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The Japan-America Society of Pennsylvania (JASP) is proud to serve the Pittsburgh region for 25 years and counting. Throughout its history, the JASP has been dedicated to improving international understanding and strengthening the ties between Japan and Western Pennsylvania. Long-time board of directors member Steve Guinn, speaking about the value that the JASP brings to its members, says that the JASP "broadened my outlook on the world and expanded my thinking on how to do things. I've benefited from relationships with both Japanese and Americans. The JASP has helped me grow as a person, as well as my global business acumen."

In addition to providing opportunities for businesses in the Pittsburgh area to connect with people and opportunities in Japan, the JASP has also worked throughout its history to provide education about Japan and Japanese culture. This includes both going directly to area schools to reach local children, and putting on or sponsoring cultural events for the community at large.

Japan-America Society of Pennsylvania Highlights:

 

  • The America-Japan Society of Pittsburgh is formed to foster business ties and international understanding between Japan and the Pittsburgh area.

  • America-Japan Society of Pittsburgh (AJSP) officially incorporates.
  • AJSP sponsors its first program. Keynote speakers are Tom Murrin and Sosuke Doi, Executive Vice President of National Steel.
  • AJSP holds a cocktail reception for a delegation from Kitakyushu, including Mayor Sueyoshi.
  • Luncheon for Ambassador Hidetoshi Ukawa, Consul General of Japan to New York.


 
  • The American-Japan Society of Pittsburgh was accepted as a member of the Associated Japan-American Societies of the United States.
  • This was also the year the AJSP was awarded a three year grant from the Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission to hire an Executive Director and cover administration costs.
  • JASP is established with 501(c)(3) status, but the society continues to operate under the name America-Japan Society of Pittsburgh.


 
  • The 5:01 Club was established (in 1995, it became the 5:31 Club); it entailed monthly cocktail meetings with informal 20-30 minute presentations about Japan or Japanese-American relations and opportunities for informal networking.
  • Society hosts "Japan-Pittsburgh Business Dialogue" with eleven of Japan's most influential business executives, including Akio Morita of Sony
1991
  • First annual dinner, speaker Ambassador Lynn Williams, former Deputy United States Trade Representative.
  • The America-Japan Society of Pittsburgh begins operating as the Japan-America Society of Pennsylvania.
1991
 
  • First annual JASP Golf Outing. Although the idea of a golf outing initially was met with resistance, it has since become one of the biggest and most popular events that JASP puts on each year. It was later renamed the Paul J. Wilhelm Memorial Golf Outing in honor of Mr. Wilhelm of United States Steel, who served as the Chairman of the Board of Directors for the JASP from 1995 to 2000.
1994
  • First Japan Bowl national Japanese speech and language competition.
1995
  • The JASP was the first Japan-America chapter to gather funds and provide relief for the Kobe Earthquake. Working with the Brother's Brother Foundation, the JASP was able to raise over $48,000.
  • A Resource Library was established for members' use.
1996
 
  • The JASP endorses a 15 member delegation to Japan as the first Pittsburgh-Allegheny Country international trade mission to promote Pittsburgh interests in Japan: members include Mayor of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County Commissioners.
  • First Japanese Language Speech Contest in partnership with the University of Pittsburgh.
1997
  • Japan in the Schools (JIS) program launches. JIS volunteers go to local schools, and use authentic Japanese materials to teach school children about Japan and Japanese culture in a concrete and engaging manner.
2001
  • U.S. Steel receives the International Bridge Award in remembrance of the JASP's former Chairman, Paul J. Wilhelm, for his efforts to advance the Pittsburgh region globally.
2002
  • Crane Peace Project to fold a thousand paper cranes for peace, harmony, and understanding in the community and world. This was part of the JASP's collaboration with Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens for their Japanese Chrysanthemum Festival.
2006
  • A one-week tour of Kyoto, Japan that included attendance at the 5th International Symposium of America-Japan Societies. 15 people attended.
  • The JASP is featured on the KDKA Sunday Business Page, a local weekly public affairs program.
2007

 
  • Special reception for University of Pittsburgh Emeritus Professor Isamu Sando's receiving the "Order of the Sacred Treasure, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon" Award from the Emperor of Japan.
  • 2007: Chairman Stephen Ceurvorst and board member Dennis Unkovic travel to Tokyo, Japan, for a celebration of the 90th anniversary of the America-Japan Society. Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress of Japan were also in attendance.
2007
  • Collaborating with the University of Pittsburgh, JASP was able to purchase taiko drums for the local Japanese drumming group, Pittsburgh Taiko.
Cultural and Educational Programming Highlights:
 
  • AJSP holds a Business Forum during CMU's "Discover Japan" program.
  • July, AJSP holds a cocktail reception for a delegation from Kitakyushu, including Mayor Sueyoshi
  • Luncheon for Ambassador Hidetoshi Ukawa, Consul General of Japan to New York
1987
  • AJSP holds "Japan Symposium '88'" Keynote speaker Ambassador Hidetoshi Ukawa, Consul General of Japan to New York president of Asian Advisory Service, Inc., Dr. James Abegglen.
1987
  • Week-long Japan Festival myriad of cultural and business-oriented programs. Participants included Ambassador Masamichi Hanabusa, a taiko group and an ikebana sensei
1987
  • AJSP hosted a reception at the Duquesne Club for Mr. Saburo Okita, former Minister of Foreign Affairs
1987
 
  • The Society held frequent programs about business and related issues, titled the "Japan Business Lecture Series." Programming included topics such as, "Japanese Manufacturing Mgmt. in the U.S." and a 7-part training video series Working with Japan.
1987
 
