Annual Reports

Below you will find the Japan America Society of Chicago’s Annual Reports for Fiscal Years 2008-2022, listed in order beginning with the most current year.

JASC – 2022 Annual Report

Highlighted Programs:
  • 2022 Annual Update on U.S.-Japan Relations and Post Pandemic featuring Hiroyuki Akita, Commentator, Nikkei – Japan and the Great Power Competition and Emma Chanlett-Avery, Specialist in Asian Affairs, Congressional Research Service – “The U.S.-Japan Alliance: the View from Washington”
  • 2022 Update on Japan: From Business to the Economy featuring Nigel Blakeway, Chairman & CEO, OMRON Management Center of America, Inc – . OMRON : Creating Social Value through Business and Contributing to Society and Edward J. Lincoln, Adjunct Professor, Columbia University – The Future of the Japanese Economy
  • The Principled Politician: A Story of Courage – “Governor Ralph Carr and the Fight Against Japanese American Internment” featuring Adam Schrager, Social Impact Storyteller at the American Family Insurance Institute for Corporate and Social Impact
  • 36th Annual Holiday Fundraiser & Bonenkai featuring a keynote address “U.S.-Japan Relations: Looking Back and Ahead” by Joel Ehrendreich, Director, Office of Japanese Affairs, Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, U.S.-Department of State

JASC – 2021 Annual Report

Highlighted Programs:
  • A New Presidential Year: An Update on U.S.- Japan Relations During a Pandemic featuring Professor Fumiaki Kubo, University of Tokyo; Glen Fukushima, Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress and Cecile Shea, Non-Resident Senior Fellow, Global Security & Diplomacy, The Chicago Council on Global Affairs. This program is part of the NAJAS Japan Currents series, and is sponsored by the Embassy of Japan.
  • The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago: Perspectives on the U.S. Economy featuring Charles Evans, President & Chief Executive Officer, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  • Welcome Reception for the Honorable Hiroshi Tajima, Consul-General of Japan in Chicago featuring Hon. Hiroshi Tajima, Consul-General of Japan in Chicago. Co-organizers: Japanese Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Chicago & Chicago Japanese American Council.
  • Umeko Tsuda’s Contributions to Modern Japan: A Pioneering Woman Educator and her Transnational Collaboration featuring Yuko Takahashi, President, Tsuda University. Co-organizer: Japan Society of Boston.

JASC – 2020 Annual Report

Highlighted Programs:
  • Adapting U.S. Business for the Japanese Market-Including Strategies for Both Domino’s and Wendy’s in Japan featuring Ernest M. Higa, Chairman & CEO, Higa Industries & Chief Executive Officer of Wendy’s Japan K.K.
  • Automotive & Manufacturing – Survive 2020; Thrive in 2021! featuring Daron Gifford, Partner, Plante & Moran and Dave Andrea, Principal, Plante & Moran Special thanks to Plante & Moran
  • “Japan’s Response to COVID-19” featuring Glen S. Fukushima, Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress; Former President, American Chamber of Commerce in Japan & Former Deputy Assistant United States Trade Representative for Japan and China
  • Richard E. Fuller and Inspiring Emulators Collecting Japanese Art in Seattle featuring Xiaojin Wu, Curator of Japanese and Korean Art, Seattle Art Museum (SAM)

JASC – 2019 Annual Report

Keynote Speaker: Marc Knapper, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Korea and Japan & member of the Senior Foreign Service, U.S. Department of State

Highlighted Programs:
  • Abenomics in 2019 featuring Motoshige Itoh, a former member of the advisory panel to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe & Emeritus of the University of Tokyo
  • Walk in U.S., Talk on Japan featuring Tomohiko Taniguchi, Professor, Keio University Graduate School of System Design & Management; Yasunori Nakayama, Acting Director General, Japan Institute of International Affairs; Makoto Kuroda, Senior Analyst, Credit Suisse Securities (Japan) and Akira Sakano, Chair of the Board of Directors, Zero Waste Academy
  • Beauty of Japan From Obento to Gardens: Japanese Dining Etiquette and Private Anderson Japanese Gardens Tour featuring Kimiko Gunji, Professor Emeritus of Japanese Arts & Culture and Founder, Japan House, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

JASC – 2018 Annual Report

Keynote Speaker: Peter Kelley, President, National Association of Japan-America Societies

Highlighted Programs:
  • Japanese Economy: Successful Recovery, Challenges, Foreign Policy, and U.S. Relations featuring Shujiro Urata, Dean & Professor of Economics, Graduate School Asia-Pacific Studies, Waseda University
  • Japan-U.S. Relations Under the Trump Administration: North Korea, Trade featuring Hon. Mitoji Yabunaka, Visiting Professor, Ritsumeikan University; Principal, Global Terakoya Yabunaka Juku & Former Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs
  • Distance, Time, Crossroads, and Expansion: Basic Elements of Modern Japanese History featuring Kaoru Iokibe, Professor, Graduate School for Law and Politics, University of Tokyo

