JA Delegation Meets with Prime Minister Abe

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The JALD group gathered at Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's official residence prior to meeting with him. From left: Irene Hirano Inouye, Toshiki Masaki, Robin Yasui, Yoshie Ito, Tyler Tokioka, Priscilla Ouchida, Lynn Hashimoto, Sach Takayasu, Richard Morimoto, Tracy Tsuetaki, Linda Taira.

The JALD group gathered at Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s official residence prior to meeting with him. From left: Irene Hirano Inouye, Toshiki Masaki, Robin Yasui, Yoshie Ito, Tyler Tokioka, Priscilla Ouchida, Lynn Hashimoto, Sach Takayasu, Richard Morimoto, Tracy Tsuetaki, Linda Taira.

TOKYO — The 2015 Japanese American Leadership Delegation (JALD) met with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on March 11 to discuss issues pertinent to the U.S.-Japan bilateral relationship.

Abe thanked the ten-member delegation and U.S.-Japan Council President Irene Hirano Inouye for demonstrating their continued support for Japan and said, “This year is the 70th year since the end of the World War II, and I understand that Japanese Americans have overcome many difficulties during this time.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Linda Taira.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Linda Taira.

“Allow me to express my sincere thanks to the efforts of Japanese Americans leaders in strengthening U.S.-Japan relations.”

The meeting was one of the highlights of the 2015 Japanese American Leadership Delegation program, which provides opportunities for Japanese Americans to establish a meaningful role in strengthening U.S.-Japan relations.

Other leaders they met in Tokyo included the U.S.-Japan Parliamentary Friendship League, with whom they discussed 70 years of U.S.-Japan collaboration since the end of the war. Before traveling to Tokyo, the delegates visited Hiroshima, where many Japanese Americans (including two of the delegates this year) have their ancestral roots.

They met with Gov. Hidehiko Yuzaki, and participated in a symposium titled “Aging and Dementia: Cooperation Between the U.S. and Japan, from Research to Health Care,” co-sponsored by the Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership and the U.S.-Japan Council, with support from the U.S. Consulate in Osaka, the Hiroshima Prefectural Government, and the Japan-America Society of Hiroshima. More than100 people attended.

The ten participants of the program are active in their communities, engaged in U.S.-Japan relations and committed to deepening ties between Japanese Americans and Japan. JALD is sponsored by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan and organized by the U.S.-Japan Council, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to building people-to-people relations between the two countries. For more information, visit www.usjapancouncil.org.

The 2015 delegates are:

• Lynn Hashimoto (Seattle), senior attorney, Microsoft Corporation

• Yoshie Ito (New York City), assistant director of global initiatives, Asia Society

• Toshiki Masaki (Detroit), manager of government affairs, Ford Motor Company

• Dr. Richard I. Morimoto (Chicago), Bill and Gayle Cook Professor of Biology, Northwestern University

• Priscilla Ouchida (San Francisco), executive director, Japanese American Citizens League

• Linda Taira (Los Angeles), senior manager of communications, Boeing Defense, Space & Security

• Sach Takayasu (Washington, D.C.), president and CEO, Asian/Pacific Islander American Chamber of Commerce and Entrepreneurship

• Tyler Tokioka (Honolulu), vice president of external affairs and agency relations, Island Insurance Companies

• Dr. Tracy Tsuetaki (Chapel Hill, N.C.), operating partner, Symphony Technology Group

• Dr. Robin Yasui (Denver), director of geriatrics, Denver Health

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