Global Opportunities through Japanese Language
American students who study Japanese often face the vague uncertainty that “We spend so much time learning Japanese, but we can’t see what opportunities lay ahead.” Such uncertainty causes much confusion and disruption. At the same time, many Japanese corporations seeking globalization have a latent interest in young Americans that “like Japan” or “can speak Japanese,” but these corporations often lack the specific know-how for pragmatic recruitment.
Seeking to assist in resolving this situation, on April 7, 2102, we hosted a symposium entitled “Global Opportunities through Japanese Language” to provide an exchange of information and networking opportunities for students that study Japanese, Japanese language teachers, and Japanese corporate representatives. The symposium drew more than 300 students, professors, and corporate representatives. Throughout the day-long symposium, there were interesting presentations, panel discussions, and networking events which generated lively discussions.
Overcoming the barrier between the government, private, and academic sectors, this symposium received praise from the many participating students and professors, and at the end there were calls for another symposium to be held. Such fervor could only signify that this kind of event, with its opportunities to exchange information and become linked with the business world, was exactly the kind of event sought out by students and educators. Due to the cooperation of all participants, this symposium was a smooth success. We will continue to search for new ways to promote information exchange between students, professors, and corporations.
For more detailed information related to this symposium, please visit the following site (Japanese only):
The atmosphere of the symposium can be seen here (video).
Registration is Now Closed.
Speakers and Moderators
Please join us at the Symposium on Global Opportunities through Japanese Language, presented by the JCAW Foundation. This one-day event will bring together Japanese corporations, government agencies, and students who are pursuing Japan-related career opportunities. It will explore challenges, possibilities, and benefits learned for all parties involved.
“As Japanese companies seek to diversify, they are looking to the United States as a valuable resource. This presents an enormous opportunity for students and individuals with all levels of Japanese language skills and cultural understanding. This symposium will explore the possible global HR strategies of Japanese companies, the challenges faced by individuals with Japanese language skills who are presently working with Japanese companies, and the emerging opportunities for students and individuals pursuing Japan-related careers.”
- Date: Saturday, April 7, 2012
- Time: 8:00AM Registration Begins
8:30 AM to 3:20PM Program (short reception follows)
- Place: Walter E. Washington Convention Center
801 Mt. Vernon Place, NW, Washington, D.C. 20001
Download your PDF brochure here!
8:45AM – 9:30AM
Opening Remarks: Ambassador Ichiro Fujisaki
Keynote Speech: Sakie T. Fukushima, President, G&S Global Advisors Inc.
9:35AM – 10:25AM
Panel 1 What’s next?: Career possibilities for Japanese language learners
Moderated by Dr. Sufumi So, George Mason University, Assistant Professor of Japanese and Director of the Japanese Program
Levi M. Tillemann-Dick
10:25AM – 10:35AM
Special Appearance: Kristyn Elise Admire, Miss Virginia International 2012
10:35AM – 11:25AM
Panel 2 Human Resources Strategy: Developing a global workforce
Moderated by Glen S. Fukushima, Chairman, Airbus Japan and Senior Vice President, Airbus SAS
11:25AM – 11:35AM
Special Appearance: Ambassador Mickey Kantor
Former United States Trade Representative(1993-96)
Former United States Secretary of Commerce (1996-97)
Currently Mayor Brown’s Partner
11:35AM – 12:25PM
Panel 3 Improving Diversity: Changing the status quo in Japan
Moderated by Misako Ito, Director, The Japan Foundation, Los Angeles
12:25PM – 12:45PM
12:50PM – 13:10PM
Performance by Andy Akiho, Award winning composer and percussionist
13:25PM – 14:15PM
Keynote Speech: Dr. Indra Levy, Associate Professor of Japanese Literature & Executive Director Inter-University Center for Japanese Language Studies (IUC) from Stanford University
14:25PM – 15:15PM
Panel 4 American Perspectives: What’s it like to work in a Japanese company
Moderated by Ayako Smethurst, MIPRO of Japan, Research Analyst
Michael J. Ruggiero
15:15PM – 17:00PM
|Ambassador Ichiro Fujisaki
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to the United States of America
|Sakie T. Fukushima
President, G&S Global Advisors Inc.
