2015 Japanese American Leadership Delegation
Richard Morimoto enjoys cool beer and okonomiyaki in Hiroshima
Richard Morimoto Speaks about His Experience in Japan
Through 2015 Japanese American Leadership Delegation
• Consul General Toshiyuki Iwado welcomed the JA leaders and said, “Let’s plan together for further promotion of the relation between this region of the U.S. and Japan. One way we are coming together is through the JA Leadership Delegation Program.” He also said, “After they return, their Japan experience will benefit their organizations.”
• Morimoto said that the delegation members met with Japanese and American government policymakers and advisers, who looked back at seven decades of peace and prosperity and ahead to a future of enduring friendship and security. Those people included Prime Minister Shizo Abe, former Foreign Minister Yohei Kono, about two dozen members of the Parliament, and the members of the U.S. Embassy. The delegation members also met Princess Takamado.
• They were divided into several groups, and Morimoto’s
group, whose ancestors emigrated from Hiroshima to the U.S., traveled
to Hiroshima by Shinkansen bullet train.
• In Hiroshima, the group participated in a symposium “Aging and Dementia: Cooperation between US and Japan from research and practical perspectives”, and Morimoto, as a panelist, suggested the study of Japan’s centenarians that included comparison with JAs to understand how health and risk for disease could be linked to gene-environment interactions. He also encouraged Japan to take a worldwide leadership position in the biology of aging, detection of age-associated changes in health, and prevention of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. In addition, he suggested to Japan that it introduce its leading technologies such as smart home and robotics to support the elderly’s daily lives to the world.
• In Tokyo, the delegation members were invited to Prime Minister’s official residence and met with P.M. Abe. They spoke about the role of JAs in securing the 70 years of friendship between the two countries and maintaining it for the future.
• At the meeting with Keidanren, the main subject was the efforts to achieve gender diversity in Japan. The delegation gave examples of women’s roles in American big companies such as Boeing and Microsoft, and suggested having communications with them. They also spoke of the importance of the role of mentors and childcare support for Japanese women.
• The delegation had a meeting with former Foreign Minister Yohei Kono, and he spoke about the efforts to resolve the Korean comfort women issues, U.S. military bases in Japan, TPP, and others.
• The delegation went through 20 events in five days in Tokyo, but they still had times to enjoy eating ramen noodle, visiting Tsukiji fish market, and singing karaoke with Kono.
• After spending busy days in Tokyo, Morimoto’s group moved to Kyoto and participated in two main discussions.
• One was a meeting with the Japan Society for the Promotion
of Science, which is a similar discussion to the one in Hiroshima.
• Morimoto’s group also had a meeting with members of
Kyoto Sango University and talked about exposing Japanese students to
life overseas. Morimoto said that many of them thought that studying abroad
didn’t help their careers; however, international experiences and obtaining
functional English skill were very important for the future of Japan.
• At the end of his presentation, Morimoto gave the Chicago
JA leaders a home assignment to hold a workshop in fall about the US-Japan
relationship and seventy years of friendship.