Archive for March 2016

JUSFC to Host 40th Anniversary Roundtable and Networking Reception at AAS’ Annual Meeting in Seattle, April 2

March 25, 2016 – 

There is rising concern within academic circles in the United States and Japan that Japan Studies as a field is in “crisis”. To address this issue, the Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission is convening a round table discussion, featuring Japan Studies experts, Professors Patricia Steinhoff (University of Hawaii), T.J. Pempel (University of California, Berkeley), Leonard Schoppa (University of Virginia), Patricia Maclachlan (University of Texas, Austin) and Dyron Dabney (Albion College). This group of experts will discuss current trends in Japan Studies and solicit recommendations on creating a demand for, and diversifying Japan Studies in the United States. 

Please join us on Saturday, April 2, 3:00 to 5:00pm, Washington State Convention Center, 3rd Floor, Room 303. The conversation will continue on Twitter at @j_usfc #JUSFCJapanStudies

Please also join us at a networking reception to celebrate our 40th Anniversary. Meet JUSFC Commissioners, staff and grantees. Saturday, April 2, 7:30 to 9:30pm, Issaquah Room, Sheraton Seattle Hotel, 3rd Floor. On Twitter at @j_usfc #JUSFCSlidersAndSushi

The Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission is marking its 40th anniversary through 2016. The Commission has spent the last four decades supporting the U.S.-Japan relationship through public policy, arts, culture, and educational exchanges. 


JUSFC40 Meet Our Grantees Series: Japan Center for International Exchange

March 21, 2016 – 

In celebration of its 40th anniversary, the Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission is having conversations with a number of grantees.

For a number of years, the Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission has proudly supported the U.S. Congressional Staff Exchange Program, which is managed and executed by the Japan Center for International Exchange (JCIE). This longstanding project is designed to educate senior Congressional staff about the dynamics of U.S.-Japan relations. The program gives these staff members the opportunity to meet a wide range of Japanese leaders, allowing them to learn about the key factors affecting bilateral relations and to engage in frank, substantive discussions about issues facing both countries.

The core of the program is an intensive one-week study trip to Japan that is comprised of meetings  and site visits for 6-7 senior staff with the potential to contribute to U.S.-Japan relations.  According to JCIE, congressional staff members play a vital role in the U.S. Congress’ dealings with Japan, and their role has grown in importance as Members of Congress are increasingly unable to travel abroad due to schedule and other constraints. The program plays an important role in enhancing staff members’ knowledge and capacity to provide farsighted policy advice to legislators.

JCIE calls on its extensive alumni network to recommend exchange participants, and participants receive briefing seminars before their trips. “They meet a broad range of leaders, activists, and regular people,” says JCIE’s executive director James Gannon. “Since we are an independent nonprofit organization, we are able to expose them to a wide spectrum of people, not… » READ MORE

JUSFC40 Meet Our Grantees Series: New York International Children’s Film Festival

March 12, 2016 – 

In celebration of its 40th anniversary, the Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission is having conversations with a number of grantees.

The Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission is delighted to support for the first time, the screening of short and feature-length Japanese films at the New York International Children’s Film Festival (NYICFF) that opened February 26th with The Boy and the Beast directed by Mamoru Hosoda. The Festival will run through Sunday, March 20th. This annual month-long Film Festival takes place at venues throughout New York City and presents 100 animated, live action and experimental shorts and features from around the world to an audience of 25,000 children, families, artists, and educators.

“These screenings reach students who might have never seen these films,” notes Abigail Parsons, the Festival’s development director. “The Festival allows us to introduce families to artistic styles and content from cultures that they might otherwise not be seeing.” Audience size for each screening ranges from 60 – 500 people. Everyone who attends the festival receives a ballot, and is able to provide comments to the organizers. “We are very excited to hear audience feedback,” Parsons remarks, adding that people comment on many aspects of the films, sometimes noting the historical context, and at other times mentioning that the film made them more aware of an issue, or more knowledgeable of an artistic style. Parsons adds that the organizers were excited to have The Boy and the Beast premiere on opening night because festival-goers in the past had appreciated and enjoyed the work of Japanese director… » READ MORE

Marking 3-11: Five Years On

March 7, 2016 – 

As we mark five years since the catastrophic earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear disasters in Japan on March 11, 2011, the Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission honors the memory of the lives and communities lost in the triple disasters. The Commission stands with the people of Japan in remembrance of the tragic events five years ago, and commends the fortitude of the Japanese people; the outpouring of giving and support; and the immense recovery process, while understanding the challenges that remain.

Established by Congress in 1975, the Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission plays a prominent role in supporting the robust partnership that has developed between Japan and the United States since 1945.

The Commission’s mission is to preserve and strengthen the bilateral relationship by advancing mutual understanding between the two countries through cultural and intellectual exchange. In so doing, the United States and Japan have deepened their shared commitment to democracy, the rule of law, and peace and economic prosperity throughout the Asia-Pacific.

The Commission looks forward to continuing to work closely with the people of Japan to further strengthen the U.S.-Japan partnership in the future.