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The 21st Century US-Japan Relationship

PAST EVENT VIDEO
Panel
In advance of Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida's state visit next week, join us for an afternoon of wide-ranging discussions on the political and security issues making headlines and the cultural, economic, and educational ties that run deep.
Speakers
Emma Chanlett-Avery
Ryan Christie
Craig Kafura
Jun Yanagi
Yuriko Gamo Romer
Theresa Kulczak
Jacob M. Schlesinger
Dina Smeltz
Event Date

About This Event

The United States and Japan are critical strategic allies in the Asia-Pacific and increasingly dependent on each other. That tightening bond will be highlighted in this April’s state visit by Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, which will include an address to a joint session of Congress and a trilateral leadership summit with US President Joe Biden and Philippines President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. But the modern US-Japan relationship runs far deeper than just the political-security alliance: the two countries are also bound together by their extensive economic, cultural, and educational exchanges. Join the Council and the United States-Japan Foundation for a wide-ranging discussion on the evolving US-Japan relationship, from the political and security issues making headlines today to the cultural, economic, and educational ties that grow stronger with each passing year. The event will also feature a screening of Baseball Behind Barbed Wire, a documentary short film about baseball and the WWII-era Japanese American incarceration. 

Event Schedule

Time Agenda
1:45 pm CT Registration
2:00 pm Welcome remarks
2:05 pm Presentation and panel 1: Political and Security Relations
3:00 pm Film screening: Baseball Behind Barbed Wire
3:40 pm Panel 2: Cultural, Economic, and People-to-People Relations
4:20 pm Concluding remarks
4:25 pm Reception begins
5:00 pm Adjournment
About the Speakers
Director for Political-Security Affairs, Asia Society Policy Institute
headshot of Emma Chanlett-Avery
Emma Chanlett-Avery is deputy director of the Asia Society Policy Institute's Washington, DC, office and the director for Political-Security Affairs. Previous to this post, she served for 20 years as a specialist in Asian Affairs at the Congressional Research Service, where she focused on US relations with Japan, the Korean Peninsula, Thailand, and Singapore, with an emphasis on security issues and alliances.
headshot of Emma Chanlett-Avery
Ryan Christie
Coordinator, Japanese Exchange Program, Elk Grove High School
headshot of Ryan Christie
Ryan Christie is a Japanese teacher and international exchange coordinator at Elk Grove High School. He is engaged with the Japanese education community through the Japanese National Honors Society and the Illinois Association of Teachers of Japanese, of which he served as president from 2019 to 2021. 
headshot of Ryan Christie
Assistant Director, Public Opinion and Foreign Policy
Craig Kafura is the assistant director for public opinion and foreign policy at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, a Security Fellow with the Truman National Security Project, and a Pacific Forum Young Leader. At the Council, he coordinates work on public opinion and foreign policy and is a regular contributor to the public opinion and foreign policy blog Running Numbers.
Jun Yanagi
Consul-General of Japan
Jun Yanagi headshot
Jun Yanagi assumed his post as Consul-General of Japan in Chicago in August 2023. Yanagi joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) of Japan in 1988, and has since served in diplomatic assignments in Nigeria, Australia, Russia, Canada, Vietnam, and Vienna.
Jun Yanagi headshot
Yuriko Gamo Romer
Director/Producer, Flying Carp Productions
headshot of Yuriko Gamo Romer
Yuriko Gamo Romer is an award-winning independent documentary filmmaker. Her newly released documentary  "Baseball Behind Barbed Wire" won the Best Short Documentary award at the Chandler International Film Festival.
headshot of Yuriko Gamo Romer
Theresa Kulczak
Executive Director, Japan-America Society of Indiana
Theresa Kulczak headshot
Theresa Kulczak has served at the Japan-America Society of Indiana (JASI) since 1988 as one of its founding staff and as executive director since 1990. She received the Sagamore of the Wabash award from Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels in 2012 and the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Rays from the Emperor of Japan in 2017 for her continued efforts to strengthen the relationship between Japan and Indiana.
Theresa Kulczak headshot
President, United States-Japan Foundation
headshot of Jacob M. Schlesinger
Jacob M. Schlesinger is president and CEO of the United States-Japan Foundation, an organization that gives grants and runs a fellowship program dedicated to bolstering relations between the two countries. He previously worked as a reporter and editor for The Wall Street Journal.
headshot of Jacob M. Schlesinger
Senior Fellow, Public Opinion and Foreign Policy
Headshot for Dina Smeltz
Dina Smeltz, a polling expert, has more than 25 years of experience designing and fielding international social and political surveys. Prior to joining the Council to lead its annual survey of American attitudes on US foreign policy, she served in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research at the US State Department's Office of Research from 1992 to 2008.
Headshot for Dina Smeltz

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