Wisconsin Forum Introduces JASCers to State and Local Politics

On August 6th, JASCers got a taste of Wisconsin politics during the Political Activism Forum sponsored by JASC, held at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Panelists included former Madison mayor Dave Cieslewicz, reporter Mike Ivey for The Capital Times, political editor of Progressive Magazine Ruth Coniff, and Brian Moon, a reporter for the Wisconsin Radio Network. The panel gave an overview of how state and local government differ from politics at the national level. Panelists also discussed the recent political protests in Madison, which resulted in the failed recall attempt of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker. Delegate Patrick Meuer of Edgewood College also presented on his experience as a student political activist.

The timing of the forum was significant, as 2012 is a particularly important year in politics for Wisconsin. The forum fell between the recent recall election for the state’s governor earlier in the year and the upcoming elections in November, in which Wisconsin is a key battleground state for the presidential election.

Panelists, from left to right: Brian Moon, Ruth Coniff and Mike Ivey field a question from Hiroshi Ichige of International Christian University


Meeting with High School Students Sparks Discussions on Japan’s Future

On August 11th, the 64th JASC delegation met with over 200 high school students from the Tohoku region in Japan. The high school students were participants in the Softbank Operation Tomodachi Summer Leadership Camp, a three-week program at the University of California Berkeley involving leadership training, cultural activities, homestay, and lectures. More information about the program can be found at the Consulate-General of Japan’s website.

JASC delegates engaged in roundtable discussions during their meeting with the high school students focused on a theme of youth empowerment in times of crisis, particularly youth involvement in Japan’s recovery from the 3/11 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster. The high school students reflected on their experience in the U.S. and their plans for becoming active leaders upon their return. Both delegates of JASC and the Softbank Operation Tomodachi Summer Leadership Camp shared their vision for the next generation of leadership in Japan.

Students from both delegations  came away from the discussions with new ideas and a renewed sense of purpose. As the U.S. Department of State and U.S.-Japan Council have advocated, grassroots programs like JASC and the Softbank Operation Tomodachi Summer Leadership Camp are taking the next step in building a “Tomodachi Generation” of youth in Japan and the U.S. This meeting served to form strong ties between the youth of both countries and in establishing mentorship between college and high school students. More information about the effort to create a “Tomodachi Generation” can be found on the U.S. Department of State Website, blogs.state.gov.

JASC Delegates Isaac Choi (Ohio State University) and Koki Asahara (University of Tokyo) engage in Discussion with Operation Tomodachi Students

An Operation Tomodachi Leadership Camp Participant shows off a video on here Ipad

JASC Student Chairs, Jillian Anderson (Colgate University) and Yurina Yamashita (Nagoya University Law School) address both delegations

JASC delegate Matthew Bassett (University of Idaho) reflects on the day's discussions


JASC Final Forum to be Streamed Live Online

The 64th JASC Final Forum will be streamed live from the University of Washington in Seattle on Nico Nico Japan! The delegates of the 64th conference will present their month’s work in roundtable discussions by giving 15 minute presentations.

The live stream will begin on Friday, August 17th at 9:00 AM PDT.

More information is available at:

Nico Nico English
Nico Nico Japanese

To view the live stream, you will need to create an account on the Nico Nico English site.

Thank you to Nico Nico for hosting the live stream of the event!


It’s a Walkoff!

From left to right Chinami Sakurai (Tokyo Medical and Dental University), Yurina Yamishita (Nagoya University Law School) and Channing Harris (Roosevelt University) pose outside the Seattle Mariners Safeco Field

Masato Takeuchi (Musashino University) and Kotaro Kimura (Yokohama National University) pose with a Seattle Mariners ball girl



On August 14th the 64th JASC delegation spent a night at the ballpark watching the Seattle Mariners. Despite the absence of famous Japanese right fielder and long-time Mariner Ichiro Suzuki due to his recent relocation to the New York Yankees, the evening was full of excitement. JASCers enjoyed a night off from intense roundtable discussions, relaxing to enjoy the game, as well as the beautiful view of the Seattle skyline from Safeco Field.

The game ended in a Mariners win on a walkoff single by outfielder Eric Thames. Needless to say, JASC delegates made their presence felt in the stadium, joining the post-game celebration in the stands. Highlights from the game can be found at mlb.com.

