The Center for Global Partnership runs this program with the aim of encouraging mutual understanding between Japan and the Japanese American community in the U.S. and to strengthen the long-term relationship between both countries.
Japanese American Leadership Symposium
“Three Sectors, Three Approaches: Cities that Attract Youth”
Building bridges between Japanese and Japanese Americans
Japanese immigration to the United States began around the end of the 19th century; and there is now a population of around 1.41-million Japanese Americans in the U.S. (2015 census). During the Second World War, Japanese Americans overcame the hardships of their internment at the hands of the American government and since then have settled down throughout the U.S. The new generation of Japanese Americans has contributed significantly to American politics, economy, and education.
The Japanese American Leadership Delegation Program (JALD) was started in 2000 by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan with the aim of deepening mutual understanding and exchange between Japan and the Japanese American community in the U.S. Since 2003, CGP has welcomed visiting Japanese Americans as panelists and together with the U.S.-Japan Council organizes lectures and other events.
In this program the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, together with the U.S.-Japan Council, invites a number of Japanese Americans in leadership positions from all across the United States to visit Japan. During their schedule of approximately one week, the participants visit Tokyo and other regional cities, where they take part in symposia, have exchange opportunities with experts from the public and private sectors, and are able to inspect cultural facilities.
Through their visit, the participants do not only deepen their understanding of Japan. After returning to America, they connect with past JALD participants, the Japanese diplomatic mission to the U.S., and the U.S.-Japan Council and together work proactively to help build a greater network among the Japanese diaspora and a long-term-oriented friendship between the U.S. and Japan. As generations of Japanese diaspora go by, their separation from Japan grows larger. This program connects Japanese Americans with the people of Japan and is notable as one of the few exchange channels that seeks to invigorate this relationship.
The U.S.-Japan Council is a U.S. nonprofit organization established in 2008 that maintains the network of Japanese Americans and promotes mutual exchange between Japanese Americans, the people of Japan, and the people of America, as well as aiming to create a robust relationship between the U.S. and Japan. It is headquartered in Washington, D.C. with a branch in California, Hawaii, and Tokyo.