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USJC President Irene Hirano Inouye, center, is pictured with the 2017 JALD delegates, which include, front row, from left, Michael Takada, Leslie A. Ito, Lynn Nakamoto, Sawako Gardner, Roy Hirabayashi, Wendy Takahisa; and back row, from left, Jason Fujimoto, David Boone, Ken Russell, Gary Yamashita and Patrick Oishi.

Members of the 2017 Japanese American Leadership Delegation embarked on a weeklong visit to Tokyo and Kanazawa, Japan, on March 3-11 to meet with top business and government officials, as well as participate in a symposium co-hosted by the U.S.-Japan Council and the Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership.

The JALD program, now in its 17th year, provides the opportunity for a “select group of Japanese American leaders from across the U.S. to travel to Japan to engage with Japanese leaders in the business, government, academic, nonprofit and cultural sectors.”

This year’s delegates are David Boone (Alexandria, VA), president of CB&I Federal Services; Jason Fujimoto (Hilo, HI), president/COO of HPM Building Supply; Sawako Gardner (Portsmouth, NH), judge, 10th Circuit Court, Portsmouth District Court, State of New Hampshire; Roy Hirabayashi (San Jose, CA), co-founder/past executive director of San Jose Taiko; Leslie A. Ito (Los Angeles, CA), president/CEO of the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center; Lynn Nakamoto (Salem, OR), associate justice, Oregon Supreme Court; Patrick Oishi (Seattle, WA), judge, King County Superior Court; Ken Russell (Miami, FL), commissioner, City of Miami; Michael Takada (Chicago, IL), CEO of the Japanese American Service Committee; Wendy Takahisa (New York, NY), executive director of the office of community relations for Morgan Stanley; and Gary Yamashita (Denver, CO), CEO of Sakura Square.

The delegation also participated in a pretrip orientation in Los Angeles at the Japanese American National Museum on Feb. 3-4, during which they assembled in meetings facilitated by USJC President Irene Hirano Inouye and Senior VP Kaz Maniwa, along with Consul Shigeru Kikuma of the Consulate General of Japan in Los Angeles.

The JALD program is sponsored by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan and organized by the USJC.