JASC in San Fran!!

Delegates arrived in San Francisco on Wednesday August 6, where they were hosted by The University of California, Berkeley!

The delegation hosted a Diversity Symposium, where they heard a lecture about immigration trends, both historically and currently, in the U.S. and Japan from Berkeley professor Keiko Yamanaka. Dr. Yamanaka is a sociologist and a continuing lecturer in the Departments of Ethic Studies and International & Area Studies at Berkeley Her lecture was followed by a panel discussion featuring Britton Watkins (JASC 40 & 41), Madeline Adkins (JASC 40 & 41), and Josh Feldman who spoke about their experiences being openly gay living and working both in Japan and the U.S. Mr. Watkins has been living as an out gay man since his early 20s in both the U.S. and Japan. He is an independent consultutant in market strategy research and communication strategies for companies like Adobe, Fujitsu and Sony. Ms. Adkins has held positions in many different fields throughout her career including in the corporate world with companies like Sony, Intel and Safeway, and in academia, teaching at CU Boulder and Berkeley City College. Mr. Feldman is a creative director focusing on user experience strategic design. He has been legally married to Mr. Watkins (also on the panel) for six year. Each panelist shared their personal stories, which were inspiring, and led to a meaningful question and answer session with  the delegates.  Shortly following the Diversity Symposium, the delegates had their annual talent show, where Amedeles and Japadeles worked together to show off their talents!

JASC 66 had a monumentally successful homestay weekend from August 8-10. Delegates stayed with alumni and their friends throughout the Bay Area, experiencing the culture, sights, and food of Northern California.

With the help of JASC alumnus Jon-Michael Durkin, JASC 66 also had the opportunity to tour Google’s Mountain View campus and participated in a creative-thinking workshop.  The delegates loved seeing Google’s Android Garden, and experiencing the unique work environment at Google.

JASC alumnus Allen Miner hosted JASCers at Harkone Gardens, the oldest Japanese estate in the Western Hemisphere, for a Japanese culture night. The delegates enjoyed a variety of Japanese culture including Nagashi-Somen (catching floated noodles in cut bamboo shoots with chopsticks), Shodo (Japanese calligraphy), and Senkou Hanapi (summer sparkler tradition).

To wrap up their stay in San Francisco, JASC 66 spent a day taking RT Field Trips. Each RT had a unique experience and was able to explore a different aspect of their RT.

Please visit JASC’s Facebook and Flikr pages to see photos from all of these great events, and more!

Japadeles Welcomed to Iowa and JASC Opening Ceremony

After a successful American Orientation, the Japanese delegation (or Japadeles) arrived in Iowa on August 2! They landed in Des Moines after a long, but pleasant, flight from Tokyo, and immediately boarded a charted bus that brought them to Grinnell College. The Japadeles were ushered into a large meeting room where the Amedeles were waiting, seemingly disinterested in their arrival. Suddenly, music started, and the entire American delegation broke out in a Harlem Shake, surprising the Japadeles! They held up a “Welcome” sign, and shouted welcome to JASC, and the Japadeles were thrilled. They mingled, hugged, exchanged gifts, and did self-introductions.

On August 3, the 66th JASC delegation held their first joint RT meetings. Everyone was excited to work and discuss together, finally in person after months of communicating over the internet. The delegation then prepared for JASC’s Opening Ceremony, changing into business formal attire (the first of many times during the Conference).

After a brief welcome from ISC Assistant Director Chelsea Irvin, the delegation was officially welcomed to Grinnell, IA by Mayor Gordon Canfield. Mayor Canfield gave the delegation a deeper look into small-town American life, and the history of trade and friendship between Japan and Iowa. Sharon Lu, American Executive Committee member, then read a statement from Iowa Sister States. The statement covered the long friendship between Iowa and Yamanashi Prefecture, which was formed and survived on mutual respect, trust, and genuine understanding.  Next, the delegation heard from Doug Lewis, a native Iowan whose professional work and volunteer service has been focused on bringing Iowa to the world, and the world to Iowa.  He spoke about his personal connection with Japan, and commended the delegates on their commitment to the important relationship between the U.S. and Japan. Finally, Dr. Sachiko Murphy, a high-school Japanese language teacher in the Des Moines public school system, spoke to the delegation about her personal experiences teaching in both Japan and the United States, and the differences that exist in the two systems.

JASCers next heard a lecture  about Indigenous Agriculture and foodways in the U.S. from Dr Christina Gish HIll, who is a Professor of Anthropology and American Indian Studies at Iowa State University. She spoke in depth to the delegation about Native American agriculture, specifically their tradition of farming corn, squash, and beans. Her lecture prepared the delegates for their visit to a local Native American settlement the following day.

The Amedeles and Japadels wrapped up their first day of programming by performing skits for one another in the evening. The skits were both humorous and informative about each distinct culture.

You can see photos from the entire Des Moines site on JASC’s Flikr and Facebook pages!

JASC 66 AO Filled with Spirit of Learning and Friendship

American Orientation for the 66th JASC began on Wednesday, July 30th as delegates flew, drove, and even walked to Des Moines, IA! The diverse delegation coming from across the U.S. took over the Des Moines International Airport for several hours on Wednesday. There, delegates began bonding and learning each other’s names.  After travelling to host university Grinnell College, the delegates’ first day together was filled with introductions, ice breakers, and learning the history of JASC.

On Thursday, American delegates had their first Roundtable (RT) meeting in person, and heard their first lecture from David Yepsen. Mr. Yepssen is currently the director of the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, after a 34-year career as a political journalist with the Des Moines Register. He is an expert on the presidential caucus campaigns, having covered the Iowa caucus for 9-cycles. He spoke to the American delegation about the caucus system, his personal experience, and the future of the American presidency. He was extremely gracious, taking over 45-minutes to answer questions from the delegation.

