About our programs

The Japan-America Student Conference (JASC):
Celebrating Seventy Years

Chapter I: 1934 to 1940: The Early Conferences
Chapter II: 1947 to 1954: A Post-War Recovery
Chapter III: 1964 to 1993: The JASC Tradition Revived
Chapter IV: 1994 to 2003: Technology & Innovation
Chapter V: 2003 to present: The Millennium JASC


Forward

In 2004, the Japan-America Student Conference (JASC) celebrated its 70th Anniversary, marking it as the oldest university student exchange program between the U.S. and Japan. The past seven decades have seen the hopes of a small group of Japanese university students grow into an annual student conference, uniquely planned and managed by and for exceptional American and Japanese university students.

Despite vicissitudes in political and economic relations between the United States and Japan over the years, each successive JASC meeting has carried forward its tradition of excellence and maintained its dedication to the principle upon which it was founded in 1934: to promote mutual understanding, friendship and trust between our two important nations.

Out of this intense educational and cultural exchange experience have risen leaders in business, academia, public service and government, forming an ever-expanding chain of bilateral relationships across nationality and occupation.

Since its beginning, the Conference has been fortunate in attracting individuals and organizations who have played a critical role in supporting the American delegation to the Conferences. Without these corporations, universities, foundations and alumni, without the enthusiasm and commitment of the American Executive Committee, and without the collaboration of the JASC, Inc. staff, it would not have been possible to sustain these Conferences. A list of the most recent supporting organizations are listed in Appendix I.

The research and main text of this history was originally compiled by G. Lewis Schmidt of the 4th and 5th JASCs, and by Mr. Cecil Uyehara of the 8th JASC as part of the 1984 Fiftieth Year Celebrations. Mr. Schmidt served as JASC's President upon its incorporation in 1979 until 1984 and then as Treasurer of JASC, Inc.'s Board of Directors. Mr. Schmidt passed away in 2005. Mr. Uyehara served as JASC, Inc. President from 1984-1988. The second edition, revised and expanded, was prepared by Jennifer Deming of JASC, Inc. with the guidance of JASC alumni in recognition of JASC's 60th Anniversary.

Certain historical notes were drawn from informal translations of two Japanese-language books written about the early Conferences, Bridge Over The Pacific Ocean by Katsumi Kimura and Strength Through Friendship by Saburo Shinoyama.

We hope sincerely that you will find this tribute to JASC's 70th Anniversary interesting and informative, and to JASC alumni, reminiscent of an exciting experience.

Chapter I: 1934 to 1940