The 5th “Walk in US and Talk on Japan” Delegation, who were selected among the Japanese public to be dispatched to various cities in the U.S., visited Dallas from November 2nd to the 4th and San Antonio from November 8th to the 10th. The delegation consisted of the members listed below from various fields, who exchanged with businessmen, university students, the U.S. armed forces personnel, JET alumni, etc. Through the exchange the delegation found many opportunities to communicate the strengths and attractiveness of Japan. Broad interests of the attendees and friendly and pleasant characters of the delegation members combined to ensure lively discussion.
Mr. Ken Shimanouchi, Former Ambassador of Japan to Brazil (Delegation Head)
Mr. Tadao Kawasaki, Japan Intercultural Consulting Senior Consultant
Mr. Keijiro Hata, Retired Japan Air-Defense Force Lieutenant General
Ms. Yoko Chivers, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation Growth Industry Cluster Department Vice President
Mr. Yohei Komatsuzaki, Chair of the 66th Japan-America Student Conference.
On November 3rd the University of Texas at Dallas hosted the delegation for a panel discussion that was attended by around 50 university and Japanese-language students. Ambassador Shimanouchi explained that Japan has been revitalized thanks to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s policies and Mr. Komatsuzaki’s talk gave a youth’s perspective on Japan-US relations. Also, the Japan-America Society of Dallas/Fort Worth (JASDFW) hosted the conversation event and the subsequent reception at the Baker Botts LLP Office. At the conversation, delegation head Ambassador Shimanouchi introduced the current political and economical situation in Japan, delegation member Mr. Kawasaki spoke to the important role of business in Japan-America relations, delegation member Mr. Hata spoke of the US-Japan Security Treaty, and delegation member Ms. Chivers spoke on the role of women in Japanese society. Following the speeches, attendees participated in a question and answer session. At both the reception and panel discussion Admiral Patrick Walsh spoke of his experience as commander of Operation Tomodachi after the Great East Japan Earthquake and Consul-General Takaoka gave remarks on the Japan-Texas relationship. The delegation also joined the luncheon with board members of JASDFW on November 3rd and the breakfast conversation event with “Shogun Circle” members of JASDFW and the luncheon with JET alumni on November 4th.
On November 9th the University of Texas San Antonio held a lecture and reception. The delegation members gave speeches on their topics which led to many questions from the attendees and a lively discussion. On November 10th the delegation took a tour of the Lackland Air Force Base, which houses the Defense Language Institute that Mr. Hata had visited 30 years prior. Following the tour, over 20 self-defense force personnel joined the delegation for a luncheon and a chance to exchange ideas. In addition, Japan-America San Antonio board members hosted a luncheon on the 9th, and the delegation had face-to-face meetings with San Antonio City Council Member Ron Nirenberg and other leaders in San Antonio.