The 2019 Japanese American Leadership Delegation at the Japanese American National Museum. Back row, from left: Bryce Suzuki, Kurt Osaki, Andrew Fujimoto, Mark Nakagawa, Kyle Nakamoto, Britt Yamamoto. Front row, from left: Consul Shigeru Kikuma (facilitator), Kelly Yamasaki, Vickie Sakurada Schaepler, Joy Goto, Mariko Silver, Irene Hirano Inouye (facilitator).
Applications for the 2020 Japanese American Leadership Delegation (JALD) program are now available.
This program provides the opportunity for a select group of Japanese American leaders from across the United States to travel to Japan to engage with Japanese leaders in the business, government, academic, nonprofit and cultural sectors.
The Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), represented in the U.S. by the Embassy of Japan in Washington, D.C. and 17 consulate general offices, sponsors the program. The U.S.-Japan Council provides administration and organization for the program.
Application deadline is Sept. 13.
The trip to Japan, including travel, will be March 6 to March 14, 2020 (except Guam: departing March 7).
Orientation: Jan. 31 to Feb. 1, 2020 in Los Angeles. This is mandatory for all delegates that will travel to Japan. Non-participation in the orientation will disqualify an individual from traveling with the delegation.
The itinerary will include travel to Tokyo and Shizuoka. Transportation, hotel and meals will be provided. Delegates are required to attend all meetings and events during the trip.
The relationship between the U.S. and Japan is considered by many as the most important bilateral relationship in the world, and Japanese Americans are uniquely positioned to help shape it. The connections between Japanese and Japanese Americans are complex. While World War II played a major role in severing ties between Japanese Americans and Japan, today’s opportunities for collaboration and mutual benefit are great and demand a renewed commitment to involving Japanese Americans in U.S.-Japan relations.
The Japanese American Leadership Delegation provides Japanese American leaders with the opportunity to become acquainted or re-engaged with Japan and participate in discussions related to the role that Japanese Americans can play in addressing key issues that face both countries, now and in the future.
The first delegation was invited by MOFA to visit Japan in 2000. It included third- and fourth-generation Japanese Americans selected from various professional fields including the educational, cultural, philanthropic, legal and political sectors. Since the initial trip, delegations of Japanese American leaders from throughout the U.S. have visited Japan every year since 2002.
JALD alumni have created a network to ensure that the commitment to strengthening U.S.-Japan relations is maintained. There have been JALD national reunions and several alumni groups have traveled back to Japan together to build on and sustain important relationships built on the program. Alumni of the program are invited and encouraged to join the U.S.-Japan Council’s international network of leaders and participate in council programming and events.