Japan America Student Conference

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The Japan-America Student Conference (日米学生会議 Nichibei Gakusei Kaigi?) (JASC) is an educational and cultural exchange program for university students.

Japan-American Student Conference Logo


Each year, a group of students from universities in the United States and Japan spend four weeks living, traveling, and studying together. Students work to deepen the ties between the relations between the two countries through discussions about key topics in U.S.-Japan relations. The delegates collaborate with leaders in business, academia, and government on contemporary social, economic, and political issues that face the U.S., Japan and the world. JASC is student managed by 16 Executive Committee members from both countries who work in collaboration with International Student Conferences in Washington, D.C. and the International Education Center in Tokyo.


JASC is the oldest student-run exchange between these two countries. In 1934, a small group of Japanese university students concerned about the deteriorating relations between the United States and Japan initiated the first JASC in Tokyo. The following year, American students reciprocated by hosting the second JASC. This began the tradition of alternating host countries and holding JASC annually. Although World War II forced the suspension of JASC, it was revived in 1947 by Japanese and American students living in Japan. From its origin, JASC has been student-run, which ensures the creation of dynamic discussion focused on pressing current issues. Throughout its rich history, many JASC alumni from both nations have gone on to achieve distinction in business, academia, government and other circles.


The conference venue alternates between Japan and the United States every year. Over the course of four weeks participating students visit 4-5 locations in the host country. During this time, they engage in academic round-table discussions, cultural and social events, lectures and panel presentations, field trips, and community service activities. These experiences provide a foundation for mutual understanding, social awareness, cultural sensitivity, and an exchange of ideas. More importantly, the bonds that form as a result of the 72 students living and working together will offer the basis for lifelong friendships that further strengthen the ties between Japan and the United States.

In recent years the conference has attempted to include discussions of the rise of China as a major power in Asia by holding trilateral forums with Chinese students. Additionally, a new Korea-America Student Conference has been established to improve ties between the United States and its regional ally South Korea.


The core of JASC is the "roundtable," a subgroup of ten students; four from the Japanese delegation and four from the American delegation, with one member of the Executive Committee from each delegation to act as roundtable leaders. The two Executive Committee Chairs do not lead a roundtable.

Roundtable topics vary from year to year, and are decided by the Executive Committee for the conference. Roundtables aim to be diverse and cover a broad range of topics pertaining to U.S.-Japan relations. The 63rd JASC included the "Ethics of Technology and Its Impact on Human Life" roundtable, "Interpretation of History in International Relations" roundtable, and the "Comprehensive Security" roundtable, among others.

Delegates spend much time in roundtable groups. Aside from discussions and debates, roundtables also embark on field trips to locations pertaining to the roundtable topic. 63rd JASC field trips included the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Plant in Niigata Prefecture, Lake Biwa in Shiga Prefecture, Marine Corps Air Station Futenma and Camp Foster in Okinawa, and the Embassy of the United States in Tokyo.


Each site also features a forum where delegates engage in lectures with prominent experts and professors in numerous fields. Apart from these forums, delegates also prepare presentations for two forums of their own – the Midterm and Final Forum. These forums are chances for each roundtable to present to the entire delegation the issues they discussed throughout the conference. Local high school and university students, as well as government officials and alumni are invited to attend these forums.


Delegates also have the opportunity to engage in alumni receptions to network with past JASC alumni.

Delegate selection[edit]

American delegates are selected from all fields of study and will range from first year college students to Ph.D. candidates. Delegates need not be Asian studies majors or studying Japanese language because English is the primary language of the Conference. In fact, students of other disciplines are strongly encouraged to apply in order to broaden the depth of student representation. Applicants are asked to submit short essays, one longer essay, a writing sample, current transcript and letters of recommendation. Upon selection, delegates prepare a roundtable-related paper prior to the Conference.

List of notable alumni[1][edit]

Japanese alumni[edit]