Prior to establishing her own company, G&S Global Advisors Inc.in 2010, Ms. Fukushima joined Korn/Ferry International in 1991, headed its Japan operations from 2000 to 2009, and served as a member of the firm’s global Board of Directors from 1995 to 2007.
She started her career as an Instructor in Japanese at Harvard University and worked at Bain & Company in both the U.S and Japan. She also worked at the World Bank as a summer intern in 1986.She is the first woman to join the Board of Directors of such major Japanese companies as Kao, Sony, Benesse, Bridgestone, and Ajinomoto.
She is one of the 12 vice chairmen of the Japan Association of Corporate Executives (Keizai Doyukai), and serves on various committees including the Advisory Board of Development Bank of Japan and the Human Resources Committee of Japan’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology.
A frequent speaker and writer on global human capital issues, she is the author of seven books including The Marketable Global Executive as well as co-translator (into Japanese) of Japan as Number One: Lessons for America by Ezra F. Vogel and On Higher Education: The Academic Enterprise in an Era of Rising Student Consumerismby David Riesman.
In 2008, Business Weekselected her as one of “The World’s 100 Most Influential Headhunters” (one of nine women and the only Japanese).
She received a B.A. from Seisen College in Tokyo, an Ed.M. from Harvard University, and an MBA from Stanford University.
|Dr. Indra Levy
Executive Director of the Inter-University Center for Japanese Studies, and Associate Professor of Japanese Literature at Stanford University.
Dr. Levy grew up in the Washington, D.C. area, spent her college years in New York City, and received her Ph.D. in Japanese Literature from Columbia University after living in Tokyo for seven years while studying and working as a translator. Since joining the faculty at Stanford in 2004, she has encouraged many of her students to reap the benefits of studying in Japan. As a scholar of Japanese literature, one of her greatest interests is in understanding the beauty, flexibility, and complexity of the Japanese language. She is the author of Sirens of the Western Shore: The Westernesque Femme Fatale, Translation, and Vernacular Style in Modern Japanese Literature, and the editor of Translation in Modern Japan.
Moderators and Panelists
|Dr. Sufumi So
Assistant Professor of Japanese and Director of the Japanese Program
George Mason University
Dr. So has taught college-level Japanese-language courses in several different countries for more than 20 years. She has also taught English-medium courses in applied linguistics and Japanese culture and society. Since August 2004 she has been serving as director of the Japanese program in the Department of Modern and Classical Languages at George Mason University (Fairfax, VA). She has also been involved in the development and implementation of the College Board AP® Japanese Language and Culture Course and Exam since its preparation started in 2004, having taken on a wide range of responsibilities including the chair of its development committee. She has been actively engaged in collaboration with K-16 teachers of Japanese not only in the U.S. but also in other parts of the world including Japan and Australia. She has presented numerous papers at academic conferences and given workshops for teachers of Japanese. Her published work in applied linguistics including Japanese-language teaching and learning appeared in several refereed journals and edited books.
Teacher, Japanese Language and Culture
Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology
Koji Otani received his Masters of Education at the University of Florida in 1994. Since 2006 he has taught Japanese at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Alexandria, VA. He also taught in the Japanese Immersion Program at Floris Elementary School in Herndon, VA. for 8 years. Otani sensei has had the privilege teaching at the Virginia Governor’s School in the summers of 2009 and 2011. His wide range of teaching experience includes two teaching jobs in Japan: world history at a commercial high school and as an instructor at a shonen-in, a juvenile detention camp. In addition to teaching, he has served in various professional organizations: the Mid Atlantic Association of Teachers of Japanese (MAATJ, Secretary), AP® Japanese, SAT® Japanese, Japanese Global Articulation Project (J-GAP), and TJ science research symposium (tjSTAR, co-chair).
