s lives to this day. Discussion followed in which delegates addressed the importance of the historical events and debated the necessity of nuclear weapons and power in today’s world.

On August 10th the delegation attended a screening of the new film Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard. The film provides an intimate account of the bombing of Hiroshima through the eyes of children, who were given a gift of art supplies from a church in the U.S. during the rebuilding of Hiroshima. Instead of pictures of sadness, trauma, or fear, the children drew colorful images full of hope and inspiration. The film documents the rediscovery of these pictures and their return to Japan where the original artists regathered to see the pictures they had drawn over 50 years before.  More about the film can be found at Hiroshimaschoolyard.com.

Director and Co-Producer of the film, Bryan Reichhardt was in attendance at the screening where he answered delegates’ questions about the film.

The emotion and depth of the experience for delegates did not end with the film and discussion. After the film, delegates were able to meet and interact with Mr. Takashi Tanemori, a survivor of the bombing of Hiroshima. Mr. Tanemori moved to the United States in the 1960s to seek revenge for the bombing, but eventually had an epiphany that led him to devote himself to fostering forgiveness. He is now a writer, speaker and artist residing in Berkeley, CA. More about Mr. Tanemori can be found on his website.


JASCers tour Kikkoman and Harley-Davidson

On August 7th the Delegation of the 64th JASC traveled to Milwaukee, WI to tour the Harley-Davidson Museum and the Kikkoman manufacturing facilities.

Famous motorcycle producer, Harley-Davidson, has been manufacturing bikes in the Milwaukee area for one hundred years. JASCers had an opportunity to learn about the storied history of the Harley-Davidson and the company’s more recent expansion into the Asian motorcycle market.

Kikkoman was the first Japanese manufacturing company to set up a plant in the U.S., choosing Wisconsin as the location to produce the company’s signature soy sauce. JASC Delegates were able to learn about this history as well as more about the ins and outs of a Japanese company operating in the U.S. through a lecture from Kikkoman U.S.A. President & CEO Kazuo Shimizu. Delegates then toured the manufacturing facility,  observing the soy sauce manufacturing process from start to finish and receiving a gift of a bottle of sauce.

Thanks to both Kikkoman and Harley-Davidson for hosting the 64th JASC!

Kikkoman U.S.A. President and CEO Kazuo Shimizu gives a presentation to JASC Delegates

Delegates Ai Miura (Keio University) and Saria Kawano (Juntendo University) where protective gear while touring the plant

Autumn Ding (Bryn Mawr College) and Cruz Arroyo (Haverford College) show off their gifts from Kikkoman


JASCers Enjoy Reception at Wisconsin Governor’s Executive Residence

On August 8th, the delegation of the 64th JASC attended a reception at Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s Executive Residence in Madison, WI. Guests to the event included supporters, alumni and friends. Governor Walker was unable to attend.

More pictures are available on the JASC Flickr Account.

Guest, Debbie Strassburger, talks with University of Tokyo delegate Heajin Kim

Andrew Seaborg (JASC 44 & 45,1992 & 1993) is thanked by the chairs for his support in bringing the conference to Madison


Roundtable Sees Renowned Jazz Artist and JASC Alumnus Akira Tana Perform Live

Akira Tana (JASC 1972) plays the drums for his band Akira Tana and the Secret Agent Men

The Cultural Innovation and Arts Roundtable of the 64th JASC were able to experience performance arts and cultural exchange directly thanks to an invitation from JASC alumnus and renowned jazz artist Akira Tana to see his performance at the Freight and Salvage Coffeehouse in Berkeley, CA. The roundtable was able to see Akira Tana and his band “The Secret Agent Men” perform songs from their album “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang”. The album is a Jazz interpretation of songs from the popular James Bond series.  It is also an experiment in cross cultural exchange as the band brings together individuals from various cultural backgrounds united by the art of jazz.

After the concert Akira took time to share more about his performance as well as memories from his conference with the JASC delegates. More about Akira’s career as a jazz artist can be found at akiratana.com.

The Cultural Innovation and the Arts roundtable with Akira Tana

University of Idaho delegate Matthew Bassett gets his new album signed by Akira