LA Next Generation Japanese American Leaders – KAKEHASHI Japan Visit Presentation


On February 22, Consul General Sone hosted an event at the Official Residence featuring a presentation by the Steering Committee of the LA Next Generation Japanese American Leaders Initiative on their recent visit to Japan on the KAKEHASHI Project. The delegations members included Michelle Hanabusa, Jennifer Hirano, Joshua Morey, Lauren Ohata, and Amy Watanabe.

Administered through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the KAKEHASHI Project aims to promote people-to-people exchanges and mutual trust and understanding between Japan and North America, to encourage further understanding of Japan. The delegation spent one week in Japan and visited Tokyo and Nagoya, where they met with leaders of organizations such as Studio Chizu, Suntory, Keidanren (Japan Business Federation), and Keizai Doyukai (Japan Association of Corporate Executives), and elected officials including National Diet Member Karen Makishima, Nagoya Mayor Takashi Kawamura, and Setagaya Ward Councilmember Risa Kamio, Nerima Ward Councilmember Riki Sato, Shibuya Ward Councilmember Takeshi Nakamura, Shinagawa Ward Councilmember Yukari Yokoyama, and Meguro Ward Councilmember Mayu Tazoe.

The delegates shared their main takeaways from the visit and their hopes for building on the connections they had made in Japan for the future growth of the U.S.-Japan relationship. They identified diversity & women’s empowerment, the next generation as catalysts, sustainability, and collaboration as key themes. In the future, they hope to further opportunities in people-to-people exchange and promotion of U.S. and Japan culture and influence, and enhance the ecosystem of next generation young leaders.

Members of the recently formed Next Generation Forum of the Japan Business Association of Southern California were also in attendance, along with Initiative subcommittee members and community supporters. After the presentation, attendees enjoyed a networking reception