  • Eiichi Akamatsu – Former Senior Executive, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines
  • Junichi Amano – President, Unisys Japan; Former Executive Vice President, Mitsui & Co. Ltd., Tokyo
  • Kenji Eguchi – President, San-Esu Company, Ltd.
  • Risshin Fukunaga – President, Nippon Kogyo Company, Ltd.
  • Sakie (Tachibana) Fukushima – Board of Directors, Sony Corporation; President, Partner, & Member of the Board of Directors, Korn/Ferry International
  • Takehito (Mike) Furuhata – President, International Digital Communications, Inc., Tokyo; Former Executive Vice President & Former Chairman, Itochu International, Inc.
  • Toru Hashimoto – Chairman, The Fuji Bank, Japan
  • Kunio Hirata – President, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, Ltd., Malaysia; Former Vice President & Chief Manager, N.A. Administration, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, Ltd., NY
  • Sukekazu Hirayama – President, Tobu Fudosan Kanri
  • Nobushige Hosooka – Former Senior Vice President, Mitsui & Co. – U.S.A., Inc.
  • Katsuji Imata – Executive Director, Japan Pacific Resource Network
  • Kichiemon Iwamoto – President, Okura Shoji Company, Ltd.
  • Takashi Iwata – Former President, Mazda Motor Corporation
  • Tetsuro Kamimura – Executive Vice President, Mitsubishi Corp.; Former President, Mitsubishi International Corp.
  • Yutaka Katayama – Former Chairman & President, Nissan North America, Automobile Hall of Fame, Detroit
  • Takashi Kato – President, Nikken Chemical Company Ltd.; Director, Nitchitsu Corporation
  • Masaaki Kawabata – President, AK Travel Canada Ltd.
  • Masumi Kitahara – President, Niigata Steel
  • Norio Kitamura – Advisor, Mitsubishi Corporation; Managing Director, Yamatane Stock Company
  • Yosuke Kobayashi – President, Geneon Entertainment – U.S.A; Toei Animation
  • Hideki Komori – President, AIDOMA Company, Ltd.
  • Naomichi Korenori – President and Chief Executive Officer, Kansai Kisen Ltd.; Former Senior Managing Director & Vice President, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines
  • Hiroshi Kuroda – Senior Vice President, GE Capital Leasing Corporation
  • Hideo Maeda – Senior Vice President, Sumitomo Bank of New York Trust Company
  • Minoru Makihara – Senior Corporate Advisor, Mitsubishi Corporation; Deputy Chief, Keidanren
  • Taizo Matsui – President, Milestone Corp.; Former Representative, Tasco Japan
  • Jun Mokudai – Vice President, Northwest Airlines, Japan
  • Yoichiro Mori – Vice President, Global Loans, Citibank, N.A. in Tokyo; Former Vice President, Salomon Smith Barney Inc. in NY; Former Vice President, Global Loans Trading, Citicorp Securities
  • Isao Nakagawa – Manager, Itochu International, Inc.
  • Takeshi Nakajima – Vice President, Union Bank[disambiguation needed]
  • Shoichi Nakase – Former Senior Executive, Mitsubishi Corporation; Former Japan Representative, Federal Paper Board Company, Inc.
  • Tsunefumi Nakatsuji – President, Nakatsuji Limited
  • Yasuhiko Nara – Advisor, Merrill Lynch Japan, Inc.; Former Ambassador to Canada, S. Vietnam, and Cambodia
  • Shigeto Nikai – Advisor, Fuji Bank, Former Ambassador to Syria, Peru, and Turkey
  • Tatsuhiko Nikaido – President, Nikaido Architect Company
  • Naohiro Nishida – Vice President, Fixed Income Dept., Goldman Sachs – Japan Ltd.; Former Associate Manager, International Treasury Dept., Industrial Bank of Japan
  • Mitsuo Nishimura – President, Tokyo Tsushin Company, Ltd.
  • Jun Nishizawa – Deputy General Manager, Public Relations, Mitsubishi Corporation
  • Hideo Niwa – President, Newtopia, Inc., Tokyo
  • Katsuya Nohara – Former President, Japan Airlines Travel Development Company; Former Chairman, JALPAK
  • Pat Y. Ogosh – Executive Advisor, Hitachi Metals Techno, Ltd., Tokyo
  • Akira Ohtomo – Chairman, CEO & Representative Director, Pan Pacific Enterprises, Inc.; Former President, Cartier Japan; Former President, Polaroid Japan
  • Takashi Oshima – President, Daido Construction
  • Tatsumi Ohtaka – President, Meishoku Service Co., Ltd.
  • Toshio Ozeki – Senior Advisor, Morgan Stanley, NY; Former Resident CEO, Nikko Securities
  • Hideya Sakai – Vice President, Pip Fujimoto
  • Daizo Sawaki – Managing Director, Hotel Okura
  • Naoaki Shibuya – President & Chief Operating Officer, Central Pacific Bank; Former Executive Vice President, Sumitomo Bank of California
  • Takao Shimizu – Vice President, Industrial Bank of Japan Chicago Branch
  • Chusuke Takahashi – Former Vice President, Sumitomo Bank, Ltd.
  • Masaharu Togo – Assistant General Manager, Sumitomo Corporation, Japan
  • Toshihiro Tomabechi – Former President, Mitsubishi International Corporation; Former Senior Advisor & Executive Vice President, Mitsubishi Motor Corporation
  • Sueo Tsurumi – President, Mita Jitsugyo Company, Ltd.
  • Masahiro Watanabe – President, Japan Foreign Book Sales Company, Ltd.
  • Masaru Yamada – President, International Culture Center; Managing Director, Unicon Japan
  • Tadashi Yamada – Chairman, Association of World Trade Centers
  • Masamoto Yashiro – Chairman & CEO, Shinsei Bank, Ltd.; Former President, Citibank, N.A.; Former President, Esso, Japan
  • Teriyoshi Yasufuku – Former Deputy Chairman, Sanwa Bank, Ltd., Japan
  • Tatsuya Yasui – President, Kyoritsu Department
  • Naoya Yoda – President and CEO, Toray Corporate Business Research
  • Takashi Yoneda – President, Global Link Associates; Former Manager, Industrial Bank of Japan



