What JASC Means to Us: New JASC Video on Vimeo

A new video features interviews with participants of the 65th Japan-America Student Conference (JASC), including the entire American Executive Committee (AEC) of the 66th conference. The video highlights the participants’ personal JASC experiences and is available on Vimeo (by clicking on the image above) or on www.iscdc.org/jasc/2014/voices/.


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!


JASC 65 Featured in TOMODACHI Video

JASC 65 (2013) was a part of the TOMODACHI Initiative, a public-private partnership that invests in the next generation of Japanese and American leaders through educational and cultural exchanges as well as entrepreneurship and leadership programs. More about the TOMODACHI Initiative in the video above.

JASC students were filmed during their programming at the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo for the video. They are seen during the following clips:



JASC 65 Delegates Enter Alumni Community

Kurt (rightmost) and Mika (back row, third from left) Tong with fellow alumni of JASC 36 & 37 (1984 & 1985). Kurt Tong is the current Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo and one of JASC’s many prominent alumni.

The 65th JASC adjourned on August 24th, 2013 and 72 student delegates (excluding the 16 executive committee members which will participate in the 66th conference) have now become alumni. Many alumni of the conference have gone on to distinguish themselves in business, academia, and government. Most notable among them is Kiichi Miyazawa, the former Prime Minister of Japan, who participated in the 1939 and 1940 Conferences, and Henry Kissinger, the former U.S. Secretary of State, who participated in the 1951 Conference.

ISC provides several services for alumni including, arranging events and reunions, circulating a quarterly newsletter, posting internship and job opportunities on the JASC Facebook Page, and arranging meetings with mentors upon request. The staff of ISC wishes all its young alumni the best and hopes they stay in touch as they go on to become leaders in their chosen fields.

If you are interested in alumni services please email jasc@iscdc.org.

If you are interested in participating in the conference and joining the vibrant group of JASC alumni in the future, please watch the JASC 2014 page for information about applying to next summer’s conference.


JASCers Share their Ideas on Boosting Iwate’s Tourism Industry

Small business owner Shinrou Nakamura spoke on the impact of the Great Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami on his business and their role in rebuilding the region.

On August 17th, 2013, JASC 65 hosted a forum on increasing tourism and economic activity in Iwate Prefecture. The forum was attended by local citizens and students from Morioka and surrounding cities. Since the forum was the first programming after the homestay weekend, many homestay families were in attendance as well.

Akira Kikuchi, representing the Iwate Prefectural Government, gives a talk on the local economy.

Speakers from the Iwate Prefectural Government as well as local businesses gave presentations on Iwate’s local economy and tourism industry. JASC delegates then gave their thoughts during breakout discussion groups. Each discussion group provided recommendations for making Iwate more attractive to tourists. Along with JASCers learning more about the regional economy, the event sparked many new ideas Iwate’s people can work to implement in hopes of increasing economic activity in the region.

Mr. Hidehiko Numata of the Commerce, Industry and Tourism Department of the Iwate Prefectural Government gives his presentation.

After presenting on Hiraizumi World Heritage Site, Hidetoshi Nakamura of the Iwate Prefectural Board of Education speaks with JASC delegates.


JASC 65 Comes to a Close with Final Forum and an Alumni Reception

AEC member Patrick Meuer of Edgewood College reads an opening statement for the final forum.

The Culture and Technology roundtable presents.

On August 22nd, 2013, the hard work of the JASC 65 delegation came to a head as students made their presentations during the Final Forum. Held at Aoyama Gakuin University, the site of the first JASC in 1934, the Final Forum drew a small but enthusiastic crowd of alumni, students, and supporters. Over 20,000 viewers also watched the Final Forum online thanks to streaming service Nico Nico Japan.

Members of the JASC 65 delegation made presentations about their roundtable topics, themes they had been studying and discussing together since first being selected as delegates. The roundtable process begins with the roundtable essay, a research paper prepared prior to JASC. This paper forms the basis for discussion once delegates arrive at the conference. Over the course of the conference in their roundtable, a group of four Japanese and four American students, delegates examine their topic through fieldtrips and discussions. The Final Forum presentation is an opportunity for each roundtable to share their findings and provide policy recommendations or project plans. The unique challenge of synthesizing the ideas of a group of eight students from differing backgrounds into one brief presentation is one of the most challenging components of JASC, but also one of the most rewarding.

Nozomi Obinata of International Christian University speaks during the Social Minorities and Discrimination roundtable’s presentation.

Yamato Komura of Akita International University asks his fellow delegates a question during the Final Forum.

Following the Final Forum, the delegation was hosted by the JASC Japan alumni association for a reception with fellow alumni. Many alumni from recent years were in attendance as well as some from JASCs long past.

Deputy Chief of Mission for the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo and JASC 36 & 37 (1984 & 1985) alumnus Kurt Tong addresses the delegation and reception guests.