JASC – 2017 Annual Report

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Ei-ichi Negishi, Herbert C. Brown Distinguished Professor of Chemistry, Purdue
University & recipient of the 2010 Nobel Prize in Chemistry

Highlighted Programs:
  • Tohoku Update: What’s Being Done to Build a Positive Future: First Hand Insights on the Current
    Progress featuring Ichiro Sone, Chief Executive Director, JETRO Chicago, Yoshiyuki Takasago, Director General,
    Commerce & Industry, Miyagi Prefectural Government & Robert Priddy, Engineering Lead, Atkins Nuclear
    Solutions US
  • “The Impact of the Trump Administration on the Security Environment in the Asia-Pacific Region-
    Japan’s View” featuring Yoichi Kato, Senior Research Fellow, Rebuild Japan Initiative Foundation (RJIF)
  • 2017 Chicago-Tagajo TOMODACHI Exchange Program

JASC – 2016 Annual Report

Keynote Speaker: Ambassador J. Thomas Schieffer, Ambassador to Japan (2005-2009)

Highlighted Programs:
  • Trains, Planes and Automobiles: Current and Future Trends in the Transportation Industry in Japan and the U.S. featuring Koki Konishi, Managing Officer & Chief Officer, Technical Administration Group, Toyota Motor Corporation; Hiroyuki Idei, Executive Vice President, Nippon Sharyo U.S.A., Inc.; David Yamada, Manager Engineering & Marketing Support, Nippon Sharyo U.S.A., Inc. & Grant Crampton, Chief of Staff, IT Infrastructure, The Boeing Company
  • “Bank of Japan’s Monetary Easing Policy and Abenomics” featuring Dr. Sayuri Shirai, Professor, Keio University & Former Board Member of the Bank of Japan
  • Ingrid Fuzjko Hemming 85th Anniversary Piano Concert featuring Fuzjko Hemming, Pianist

JASC – 2015 Annual Report

Keynote Speaker: Ambassador Ira Shapiro, Chairman of the Board-National Association of Japan America Societies, Former Clinton Administration official at USTR: General Counsel, Ambassador and Chief Trade Negotiator with Japan and Canada

Highlighted Programs:
  • Great Transformation of East Asia and Japan featuring Mitoji Yabunaka, Former Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs & Professor, Ritsumeikan University
  • Walk in U.S., Talk on Japan : U.S.-Japan Relations Evening Program featuring Ambassador Mitsuo Sakaba, Former Ambassador of Japan to Vietnam and the Kingdom of Belgium & Keiji Shigeoka, Former President, Itochu Petroleum Co. U.S.A.
  • “The Business Climate in Asia and Japan-U.S. Relations” featuring Chris Wilkens, Deputy General Manager, BTMU’s Global Corporate Banking Division & Head of Global Subsidiary Banking (Tokyo, Japan) & Dr. William R. Farrell, Adjunct Professor, Naval War College & Former Chairman & CEO, Dynamic Strategies Asia, LC

JASC – 2014 Annual Report

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Yusuke Nakamura, Professor of Medicine, Section of Hematology/Oncology; Professor of Surgery and Deputy Director, Center for Personalized Therapeutics, The University of Chicago

Highlighted Programs:
  • Walk in U.S., Talk on Japan U.S.- Japan Relations Luncheon Program
  • “How the Third Arrow of Abenomics Affects USD/JPY” featuring Tohru Sasaki, Managing Director, Head of Japan Rates & FX Research, JPMorgan Chase, N.A. Tokyo
  • Japanese and English Rakugo  featuring Sanyutei Ryuraku

Cultural Achievement Award: Yoko Schmadeke, Oak Park River Forest High School

JASC – 2013 Annual Report

Keynote Speaker: Kulapat Yantasast, Architect, Co-founder and Principal, wHY Architecture

Highlighted Programs:
  • “Taking the ‘A’ Train: Tokyo to Chicago Two Train Commuting Systems, Two Cities” presentation by Michael Fisch, University of Chicago & Dan Gornstein, Nippon Sharyo Engineering and Marketing
  • A Symposium on Asia-Pacific Integration and the Role of the United States and Japan, The Honorable Adlai E. Stevenson, Chairman, SC&M Investment Management Corp.
  • “Abenomics: Japan’s New Sunrise?” presented by His Excellency Kenichiro Sasae, Ambassador of Japan to the United States
  • “Kakehashi Project – The Bridge for Tomorrow” presentations by students from Japanese schools
  • “Konishiki’s World: Life Before, During, and After Sumo” presentation by Yasokichi Konishiki, Former Sumo Wrestler

