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[Consulate General of Japan in LA & World Trade Center Los Angeles] Japan and COVID-19: Impact and Response

  • Wednesday, May 20, 2020
  • 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
  • Webinar


The Consulate General of Japan in Los Angeles

with The World Trade Center of Los Angeles

and The Japan America Society of Southern California


"Japan and COVID-19: Impact and Response"

A Special Webinar Discussion on Japan's Immediate Experience and Response to the Global Pandemic

Wednesday, May 20 2020
11:00AM-12:00PM Pacific Time

The global pandemic is disrupting life and commerce throughout the world, but each nation presents a unique real-time case study, with constructive lessons in coping and rebuilding to be learned and shared.  Join a timely webinar discussion with the Honorable Akira Muto, Consul General of Japan in Los Angeles on Japan’s immediate experience and response to COVID-19, Japan’s local contributions in the fight against COVID-19 as well as growing collaboration in many other fields in this region.  This webinar is moderated by Stephen Cheung, President of the World Trade Center of Los Angeles and one of the region’s leading voices on international trade and foreign direct investment, and will be joined by Norihiko Saeki, Executive Director, JETRO Los Angeles.


Hon. Akira Muto

Consul General of Japan in Los Angeles

Akira Muto graduated from the Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo and joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1985. Having served at the Embassies of Japan in Washington DC and Moscow, he held directorships for Free Trade Agreement & Economic Partnership, Intelligence & Analysis, Russian Affairs, and Foreign Policy Coordination between 2004 and 2012; and in 2012, he became Consul General of Japan in Boston. He served as Deputy Director General, European Affairs Bureau (Ambassador, 2014-15); and served in the National Security Secretariat (2015-16). He was Minister, Embassy of Japan in the U.S. (Global Affiliate Visiting Scholar, Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center, Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, Stanford University) (2018-19). He became Consul General of Japan in Los Angeles in 2019.

Norihiko Saeki

Executive Director, 

Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO)

Norihiko Saeki serves as the Executive Director of Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Los Angeles and coordinates the collaborations between the U.S. and Japanese Industries in the area of innovation, entertainment and investment. Norihiko works to contribute to solve the social issues in California and the U.S. by forefront and user-oriented technology with Japanese industries.  In this capacity, he is responsible for the overall strategy and execution on innovation policy and the industries collaboration especially in hydrogen energy, water, smart cities, vehicle, aerospace and health care. Norihiko also serves as a Special Advisor to Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan and his task is to recommend the policy options as well as promote collaboration at the governmental level.

Opening Remarks:

Douglas Montgomery


Japan America Society of Southern California

Douglas Montgomery is Chairman of the Japan America Society of Southern California. He has been an active member of the Society since 2010 upon moving to Los Angeles from abroad. His “day” job is Vice President of Category Management with Warner Bros., located in Burbank. Doug has been with Warner Bros. for 15 years, working in the UK, US and Japan.

As Chairman, Montgomery works closely with the Board of Directors to refine the strategic direction of the society and to develop and promote programs to achieve the Society’s mission of building and strengthening US – Japan relationships. Montgomery founded the Society’s inaugural Japanese Film Festival “Japan Connects Hollywood” in 2019, a 3-day event with over 1700 attendees.

In addition to JASSC and Warner Bros., Doug often speaks for various organizations in Los Angeles, including both UCLA and USC, and in 2015 won the “Cool Japan J3C” award for his work in assisting Japanese young executives globalize their approach to the entertainment business. In 2020, Doug joined Anaheim University’s Film Advisory Council.

Montgomery lives in Torrance, California with his wife Yumi and son Alec (age 12). He cherishes his role as husband and father and enjoys his time living the California dream.


Stephen Cheung


World Trade Center Los Angeles (WTCLA)

Stephen Cheung is the Executive Vice President of LAEDC and the President of World Trade Center Los Angeles (WTCLA).  Cheung leads investment attraction to the LA County region on behalf of both LAEDC and WTCLA, and facilitates successful location of new businesses, projects, and deals from both international and U.S. investors into the region.  He also supports international trade and international connections for organizations based in LA County.

Prior to his current role, Stephen Cheung was the Secretary General of International Trade and Foreign Affairs for Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, and was responsible for managing policies and programs related to the Port of Los Angeles, Los Angeles World Airports, International Affairs and Global Trade. Furthermore, Cheung implemented the city’s strategic plan to make Los Angeles a global capital of clean technology by building the infrastructure to support research, development and manufacturing with key partners.

Cheung currently sits on the Board of Advisors of UCLA’s Luskin School of Public Affairs and Sister Cities of Los Angeles, while also serving on LA Metro’s Sustainability Council and Biz-Fed’s International Trade Committee. He has previously served on the Board of Directors of the Los Angeles Regional Export Council and the Los Angeles Business Council.



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