Mr. Shoichi Nakase, alumnus of JASC 8 & 9 (1947 & 1948) speaks at the reception.

Mr. Yoshinori Imai, alumnus of JASC 17 (1965) gives a toast.

JASC 65 Executive Committee Members and alumni from JASC 64 reconnect at the reception.


JASCers Hear From Japanese Diet Member Shinjiro Koizumi

On August 20th, 2013, the JASC 65 delegation spoke with Japanese Politician Shinjiro Koizumi. Mr. Koizumi is a member of the Liberal Democratic Party and represents the Kanagawa 11th district in Japan’s Parliment. He is also the second son of former Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and younger brother of actor Kotaro Koizumi.

Mr. Koizumi spoke on his experience studying abroad at Columbia University in New York City as well as his motivation for pursuing a career in politics. He then answered JASCers’ questions which ranged in topic from Mr. Koizumi’s views on U.S. bases in Japan to his advice for future leaders. When asked whether he had ambitions to one day become Japan’s Prime Minister, Mr. Koizumi responded that his first goal is to serve the people and if it was the people’s wish, he’d serve them in that role.

Shinjiro Koizumi, member of Japan’s Liberal Democratic Part speaks with JASC delegates.


Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs Hosts JASC 65 Reception

JEC Chair Masato Takeuchi of the Tokyo University of the Arts addresses reception guests.

On August 20th, 2013, the JASC 65 delegation was hosted by Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs for a Reception in Tokyo. The reception was attended by JASC alumni, dignitaries from Japan and the U.S., and supporters of the conference. Former Ambassador of Japan to the United States Ichiro Fujisaki and Minister-Counselor for Public Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo Mark Davidson both spoke at the reception. Both emphasized the importance of the U.S.-Japan alliance and advocated for the positive role people-to-people exchanges like JASC can play in the relationship. JASC AEC Chair Paul Yarabe of Harvard University and JEC Chair Masato Takeuchi of the Tokyo University of the Arts also spoke at the reception and Dr. Takashi Oi of International Education Center gave a toast.

Former Japanese Ambassador to the United States Ichiro Fujisaki addresses the delegation.

Mark Davidson Minister-Counselor for Public Affairs – U.S. Embassy Tokyo addresses the delegation.

Dr. Takashi Oi of International Education Center gives a toast.

Mr. Akio Wada (right), JASC 25-27 (1973-1975), speaks with Jeff Yamashita (left) of UC Berkeley and Dylan Adelman (center) of Skidmore College.


US Embassy Visit Gives JASCers First-hand Diplomatic Experience

Kurt Tong, Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo and alumnus JASC 36 & 37 (1984 & 1985), addresses the delegation.

The JASC 65 delegation visited the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo on August 21st, 2013. The visit was made possible by Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo and JASC 36 & 37 (1984 & 1985) alumnus Kurt Tong and his staff.

JASCers share their ideas on increasing youth exchange between the U.S. and Japan.

Michael Fitzgerald of Florida State University takes notes in the U.S. Bases in Japan discussion group.

JASCers were put to work during the session, breaking off in groups to brainstorm solutions to some of the Embassy’s most important challenges. JASCers were tasked with providing recommendations for four key policy goals, increasing youth exchange between Japan and the U.S., improving relations between U.S. military bases and the communities that house them, controlling regional tensions brought on by differing interpretations of history, and finding a way for Japan to be a part of the trans-pacific partnership while satisfying their agricultural lobby. Each group was facilitated by a U.S. diplomat with experience in the Embassy working on the specific issue. Although solutions were difficult to come by, the JASC delegation was able to gain some diplomatic experience and provide some ideas the diplomats found interesting and valuable. The discussions were followed by a question and answer session with a panel of U.S. diplomats.

Daniel Bateyko of Middlebury College asks a question to the panel of diplomats.

Following the activities at the Embassy, JASCers were invited for a lunch reception at Deputy Chief of Mission Kurt Tong and his wife Mika’s, also an alumna of JASC 36 & 37 (1984 & 1985), residence. In addition to remarks by Mr. Tong, Kristy Holch, Chairman of the ISC Board of Directors and alumna of JASC 38 (1986) also spoke, encouraging JASCers to make the most of their final few days together and to stay in touch after the conference. Many other JASC alumni were in attendance as well as representatives from the Embassy and the TOMODACHI Program. After the reception, JASCers prepared for their discussion with Senator John McCain, which occurred later in the afternoon.

ISC Board Chairman Kristy Holch speaks to the delegates at Kurt and Mika Tong’s residence in Tokyo.

Samuel Hibiki Sekiguchi (left) of Hosei University speaks with high school students who participated in the Softbank Operation Tomodachi Leadership Camp earlier in the summer.

Mika Tong, JASC 36 & 37 (1984 & 1985) shares photos from her JASC that she displays on her piano.