Above (Left to Right): Ambassador Tsuneo Nishida, Senator Daniel Inouye, Mrs. Carol Block, Chancellor Gene Block, Deputy Assistant Secretary James Zumwalt, Director Hitoshi Abe, International Institute Interim Vice Provost Cindy Fan.

Friday, June 1, 2012

On Friday, June 1, 2012, the Terasaki Center hosted The New Visions of Japan Annual Forum -- a series of events to commemorate the Center's 20th Anniversary.

The New Visions of Japan Annual Forum opened with a private discussion among numerous directors from Japanese Centers from multiple universities across the United States, our distinguished faculty, as well as leaders in the local Japanese/Japanese American Community. The intention of the Directors’ Talk was to discuss the future of Japanese Studies in the United States and was designed to highlight changes to Japan as an object of study during this time and to chart different potential trajectories for Japanese studies. 
Participating directors included Professor Hitoshi Abe, University of California, Los Angeles; Professor Michael Bourdaghs, University of Chicago; Professor Indra Levy, Stanford University; Professor Steven Vogel, University of California, Berkeley; Professor Duncan Williams, University of Southern California (USC); Professor Jonathan Zwicker, University of Michigan; and Professor Seiji Lippit, University of California, Los Angeles as the moderator. Each director presented changes in the field as well as current challenges for Japanese Studies.
After each presentation, our distinguished faculty and members from the Japanese and Japanese American community including Douglas Erber, President, Japan America Society of Southern California; Seiji Horibuchi, President and CEO, New People; Thomas Iino, Chairman of the Board, U.S. Japan Council; Misako Ito, Director, The Japan Foundation, Los Angeles; Yuko Kaifu, Japan Business Association of Southern California (JBA), Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications, Union Bank; G. W. (Greg) Kimura, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer, Japanese American National Museum (JANM); Mike Okamoto, Chair, Little Tokyo Community Council; Casey Sakima, President, Nikkei Bruins; Bryan Takeda, West Coast Program Director, Los Angeles, U.S. Japan Council; Howard Terada, Managing Director, Terada Partners; Grant Tompkins, Associate Program Officer, Japanese Studies and Film & Publication, Japan Foundation New York; Consul Takehiko Wajima; Director of Japan Information Center, Consulate-General of Japan in Los Angeles; Noriko Yamamoto, Director of Japanese Studies, Japan Foundation New York; Sachiko Yoshimura, Chief Executive Officer, JETRO Los Angeles; Greg Willis, President and CEO, Japanese American Cultural and Community Center (JACCC) participated in this discussion. A summary of this event will be posted on our website shortly. 
Following the Directors’ Talk was the main event of the 2011-2012 anniversary year. Hundreds of attendees lined up to greet our speakers including the Honorable Daniel K. Inouye, United States Senator and Senate President Pro Tempore, State of Hawai’I, who presented how the current relationship between U.S. and Japan is in a transition. Senator Inouye’s speech was followed by Deputy Assistant Secretary for Japan and Korea James Zumwalt, who presented the U.S. and Japan’s security alliance, global partnership, economic relations. Lastly, Tsuneo Nishida Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations presented how the U.S. and Japan are working closely together to overcome various global challenges from a UN perspective. 
The New Visions of Annual Forum finally closed with a private reception at the Residence of Chancellor Gene Block at which Dr. Paul Terasaki was honored with the announcement of the UCLA Medal. Professor Hitoshi Abe also presented his thoughts and vision for the future of the Terasaki Center.