To enrich and extend students’ learning opportunities, he is active in exchange programs with Chiben Gakuen Wakayama HS, Fujishima HS, and Yokohama Science Frontier HS. Otanis sensei coordinates and supervises these programs. He accompanies his students to Japan every other year to experience immerse in the Japanese culture and language. His recent advocacy effort for the Japanese program includes a Shodo (calligraphy) Performance at TJ and the Mikoshi Project at the National Cherry Blossom Festival®.
NALA Certified Paralegal
Megan Pfeifle is an undergraduate at George Mason University majoring in Criminology, Law and Society with a minor in Japanese. She has studied Japanese since 2006 and worked in law since 2008. In 2011, Megan won the CEPEX Japan Studies Award for her research on the Japanese music genre “visual kei,” and interned at the Sojitz Research Institute. She writes for JaME, a Japanese music website.
Associate Professor and Director of the Japanese Language Program
in Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures
Yoshiko Mori is Associate Professor and Director of the Japanese Language Program in Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures at Georgetown University. She holds a Ph.D. in educational psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, an MA in applied linguistics from Ohio University. Her specialization is in second-language learning and instruction from a psycholinguistics perspective. She has taught college-level Japanese language courses from introductory to advanced levels and courses in Japanese linguistics and second language acquisition. She has served on the executive board of Association of Teachers of Japanese and on an AP Japanese committee.
|Levi M. Tillemann-Dick
Associate Director, IHS CERA
Levi is an Associate Director at IHS CERA where his current research focuses on electric vehicles in Asia and North America. He has written pieces for Popular Science Magazine, the Wall Street Journal, the Rocky Mountain News and other publications. Levi also co-founded and served as CEO of IRIS Engines, Inc. and holds five patents for a super-efficient internal combustion engine design. He holds a BA in History from Yale, an MA from Johns Hopkins SAIS in International Relations and Economics. He is currently writing a doctoral thesis at Johns Hopkins on electric vehicles in China, Japan and the US. Levi speaks Mandarin, Japanese, Spanish and Portuguese.
|Glen S. Fukushima
Chairman, Airbus Japan and Senior Vice President, Airbus SAS, the world’s leading manufacturer of commercial aircraft.
After practicing law, in 1985 he joined USTR (Office of the United States Trade Representative) in the Executive Office of the President in Washington, D.C. as Director for Japanese Affairs. In 1988, he was promoted to Deputy Assistant USTR for Japan and China.
After leaving USTR in 1990, he worked as a senior executive at AT&T, Arthur D. Little, Cadence Design Systems, and NCR. He was elected Vice President (1993-1997) and President (1998-1999) of the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan, at the time the largest American chamber of commerce outside the United States. In 1993, he declined an offer to be Assistant Secretary of Commerce for International Economic Policy. He has served as an advisor or board member of numerous companies, universities, and nonprofit organizations in the United States, Japan, and Europe.
He was educated at Deep Springs College, Stanford University, Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Harvard Business School, and Harvard Law School. He was a National Science Foundation Fellow at Harvard, 1975-78 and a Fulbright Fellow and Japan Foundation Fellow at the University of Tokyo, 1982-84. He won the Masayoshi Ohira Memorial Prize in 1993 for his book Nichi-Bei Keizai Masatsu no Seijigaku [The Politics of U.S.-Japan Trade Friction]. His hobbies include books, wine, art, music, and travel.
President & CEO
interesse international inc.
Masato Fujihara born 1957, joined Pasona Inc. a major human resource company in Japan 1983.
After gaining experience in international staffing and human resources business, he has founded interesse international inc. in New York City in 1996. The company is providing HR Consulting, Placement & Staffing Services especially for Japanese/English bicultural clients in US and Japan. During next fifteen years, he managed to broaden his business successfully – interesse currently has fifteen offices US wide and an office in Tokyo.
Masato Fujihara is an expert on HR and Staffing in US, Japan, and Europe.
Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer
Mitsui & Co. (U.S.A.), Inc
As SVP and Chief Human Resources Officer of Mitsui & Co. (U.S.A.) Inc., he is responsible for the planning and execution of Human Resources strategies for the Americas region – not only for the United States of America but also for Canada through Argentina. Prior to the current assignment, he was the head of Iron & Steel Products Division for Asia Pacific Region stationed in Singapore. New York is the third city he has been assigned in the U.S.; other cities were 9 years in Detroit and 3 years in Los Angeles. A graduate from University of Tokyo in 1980 with the bachelor’s degree of law.
Human Resources Division
Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ
Laura Henry is a Vice President within the Human Resources Department of The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ (BTMU). In her current role, she serves as a Human Resources Business Partner for several divisions within the organization, as well as collaborates with offices located throughout the Americas. Laura’s experience also includes the development and ongoing management of BTMU’s women’s mentoring program. Prior to her career at BTMU, Laura worked at Deutsche Bank for several years in a recruitment function. She holds a Bachelors Degree in Human Resources Management from Boston College and a Masters of Business Administration Degree from Seton Hall University.
President, Hikari Manufacture Co.,Ltd.
Mr. Isao Matsubara was born in Gifu Prefecture in 1962. He attended middle school and high school in Gifu. After graduating high school, he enrolled in a technical school in Nagoya. He entered Hikari Manufacture in 1982, and was named president of the company in 2003. His interests are golf and travelling.
In addition to being President of Hikari Manufacture, Mr. Matsubara is chairman of the Meiyu Cooperative, Vice Chairman of the Meiko Cooperative, and Vice Chairman of the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry in the town of Kasamatsu, Gifu Prefecture.
President and Chief Executive Officer
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries America, Inc.
An international business executive and a 33-year Mitsubishi Heavy Industries veteran, Hiromichi Morimoto is President and CEO of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries America, Inc. (MHIA). Mr. Morimoto assumed the role in 2009 and is responsible for MHIA’s comprehensive strategic vision and tactical leadership.
Prior to his current position, Mr. Morimoto was general manager of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. (MHI (Japan)) Global Strategic Planning and Operation Headquarters in Tokyo, where he was responsible for MHI’s Global Risk Management portfolio. Mr. Morimoto’s expertise in management and operations led him to senior executive leadership positions where he headed the power systems export division having kicked off his career at MHI (Japan) at the Nagasaki Shipyard & Machinery Works division.
A native of Japan, Mr. Morimoto graduated from Kyoto University with an emphasis on economics. He obtained the Master’s degree in Management at Stanford University Graduate School of Business in 1990.
MHIA was founded in 1979 as a wholly-owned subsidiary of MHI Japan. Currently, MHIA consists of 7 business divisions, 8 representative offices, and 6 subsidiaries, with over 30 locations in the United States employing over 3,000 people. In addition, as a regional controlling entity for the MHI Group, MHIA is also active in Canada, Mexico, and South America.
Human Capital Office
Naohiko Tamiya is General Manager, Human Resource Development, Hitachi, Ltd., one of the leading global electronics companies with approximately 360,000 employees worldwide.
He joined Hitachi in 1982 after graduating from Hokkaido University with a Bachelor’s degree in Education. Prior to his current position, he served as Senior Vice President for Hitachi America, Ltd. in New York, a position held since August 2008 to June 2011.
With more than three decades of experiences in human resource, he leads the recruiting and development of learning programs including coaching, career development and executive programs for Hitachi group.
Director, The Japan Foundation, Los Angeles
After having served as Counselor at Press & Information Section and Director of Japan Information and Culture Center (JICC) at the Embassy of Japan in Washington, DC from January 2007 to January 2011, Misako Ito was appointed as Director of the Japan Foundation, Los Angeles in April 2011. She has been involved in public diplomacy of the Government of Japan for more than two decades including her previous post at the Japan Foundation Tokyo Headquarters as Managing Director of Information Center from 2004 to 2006 and in her former career as an editor of the monthly magazine, Gaiko Forum, since its launch in 1988. From 1999 to 2004, she served as Editor-in-Chief of Gaiko Forum which is the only Japanese periodical specialized in international relations and diplomacy. As editor, she worked closely with prominent scholars and opinion leaders globally and also with officials from international organizations and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan.
