On January 24, JBA and the US-Japan Council (USJC) co-hosted a networking reception at the LA84 Foundation. On that day, 20 core members of JBA and JBA’s Commerce and Industry committee, as well as approximately 20 members from USJC, attended and interacted at the event.

JBA and the US-Japan Council (USJC) held a networking reception. As JBA President Hitoshi Ishikawa stated that night, “JBA has a long relationship with the USJC, and attends the USJC’s annual convention where we are able to exchange ideas with commerce and industry organizations at the national level. However, in order to build relationships at the local level, not just the national level, this networking reception is being held. In addition, although JBA sends a delegation to Sacramento every year to meet with the State government, there is less contact with local government and authorities. For that reason, this time, we have invited the City’s Jan Perry to attend. By continuing activities at the grassroots level, we hope to deepen mutual understanding and extend the activities of JBA in the local community.

At the reception which began at 6:30PM, light meals along with tasting samples provided by local partnerships were served. Various kinds of sake, ranging from lighter, refreshing flavors to deeper sakes matured in a water chamber were served to guests who were surrounded by the welcoming, peaceful atmosphere of the venue. At 7:10PM, USJC’s Josh Mori began the program.

First, JBA President Hitoshi Ishikawa gave the opening speech and made his remarks. “In order for Japanese companies to do business here, we must learn the local business environment, rules, and customs. This is possible to learn from books, but I think the best way is to listen to the advice of local people, especially Japanese Americans. USJC is the most important organization for JBA. As a result of today’s networking event, I hope create a significant window of opportunity to build mutual respect.”

In response, USJC’s Southern California Representative Sandy Sakamoto gave her remarks. After expressing her thanks to the attendees and volunteers who assisted with the venue set-up, she introduced the mission and various activities of USJC, which was to strengthen US-Japan relations. “Today was perfectly suited to the mission of USJC, which is to create new friendships and build business relationships, earn the differences and similarities of each culture, and strengthen the relationship.”

Last, Yuko Kaifu, JBA Executive Vice President, USJC Board Member, and President of Japan House Los Angeles gave remarks thanking the attendees and said after, “I would like to hold such an event like this,” and concluded the evening.

Hitoshi Ishikawa, JBA President
Sandy Sakamoto, USJC Southern California Representative
Jan Perry,
General Manager Economic & Workforce Development Department City of Los Angeles