US/Japan: Omaha-Shizuoka Young Professionals Forum

As part of KIF Global's Subnational X Initiative, 1st U.S.A.-Japan Subnational Global Young Professionals Forum was held virtually between the City of Omaha, Nebraska and City of Shizuoka, Japan.

The Forum is a public-private partnership (PPP) in a forum series held virtually and organized globally by the Koyamada International Foundation (KIF) Japan, KIF America and Junior Chamber International (JCI) Japan. The subnational hosts are City of Omaha, City of Shizuoka, JCI Shizuoka, Greater Omaha Chamber, Omaha Sister Cities Association, The Shizuoka Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Shizuoka City Association for Multicultural Exchange (SAME), The Omaha Club.

The purpose of the forum is for American and Japanese young professional leaders to deepen bilateral economic and cultural people-to-people relationships to foster mutual understanding, as well as to create an international cooperation between communities in the United States and Japan at a subnational level.

The guests speakers were the following;

  • U.S. Congressman Ted Lieu, (Foreign Committee, author of a bipartizen bill "City and State Diplomacy Act"
  • Ambassador Tamaki Tsukada, Deputy Chief Mission, the Embassy of Japan, DC
  • Principal Officer Gary Schaefer, US Consulate Nagoya
  • Mr. Shin Koyamada, Chairman, KIF Global
  • Mr. Anthony Al-Jamie, Chairman of KIF America
  • Mr. Takato Watabe, Deputy Executive Director KIF Japan
  • Ms. Marie Kitamura, JCI Japan
  • Andrew Schilling, Honorary Consul of Japan in Omaha
  • Mayor Jean Stothert, City of Omaha
  • Mr. Shogo Nabeta, President of JCI Shizuoka
  • Mayor Nobuhiro Tanabe, City of Shizuoka
  • Mr. Satoshi Kubota, Director of International Affairs, City of Shizuoka
  • Mr. Akihiro Kosakai, ​The Shizuoka Chamber of Commerce & Industry
  • Ms. Erika Gojo, Shizuoka City Association for Multicultural Exchange (SAME)
  • Mr. Daisuke Watanabe, Omaha Club

MC - Mr. Larry Uebner, Board member of Omaha Sister Cities, Board member of Sister Cities International

American speakers from Honolulu, Hawaii

  • Ms. Becky App - Founder of eCreamery
  • Mr. Nic Bianchi - Founding CEO of Bianchi Candle Co.
  • Ms.Claire Devney - Head of Fintech Engagement at First National Bank of Omaha
  • Mr. Nathan Jones - Entrepreneur, Board member of Omaha Jaycees
  • Ms. Ashley Kuhn - Co-founder of Blair Freeman

Japanese speakers from Hiroshima, Japan

  • Mr.Hiroyasu Masuki - President, Information to Connect Agency, JCI Shizuoka  
  • Mr. Tetsuya Nomura - Exe., NOMURA SHOTEN, Co., JCI Shizuoka Member
  • Ms. Atsuko Suzuki - Dental Hygienist, classical Japanese performing art instructor, JCI Shizuoka member
  • Mr. Hirotaka Uematsu - President, Takarado Co (Jewelry), JCI Shizuoka member
  • Mr. Kenichi Nishimoto - Senior Director, Nishimoto Co.

The U.S. and Japan also share more sister city relationships with each other than with any other country, with a total of 458 subnational partnerships at the prefecture, city, ward, town and village levels. The final report of the Forum will be presented by JCI Japan as a bilateral recommendation to the United States-Japan Conference on Cultural and Educational Interchange (CULCON) in Japan.