Cultural Achievement Award: Joyce Sasho Kubase, Urasenke Tradition of Chado the Way of Tea

JASC – 2012 Annual Report

Keynote Speaker: Ambassador Rust M. Deming, Adjunct Professor, Japan Studies, Johns Hopkins University and Former Director of the Office of Japanese Affairs

Highlighted Programs:
  • Kizuna: Japan Earthquake/Tsunami Photo Exhibition
  • “Building New U.S.-Japan Relationships: How People and Communities are Shaping the Future” presented by Irene Hirano, President, The U.S.-Japan Council

Cultural Achievement Award: Kimiko Gunji, Japan House, University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana

JASC – 2011 Annual Report

Keynote Speaker: Ambassador Robert M. Orr, U.S. Executive Director to the Asian Development Bank. “The U.S.-Japan Relationship at the Asian Development Bank”

Highlighted Programs:
  • “Japan Road to Recovery – Challenges and Opportunities” presented by Hideki Asari, Embassy of Japan; Tatuhiro Shindo, JETRO& Kathryn Ibata Arens, DePaul University
  • “The Japanese Economy after the Earthquake and Tsunami: Its Impact and the Road to Recovery” presented by Dr. Motoshige Itoh, Professor, Graduate School of Economics and Faculty of Economics, the University of Tokyo

Cultural Achievement Award: Fujima Shunojo, Japanese Classical Dancer

JASC – 2010 Annual Report

Keynote Speaker: Professor Theodore C. Bestor, Chair of the Department of Anthropology, Social Anthropology Program, Harvard University

Highlighted Programs:
  • “The Only Woman in the Room: A Memoir” presented by Beate Sirota Gordon, worked at General MacArthur’s headquarters on a team charged with writing a new constitution for Japan
  • “Shall we Train-Travel?” and “High Speed Shinkansen (Bullet Trains) and Eco Design” presented by Naoyuki Agawa, Professor, Keio University and Tetsuo Fukuda, Professor of Advanced Institute of Industrial Techonology and Industrial Designer
  • “Thoughts on the Future of the U.S.-Japan Free Trade Agreement” presented by Noboru Hatakeyama, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Japan Economic Foundation

Cultural Achievement Award: Tatsu Aoki, Asian aRts Improv Midwest

JASC – 2009 Annual Report

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Kazuo Kawasaki, Design Director, Doctor of Medical Science, Professor of Graduate School of Engineering, Osaka University, Professor Emeritus at Nagoya City University. “Japanese Designs – From Eyeglasses to Artificial Organ Technology”

Highlighted Programs:
  • “Japan and America: Building Upon the Ichiro Effect” presented by the Honorable George Hisaeda, Consul General of Japan, Consulate General of Japan at Chicago
  • Japan Student Network Reception
  • Board of Governors Dinner Address “The Emerging East Asian Community and U.S.-Japanese Relations” presented by Dr. Akira Iriye, Professor, Harvard University

Cultural Achievement Award: Dr. Janice A. Katz, Art Institute of Chicago

JASC – 2008 Annual Report

Keynote Speaker: Michael R. Lufrano, Senior Vice President, Community Affiars and General Counsel, Chicago Cubs. “The International Past Time: Traditions and Connections between Baseball, Japan, and Wrigley Field”

Highlighted Programs:
  • “McDonald’s Japan: The Success of the Plan to Win Campaign” presented by Sarah Casanova, Senior Vice President, Business Development, McDonald’s Japan
  • “Boeing and Japan: A Global Benchmark for Strategic Industrial Collaboration” presented by Nicole Piasecki, Vice President, Boeing International and President, Boeing Japan
  • Japan’s Structural Reform: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow” presented by Professor Heizo Takenaka, Keio University and former Minister of Internal Affairs and Communications and Minister of State for the Privatization of Postal Services in the Cabinet of Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi

Cultural Achievement Award: Lucien Stryk, Translator and Writer of Zen poetry

90th Anniversary Sponsors


Jean & Jim McClung


Barnes & Thornburg

Joyce Chelberg


Terri & Ed Grant

Jane & David Johnson

Suzanne & Michael Moskow

Ann & Stephen Potter


Kirkland Ellis
Mayer Brown

93rd Annual Program Sponsors

Mayer Brown

Joyce Chelberg

Edward A. Grant

Bradley J. Hamm

David D. Johnson

Kirkland Ellis

Jean & Jim McClung

Suzanne & Michael Moskow

Ann & Stephen Potter