As the first female director at the Japan Foundation, Los Angeles, she is currently working on many projects including newly launched programs like JET-MIP (sending US high school students to Japan), J-LEAP (sending Japanese language teaching assistants to the US) and inviting US educators to Japan. In addition, the Japan Foundation, Los Angeles will officially open its first language classes in Little Tokyo early 2012.
She is a graduate of Tsuda College, Tokyo with a BA in American Studies and studied Sociology at Australian National University, Canberra. She has two grown-up daughters in Tokyo and happily lives in the Los Angeles Miracle Mile area.
Head of the Public Affairs Section
Embassy of Japan in the United States.
As Head of the Public Affairs Section, Toshihide Ando is responsible for media relations and cultural affairs at the Embassy of Japan. Prior to being posted in Washington DC, Mr. Ando was Counselor for Political Affairs of the Embassy of Japan in Australia. His previous responsibilities at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs included Japan-US economic relations, G8-related issues, and international legal affairs. Mr. Ando was also involved in national security policy at the Prime Minister’s Office and energy issues at the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.
Mr.Yasutomo Horikoshi has been on the faculty of the Department of State’s Foreign Service Institute since 2010. He currently serves as a Japanese Training Instructor. In 2010, he received the dean’s honor award for excellence in teaching. He previously served as an office manager of defense-related technology consulting firm for eight years. In his former career, he assisted the Japanese Ministry of Defense and Japanese companies in realizing their business goals by identifying potential business ventures through technology cooperation.
Director at Office of Japanese Affairs, U.S. Department of State
As Director of the Office of Japanese Affairs, Marc Knapper is the most senior official in the State Department dealing exclusively with U.S.-Japan relations. Mr. Knapper has also served in Seoul, Hanoi, and Baghdad. He is a graduate of Princeton University and the Army War College and was a Monbusho graduate research student at the University of Tokyo.
Representative Office in Washington, DC
New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO)
Tatsuya Shinkawa worked on the electricity policy, nuclear safety policy and, economic and industrial policy in the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), Japan from 1991. He was in charge of the electricity policy in Japan from 2000 to 2004. He designed the LLP law of Japan in 2005. His former position is the Director, Human Resource Policy Office, Economic and Industrial Policy Bureau, METI. He earned his Master degree at Kyushu University, Interdisciplinary Graduate School of Engineering Sciences, Japan in 1991. He was a visiting researcher in Stanford University in 1999.
MIPRO of Japan, Research Analyst
Ayako Smethurst is currently working as the research analyst at the Washington DC office of Manufactured Imports and Investment Promotion Organization of Japan. Previously, she served for four years as the Program Coordinator in the JET Program Office at the Embassy of Japan. She has extensive human resources experience with multinational corporations, including: Proctor & Gamble and Adecco Group. She is presently volunteering her personal and professional intercultural experience to foster educational links between Japanese and American high school students.
Producer, NHK Washington Bureau
Regina Bediako, originally from Westchester NY, joined NHK Washington Bureau in the summer of 2009. In her current position as producer, she works with the economic news correspondent, and contributes to reporting on breaking news and emerging trends in politics and the American economy. This has also included coverage of a wide range of topics, from the global financial crisis to the increasing popularity of “sustainable sushi” and the numerous displays of US-Japan cooperation in the wake of 3/11. She graduated with a B.A. in Social Anthropology from Harvard University, where she also studied Japanese and spent a semester abroad at Sophia University in Tokyo. Her time in Japan also inspired her senior thesis project, somewhat ambitiously titled, “Of Salarymen and Louis Vuitton Dons: Consumerism and the Changing Face of Japanese Masculinity.”