Journalism and art[edit]

American alumni[edit]


  • Thomas Bodley, '77, '78, '79 – Vice President, Operations & Customer Services, American Express International, Inc., Japan
  • Bernice Bowers, '83 – Manager, Research & Administration, The NorthEast Asia Forum
  • Brian Bray, '82, '83 – Director of Technology, Lebanon Community School District
  • Eugene Danaher, '71, '72 – Associate General Counsel, DaimlerChrysler AG
  • Richard Elbaum, '86, '87 – Director, Legal & Business Affairs, A & E Television Networks
  • Leonard Fricke, '72, '73, '74 – President, Teclink International, Ltd.
  • Brian L. Foote, '87, '88 – President & CEO, Water Extraction Technologies
  • Shari Fujii, ’84 – Director, Business Development & Lead Generation Marketing, Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.
  • Glen S. Fukushima, ’70, ’71 – President & CEO, Airbus Japan K.K.
  • Deborah Gelin, ’79 – President, Of Counsel, Inc.
  • Mariko Gordon, ’83 – President, Daruma Asset Management
  • Margaret Haas, ’69, ’70, ’72 – President, The Haas Associates, Inc.
  • Thomas Hendrickson, ’65, ’66 – Executive Vice President, Associated Mortgage Group, Inc
  • Cara Holland, ’79, ’80, ’81 – President & CEO, H&ACG; Formerly with Citicorp and U.S. Bank
  • Norie Huddle, ’71 – Director & Chairman of the Board, Center for New National Security
  • Michael Edward Hueser,’90 – Owner & Founder, Quest Productions, Inc./Core Multimedia LLC/Thoughtport, Inc.
  • Larry Ingraham, ’74 – President, Ingraham & Associates, Inc.
  • Richard Jeydel, ’73 – Senior Vice President & General Counsel, Kanematsu USA Inc.
  • Samuel Kim, ’83, ’84 – Vice President & General Manager, Procter & Gamble Korea
  • Henry A. Kissinger, '51 – Chairman, Kissinger Associates; U.S. Secretary of State 1973–1977; Nobel Peace Prize 1973
  • Arthur B. Knauss, ’65 – Partner, Redman, Bemis & Knauss; Former President, Oregon Bar Association
  • William Knox, ’73 – President, The Knox Company
  • Gordon Lankton, ’53 – President, Nypro Inc.
  • Robert Maitland, ’81, ’82 – Attorney, Maitland & Maitland PLLC
  • Allen Miner, ’83, ’84 – President & CEO, SunBridge Corporation
  • Stephen C. Moss, ’79 – President & CEO, AgustaWestland Inc./AgustaWestland North America
  • Hugh O'Donnell, ’39, ’40 – Senior Vice President, Crocker National Bank – now Wells Fargo Bank, San Francisco, CA
  • Don H. Phillips, ’55 – Patent Law, Hoechst Celanese Corporation
  • Chris D. Pixley, ’92 – Partner, Hill Kertscher & Pixley LLP
  • Kathleen Quinn, ’80 – Ceridant Intercultural/The Bennett Group
  • Daniel Rathmann, ’54 – American Process Design, Inc., Cincinnati, Ohio
  • John Rogers, ’84 – Managing Partner, Jade River Capital Management, Former President & CEO, Invesco, Inc.
  • Louis Ross, ’92 – President & CEO, Motion Engine, Inc.
  • Mary Jones Rumsey, ’87 – Chief Investment Officer, Harriman Capital Management, L.L.C.
  • Harold L. Segall, ’78 – Director, Beveridge & Diamond, P.C.
  • John Shook, ’77 – President, TWI Network, Inc.; Senior Advisor, Lean Enterprise Institute
  • Robert Sigler, ‘87, ’88 – President & CEO, Global Trust Ventures
  • Stephen M. Snyder, ’80, ’81 – Vice President, Checkered Flag Motor Car Company Inc.
  • Stuart Souther, ’81, ’82, '83 – General Counsel, Hoya Corporation
  • Michael Stephenson, ’85 – Managing Director, Asia Pacific, Court Square Capital Partners
  • Robert C. Swan, '67 – Vice President & Corporate Secretary, Phelps Dodge Corporation, Phoenix, AZ
  • Jon Tanaka, ’84 – Director, DB Real Estate, Real Estate Opportunities Group, Deutsche Securities Ltd.
  • Christopher Weaver, ’75 – President, Media Technology lts.
  • John R. Westgarth, ’93 – Founder & President, Plangea
  • Joseph Willemssen, ’88 – President, Sustainable Transportation Entrepreneur
  • Phillip Wolfstein, ’72 – President, Wolfstein International Inc.; Former Export Manager, Bristol Foods, Inc.
  • Jonathan E. Yellen, ’86 – Managing Director, Global Principal Finance, Deutsche Bank






External links[edit]