Two former ambassadors are the featured speakers at the Japan in 2014 Symposium, to be held on Thursday, Feb. 13, at the InterContinental Los Angeles Century City at Beverly Hills, 2151 Avenue of the Stars, Los Angeles.

The symposium will gather leading experts on Japan from across the U.S. and from Japan to take an in-depth look and “forecast” the coming year on Japanese domestic affairs, the U.S.-Japan bilateral economic and security relationship, and U.S.-Japan cooperation in international affairs.

Presented by the Japan America Society of Southern California with the Japan Business Association of Southern California, the symposium is supported by a generous grant from the Sasakawa Peace Foundation USA. Additional support is provided by the InterContinental L.A. Century City at Beverly Hills.

Former U.S. Ambassador to Japan John Roos and former Japanese Ambassador to the U.S. Ichiro Fujisaki
Former U.S. Ambassador to Japan John Roos and former Japanese Ambassador to the U.S. Ichiro Fujisaki

Symposium schedule:

12 to 1:30 p.m., luncheon program

1:30 to 4:30 p.m., panel discussions

4:30 to 6 p.m., ambassadors’ discussion

6 to 8 p.m., networking reception

Ichiro Fujisaki, Japan’s ambassador to the U.S. from 2008 to 2013, and John Roos, U.S. ambassador to Japan from 2009 to 2013, are the main speakers. Fujisaki is currently president of the America-Japan Society in Japan and a distinguished professor of Sophia University and Keio University, both in Tokyo. Roos is now a global advisor for Mitsubishi UFJ Financial.

“As ambassadors who recently completed their appointments and have ‘retired’ from diplomatic service, we are looking forward to a candid discussion about their experiences in office and prospects for the future of U.S.-Japan relations,” said Douglas Erber, president of JASSC. “We also are pleased to have discussion panels populated by Japan experts who will share their outlooks for Japan in the coming year.”

Speakers will include:

Wendy Cutler, acting deputy U.S. trade representative (luncheon keynote speaker)

Yoshimi Inaba, executive chairman, Toyota Motor Sales USA Inc.

Saori N. Katada, associate professor of international relations, University of Southern California

Richard Katz, editor-in-chief, The Oriental Economist Report (TOE)

Fukunari Kimura, School of Economics, Keio University

Brian Peck, deputy director, international affairs and business development, California Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development

Katsuya Takamiya, chairman and CEO, Mitsubishi Electric U.S. Inc.

Steven K. Vogel, professor of political science, UC Berkeley

Ryuji Watanabe, vice president, regional head for West Block and general manager, Los Angeles Branch, Mitsubishi Corp. Americas

Admission is $65 for JASSC members, $80 for non-members. For reservations and more information, contact Kay Amano at (310) 965-9050, ext. 104, or visit

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