Anna Cable currently serves as the Program Manager for the U.S.-Japan Council, where her responsibilities include the development and management of educational and legislative exchange programs, coordination of USJC’s Annual Conference, and administration of the TOMODACHI initiative. She has a passion for education and youth development having worked with Concordia Language Villages’ Mori no Ike Japanese Village and the Commonweal Foundation. She was a recipient of a Fulbright Grant to conduct independent sociological research in Nagasaki, Japan from September 2007-2008. She remained in Japan until May 2010 teaching English in Japanese junior high schools in Fukuoka-ken. Anna holds a B.A. magna cum laude in Anthropology and Sociology from Centre College in Danville, Kentucky.
Public Affairs Center
Mitsui & Co. (U.S.A.), Inc.
Eric Campbell’s responsibilities at Mitsui USA include public affairs and corporate social responsibility. He also serves as vice president of the Mitsui USA Foundation, the company’s philanthropic arm for active, social contribution programs where the company does business. Mr. Campbell previously worked for the Consulate General of Japan in New York and for the New York news bureau of TV Asahi. He has an M.A. in East Asian Languages and Cultures from Columbia University and a B.A. in Asian Studies from Trinity College, CT. Mr. Campbell is a former Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program participant.
Japan External Trade Organization
Jeremy received a bachelor’s in Business Administration from West Virginia University and completed the Japanese Language and Culture Program at Chubu University in Kasugai, Japan in 2009. He then spent a year as an English instructor in Nagoya, Japan before becoming the Project Associate at Japan External Trade Organization’s Kanagawa Office in Maryland. There he works to promote trade between Japan and the United States with a focus on Kanagawa Prefecture. Responsibilities include attending expos of various industries, researching potential companies and planning Kanagawa related seminars.
Station Manager, Washington Dulles International Airport
All Nippon Airways (ANA)
As ANA’s Station Manager at Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD), Jeff is responsible for managing all airport activities, including overseeing safe and timely flight operations. He leads a professional team of Operations, Maintenance, Cargo, and Customer Service personnel. Jeff joined ANA in 1988 as a Customer Service Representative. He has been based at IAD throughout his aviation career and has held several supervisory positions leading up to his present position. He is a 1986 graduate of the University of Richmond.
|Michael J. Ruggiero
Senior Director, Government Policy & External Affairs
Astellas Pharma US, Inc.
Michael J. Ruggiero leads the department responsible for analyzing federal policy and executing the company’s federal government affairs activities. Previously, he practiced law in Washington, D.C., with Arnold & Porter LLP and King & Spalding LLP, where he represented healthcare industry clients; and worked for the American Apparel Manufacturers Association
and the American Textile Manufacturers Institute, where he specialized in economic and international trade policy.
Mr. Ruggiero is Vice Chair of the National Kidney Foundation Serving the National Capital Area, and as adjunct faculty at the American University Washington College of Law. He earned a J.D. cum laude from the Georgetown University Law Center and received his B.A. in Economics from Syracuse University.
Master of Ceremonies
|Maurie Bingham is an HR coordinator at Interesse International Inc’s, Japanese/English bilingual HR operation, iiicareer. The company provides clients with multi-lingual staffing services as well as HR advice and solutions to efficiently run their business in the US. A native Japanese language speaker, Maurie enjoys working with versatile clientele in Washington DC area. Maurie is a graduate of Stevenson University with a B.Sc. in Psychology and is currently working on her Staffing Professional Certification through American Staffing Association.
Manager of Operations and Communications
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries America, Inc.
Michael Ivey joined MHIA’s Washington Office in 2010. His duties include research, analysis, and reporting of political and economic issues affecting the aerospace, energy, and infrastructure sectors.
Michael developed Japanese fluency while living, working, and studying in Japan for five years, including receiving a Certificate in Japanese Language from Waseda University in 2005.
An Oklahoma native, Michael graduated magna cum laude from the University of Oklahoma in 2000, double-majoring in History and Political Science. In 2008, he received a Masters of Science in Foreign Service (MSFS) degree from Georgetown University.
He lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and son.