Japan America Society of Southern California

   Building Japan-America Relationships Since 1909

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  • JAPAN UPDATE Symposium


  • Thursday, February 21, 2019
  • 2:30 PM - 7:00 PM
  • InterContinental Los Angeles Century City at Beverly Hills, 2151 Avenue of the Stars, Los Angeles, CA 90067


Registration is closed


US-Japan Business Trend Outlook for 2019

Our expert speakers will share their perspectives on Japan, US-Japan business trends, trade and how they see the future of US-Japan relations as we enter a new world of fundamental geopolitical changes, particularly those centered in Asia, and rising nationalism and protectionism around the world. The event will highlight U.S.-Japan connections at the national, state and local levels, including Japanese economic and business ties with Southern California that remind us why a strong U.S.-Japan relationship is important for our collective livelihood here.



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Thursday, February 21, 2019
2:30pm Registration
3:00pm Conference
6:00pm Networking Reception

InterContinental Los Angeles Century City at Beverly Hills
2151 Avenue of the Stars
Los Angeles, CA 90067
Map & Directions
Valet parking only, $16 per vehicle

Keynote Speaker: “Multilateral Trading System and US - Japan Cooperation”

The Honorable Junichi Ihara
伊原純一 大使
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Permanent Mission of Japan to the Int’l Organizations in Geneva
Chairman, General Counsel, World Trade Organization
Immediate Past Director-General, Asian & Oceanian Affairs Bureau, MOFA
Past Consul General of Japan in Los Angeles (2008–2011)

Ambassador Junichi Ihara is past, extremely popular, Consul General of Japan in LA.  Afterwards, he was General-Director for Asiana, where he was the lead negotiator with North Korea.  Today he is Permanent Ambassador to Geneva and was elected Chairman of the General Counsel of the WTO.  This event marks his first visit to LA since his posting here from 2008-2011.

Ambassador Ihara will discuss challenges facing the WTO and multilateral trading system, including the US unilateral trade measures and the impasse of the dispute settlement mechanism; then, different from a general image that the US creates many of the problems, he will share some concrete examples in which questions raised by the US are legitimate and that Japan collaborate closely with the US on those issues; we sometimes differ in terms of approach, but in substance, we are allies even in trade policy areas.


在ジュネーブ国際機関日本政府 代表部常駐代表



元在ロサンゼルス総領事 (2008–2011)

ILO)設立100周年の本年にあわせて、世界の有識者による議論が行われています。また一方的関税措置などで揺れるWTOでも、危機を改革につなげていこうという動きが生まれており、一般理事会議長としてメンバー国の意向を形にするプロセスの一翼を担ってきました。2019年のジュネーブは、課題山積ですが、そのことを踏まえた上で、斬新な発想をする“thinking out of the box” が、求められているように思います。 激動の時代において、日米協力の重要性、そして世界がどう動き、私たちはどうすべきなのかを考えます。

Keynote Speaker: “Unconventional Strategy Delivers Remarkable Results – Quantum Growth in a Flat Market”

Tomoshige "Tomo" Mizutani


Featured speaker at Harvard Business School alumni clubs in New York and Orange County 

Chairman & CEO, Nitto Tire U.S.A. Inc.
Chairman, Toyo Tire U.S.A. Corp.
President & CEO, Toyo Tire North America OE Sales LLC


Tomo Mizutani is Chairman and CEO of Nitto Tire U.S.A. Inc., as well as Chairman of Toyo Tire U.S.A. Corp, President and CEO of Toyo Tire North America OE Sales LLC and senior corporate officer of Toyo Tire & Rubber Corp., LTD., for both the Nitto and Toyo Tire brands.  He is a graduate of Kobe University.

In 1992, when Tomo was assigned to the US, Nitto Tire had three employees, $8 million in inventory, and annual sales estimated at only $6 million (more inventory than sales). In addition, Nitto's largest client, which purchased 2/3 of total Nitto sales, was about to go bankrupt.

To overcome this crisis, Tomo was moved to mastermind and execute aggressive strategies. Today, Nitto Tire holds a strong and loyal fan base – including renowned US athletes and even robots in a hit Hollywood movie. On Facebook, Nitto Tire has 12 million likes, which is the largest following in the tire industry.

It has been an inspiring journey – from Tomo’s first time living in the US, with limited knowledge of the US tire industry, to how he transformed the Nitto brand into a leading off-road and street performance tires experience.  His story has been recognized by many business schools and universities. Tomo has been invited to speak at USC MBA, UCLA, UCI, Chapman, Clemson, Pepperdine University and graduate schools.  In addition to speaking engagements at universities, he has been a keynote speaker at the Harvard Business School Alumni Associations in Orange County and New York.   

Now, he finally gets to share his story with fellow JAS members and guests.

ハーバード・ビジネススクール アラムナイクラブ  ニューヨーク支部、オレンジカウンティ支部 特別講師
Nitto Tire U.S.A. Inc. 会長兼CEO
Toyo Tire U.S.A. Corp. 会長
Toyo Tire North America OE Sales LLC 社長兼CEO


その危機を克服するために、数々の挑戦的な戦略を打ち立て、現在では、全米プロスポーツ界の超一流選手の愛用車や人気ハリウッド映画のロボットに装着されるまでに。また、 Facebookで業界最大1200万人以上のファン数を獲得。

タイヤの知識も乏しくアメリカ生活も初めてだった水谷のブランド成長物語は、USC MBA、UCLA、UCI、Chapman、Clemson、Pepperdine大学・大学院より招請を受けた。

さらに、講演会は、ハーバード大学院 ビジネス・スクールAlumni Orange Countyに続き、New Yorkでも好評を博す。今回、Los Angelesで実現の運びとなった貴重なプレゼンテーションを披露致します。

Japan Matters for America Initiative

Satu Limaye, Ph.D.

Director, East-West Center, Washington, D.C.
Senior Adviser, CNA Corporation

Satu Limaye is Director of the East-West Center, Washington, D.C.  He will speak on the EWC’s “Japan Matters for America Initiative.”  His three take-aways will be –

  1. Japan’s continuing critical importance to US trade, investment, people-to-people relations and security
  2. Japan’s importance to California and especially LA and southern CA
  3. Japan’s changing role and US-Japan coordination in a fluid Indo-Pacific region.

東西センター ワシントンDC支部、ディレクター
CNA コーポレーション、シニアアドバイザー


Japan Update Moderator / モデレーター

Kaori Iida

Los Angeles Bureau Chief, NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corp.)
Past Senior Economics Correspondent, Wash., D.C. News Bureau, NHK



$60 JAS, JCC, JBA, HBSASC Members
$75 Non-Members or Guests
$115 Admission plus 1 year NEW JASSC Individual Membership (not valid for membership renewals)

REGISTER ONLINE   |  Download Flyer

Japan Update is presented by the JASSC and it is supported by the JBA and by an “Opinion Leaders” grant from the Sasakawa Peace Foundation and the National Association of Japan-America Societies. Cooperating Organization include the Harvard Business School Association of Southern California.




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