After the lecture from Mr. Yepsen, two delegates were awarded for their outstanding essays in the annual RT paper essay contest! The delegation then worked together to prepare their skit for the Japanese delegation, which will be presented upon their arrival to the U.S.

The last day of AO, Friday, August 1st, began with RT discussion time, followed by a presentation on networking  by the American Executive Committee. The delegates learned key differences between networking in Japan and the U.S., tips for being confident while networking, and guidance on how to take networking to the next level by building and maintaining the relationship over time. They were then given time to practice with one another. After some free time in downtown Grinnell, the American delegation reflected upon their time in Iowa so far, and prepared for the arrival of the Japanese delegation on Saturday.

You can see all the photos from AO on JASC’s facebook and flikr page! Please check them out and “like” them!!

American Orientation for the 66th JASC begins TOMORROW!

Another JASC is about to begin, and the American Executive Committee is already in Grinnell, IA (outside of Iowa’s capital Des Moines) preparing for the American delegates to arrive!

The AEC is has spent the last two days finalizing Conference logistics and planning. They took a tour of Grinnell College’s campus, appreciating the architecture and environmentally friendly buildings. Grinnell College, a private liberal arts school, has many notable alumni including legendary jazz artist Herbie Hancock, Nobel Prize winner Thomas Cech, principal architect of the President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal Harry Hopkins, and many more.

Please visit JASC’s Facebook and Flickr pages to check out pictures!!



JASC Hosts Alumni & Supporter Reception with Glen S. Fukushima in Los Angeles

On July 22, Japan-America Student Conference (JASC) hosted a reception to celebrate the 80th anniversary with alumni, friends and supporters in Los Angeles area.  ISC Vice Chairman of the Board, Glen S. Fukushima (JASC 1970 & 71) shared his experiences at JASC, his distinguished government and business career in the U.S. and Japan. Also attended was Phil Wolfstein (JASC 1972), Will Knox (JASC  1973), Ron Ohata (JASC 1974), Shelene Atanacio (JASC 1996), and Jetting Chen (JASC 2004). The reception was also attended by several leaders from the local US-Japan community,  including California State Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi and Mr. Masahiro Suga, Acting Consul General of Japan in Los Angeles. The event was co-hosted by Japan-America Society of Southern California.


Want to reconnect with JASC and meet the current students? Attend the 80th Anniversary Weekend in San Francisco! More information and RSVP at www.regonline.com/jasc80th.

Or contact Yuuki Shinomiya at yshinomiya@iscdc.org.

JASC & KASC Still Accepting Applications!

Upon their review of the many excellent applicants, the Executive Committees of JASC and KASC decided to extend the deadline on a rolling-admissions basis in order to have a more diverse delegation. They will be accepting new applicants until the delegation is full, or until March 31. Students applying for JASC who also wish to apply for the S&R Foundation Scholarship must submit all of their application materials by March 24 to be considered.


In case you haven’t heard:
The Japan-America Student Conference (JASC) is currently recruiting student delegates for the 66th Annual Conference, which will be held in the U.S. in August 2014. This student-led exchange program, initiated in 1934 by university students concerned by the breakdown of bilateral relations prior to the Second World War, JASC has evolved into a leadership training program for both Japanese and American students. Our notable alumni list includes former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and former Prime Minister of Japan Kiichi Miyazawa, This year’s conference theme is “Communicate and Connect: Pursuing Peace at the Crossroads of Culture” and will visit Des Moines, IA, San Francisco, CA, New York, NY, and Washington, D.C. Applications are currently being accepted on a rolling-admission basis until March 31st, 2014. You can learn more about the 66th JASC here: http://iscdc.org/jasc/2014/.

The Korea-America Student Conference (KASC) is a student-led academic and cultural student exchange program with a focus on hands-on leadership training. Every July, 50 students equally represented from the U.S. and Korea gather for a month-long conference to discuss issues pertinent to the bilateral relationship. Together as a group, the delegation travels throughout the U.S./Korea while researching 5 specific roundtable topics and meeting with various experts. At the end of the conference, each roundtable group presents creative solutions to current bilateral issues before a panel of judges and a general audience. This year, guided by the theme “Introspection: Opportunity to Learn, Grow, and Prosper”, KASC will convene in South Korea, exploring four unique regions of the country. Applications are currently being accepted on a rolling-admission basis until March 31st, 2014. You can learn more about the 7th KASC here: http://iscdc.org/kasc/2014/.

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/.


Announcing the S&R Foundation 2014 JASC Scholarship

ISC is pleased to announce that in 2014 the S&R Foundation will provide one need-based scholarship for a student to attend the 66th Japan-America Student Conference (JASC) as an American delegate. Founded in 2000 by Dr. Sachiko Kuno and Dr. Ryuji Ueno, the S&R Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization based in Washington, D.C. Its mission is to support talented individuals with great potential and high aspirations in the arts and sciences, especially those who are furthering international cultural collaboration.

Details for the 2016 S&R scholarship to be announced in Spring, 2016


JASCers’ Voices Page Captures Alumni Testimonials

A new page on the ISC website shares testimonials and quotes from alumni of JASC. The JASCers’ Voices Page, www.iscdc.org/jasc/2014/voices/ captures quotes from some of the conference’s most prominent alumni as well as more recent participants. It is designed to give those new to the program a better understanding of what alumni have gained from attending the conference. We hope you will take time to browse this and other pages on the redesigned www.iscdc.org website!