64th JASCers Tour Organic Farm

Organic Valley farmers and staff and the 64th JASC delegation

On August 8th, the 64th JASC received an introduction to organic agriculture when they visited R & G Miller & Sons Certified Organic Dairy Farm just outside Madison, WI. The event was made possible with generous contributions from the Organic Valley Cooperative, which provided staff members, resources, and food products for the visit.

The day began with a farm tour led by Organic Valley staff and the Miller family farm. Japanese and American delegates had a close look at how food is produced, which was a first-time experience for many. The tour was followed by lectures about organic farming practices. Afterwards, delegates held discussions with a group of young farmers know as Gen-O farmers (more info available on the Organic Valley website).

JASC extends its thanks to all the people at Organic Valley for making this wonderful tour possible, and especially to the Miller family for hosting the entire delegation of JASC 64!

Organic Valley Farmer Jim Miller speaks to Takuya Naruse of Binghamton University and Keiko Kato of the University of Illinois

Gen-O Farmer Caleb Winkel answers questions from Masatake Hirono of Ritsumeikan University

Takuya Naruse of Binghamton University and Takuya Kawabe of Ritsumeikan University show off their new Organic Valley shopping bags

JASC visits the immigraion court in Dallas

Judge Michael Baird speaks about the immigration system in the United States

On July 31st, JASC delegates witnessed immigration court proceedings in Dallas.

Immigration judge Michael Baird addressed the delegates, providing insight to the immigration court system in the United States. After the lecture, Mr. Baird answered their questions candidly. The opportunity to observe and discuss immigration policy at work in the United States was a unique experience for delegates, and delegates appreciated the chance to fulfill their curiosity by speaking with Mr. Baird.

The 64th JASC delegation leaves Dallas on Friday, August 3rd to travel to the University of Wisconsin in Madison.


Opening Ceremony Marks Beginning of JASC 64

The 64th JASC is officially underway in Dallas, TX after the opening ceremony at Southern Methodist University. The event was hosted by SMU’s Dedman College in historic Dallas Hall.

Mr. Mark Berry presents to delegates on his experience as an active supporter of friendship between the U.S. and Japan in the Dallas community

After being called to order by the American and Japanese student chairs the Opening Ceremony proceeded with presentations from Honorary Consul-General of Japan in Dallas, John M. Stich, who presented on the Dallas area’s Japan-America Cultural Exchange Summit. Mr. Mark Berry (pictured to the right) presented on his involved with Japan from working for Fujitsu in Dallas to traveling to Japan several times as well as his involvment in the Japan-America Society of Dallas Fort Worth where he serves as chair of the Dallas Sendai Committee. Lastly, Dr. Hiroki Takeuchi provided the delegates with a multi-faceted lecture about the economic outlook of Japan, Japan’s relationship with China and Japan and the US’s involvement in the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Alumnus Troy Miller (JASC 39, 40 & 41) speaks with delegates, Jonathan Geider of Rutgers University pictured

The ceremony was followed by a reception in the rotunda of Dallas Hall where delegates mingled with guests including the opening ceremony speakers, Dr. Bill Tsutsui and Mr. Michael Clarke of SMU and several JASC alumni.

Please continue following the blog as more updates from Dallas site are coming soon!

The delegation of the 64th JASC in the rotunda of Dallas Hall


JASC Delegates Experience Texas Barbeque

Dr. Bill Tsutsui, Dean of Dedman College at Southern Methodist University, welcomes delegates to Dallas

On July 27th, the 64th JASC delegates experienced Texas-style barbeque and were welcomed to Dallas by JASC alumni and friends from Southern Methodist University. Peggy Sue’s Barbeque of Dallas hosted the event which drew five guests who dined with the American delegates and joined in small group discussions.

JASC American delegates with guests (from left to right) Paul Thornton (JASC 57), Troy Miller (JASC 39, 40 & 41), Max Homerding (JASC 54 & 55), Dr. Bill Tsutsui and Executive Director of the International Center at SMU, Michael Clarke


The 64th JASC Blog!

The 64th JASC will begin with American Orientation in Dallas, TX on July 25th!
This year, 72 delegates from Japan and the U.S. will travel from Dallas to Madison, WI, San Francisco, CA, and Seattle, WA.

We will continue to make blog posts to keep alumni and friends of JASC updated throughout the conference.

Please follow our blog at http://iscdc.org/blog/blog/tag/jasc-64/.

If you’d like to subscribe our blog, please register for email updates at http://iscdc.org/blog/subscribe/.