  • "Koryu" (Exchange) lecture series on cultural topics; speakers include one of the most important modern scholars on Japan, Chalmers Johnson, Ph.D
1987
  • A family picnic event was held at Slippery Rock University
1987
  • 1994 The JASP hosts a lunch and talk with Barbara Wanner, Senior Political Analyst at the Japan Economic Institute of America "Japan's Changing Political Landscape"
  • 1994 The JASP presented internationally acclaimed saxophonist Sado Watanabe at the Manchester Craftsmen's Guild
1987
 
  • The JASP held a program featuring Joan Adams Mondale, Art in Public Places—A comparison between the U.S. and Japan. Mrs. Mondale, known as Joan of Art, is a strong advocate of the arts, and during a three year stay in Japan while her husband served as the Ambassador from the United States to Japan, she worked to bring American art to Japan and Japanese art to America.
1987
  • The JASP holds a week-long Japan Fest, including a koto player, samurai lecture, and exhibits about ikebana, calligraphy, and zen gardens.
  • The JASP sponsors a concert by Kodo, one of the premier Japanese Taiko drumming groups in the world.
1987
  • The JASP hosts a speech and reception event with Ambassador Kensaku Hogen, Under-Secretary General to the United Nations
1987
  • The JASP hosts a three day Japanese cultural festival in downtown Pittsburgh.
1987
  • The JASP put on a mini-Japan Festival organized around the performance of Kwaidan, a performance of three ghost stories in traditional Japanese puppet theater.
  • 2000 Delegation from Kitakyushu to Pittsburgh
1987
  • Private viewing and reception for JASP members at the Carnegie Museum of Fine Art's exhibit Urban Metamorphosis: One Hundred Views of New Tokyo
  • 2001 The JASP sponsors Tadashi Suzuki's Oedipus Rex, a production that performed the classic Greek tragedy as a Noh play
1987
  • Japan-America Society of Pennsylvania and the Asian Studies Center of the University of Pittsburgh put on HOW Taiko Drumming Concert
  • 2002 The JASP hosts reception for the delegation from Saitama as part of the Saitama City Weekend
1987

 
  • Special lunch and lecture event with Minister Naoyuki Agawa, Director of the Japan Information and Culture Center, Embassy of Japan, Japan-U.S. Alliance in the 21st Century
  • 2003 on the occasion of the 150 anniversary of the establishment of Japanese-American relations, the JASP presents a series of talks entitled Inside Japan: A look at the history, current factors, and future of the U.S.-Japan business relationship
1987





 
  • The JASP hosts a Japanese Day of Culture and Opening Reception for exhibition of Japanese photography exhibit Unspoken Ground: Two Views of Japan
  • 2004 Special lecture and book signing by Robert Whiting about his book The Meaning of Ichiro, about the Japanese presence and influence on major league baseball.
  • The JASP collaborates with the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh to present a special program, Japan and the U.S.:Managing Relations in a Time of Change, featuring Yukihiro Nikaido, Director of the Japan Information Center and Deputy Consul General of Japan to New York, and Ayako Doi, former editor of The Daily Japan Digest.
1987
  • The JASP presents a concert by San Jose Taiko, one of the key groups in American taiko drumming
1987
  • The JASP hosts a special reception with Jiro Okuyama, Director of the Japan Information Center and Deputy Consul General of Japan in New York.
  • Event featuring Memoirs of a Geisha author Arthur Golden
1987
  • The JASP co-sponsors two taiko concerts: East meets West, and a performance by San Jose Taiko
  • 2007 Special reception for University of Pittsburgh Emeritus Professor Isamu Sando's receiving the "Order of the Sacred Treasure, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon" Award from the Emperor of Japan
1987
 
  • The JASP co-sponsors a symposium of the US-Japan Innovators Network featuring leaders in business, the arts, and social entrepreneurs
  • Co-sponsors a concert featuring Jerome White, a Japanese Enka superstar known as Jero in Japan. Jero is a Pittsburgh native and graduate of the University of Pittsburgh.
1987
  • The JASP coordinated with University of Pittsburgh to hold two Act 48 seminars, one on Japanese furoshiki and one on o-bento
1987
  • The JASP presents internationally renowned taiko artist Kenny Endo at the Manchester Craftsmen's Guild as part of his Gateway – 'Ma' vs Groove tour
Annual Dinner Keynote Speakers:
 
1987 Ambassador Lynn Williams, former Deputy United States
Trade Representative
1987 Ambassador Hiromoto Seki, Consul General of Japan to
New York
1987 Ambassador Hiromoto Seki, Consul General of Japan to
New York
1987 Thomas J Murrin, Dean of the A. J. Palumbo School of Business Administration at Duquesne University
1995 Mr. Thomas J. Usher
 
1996 The Honorable Tom Ridge, Governor of Pennsylvania
 
1997 Ambassador Seiichiro Ohtsuka, Consul General of Japan to New York
 
1998 Thomas Murphy, Mayor of Pittsburgh
 
1999 Glen Fukushima, President of Arthur D. Little (Japan)
 
2000 William G. Ouchi, author and consultant focused in the areas of corporate organization and strategy, and American-Japanese business relations.
2001 Mr. Dennis Unkovic, Asian business specialist, author and partner at Meyer, Unkovic & Scott
2002 Ambassador Yoshihiro Nishida, Consul General of Japan in New York
 
2003 Paul O'Neill, former Secretary of the U.S. Treasury
 
2003 Hirotsugu Koike, Editorial Writer, International Nihon Keizai Shimbun, Inc. (NIKKEI)
2003 Dr. Takeo Kanade
 
2003 Motoatsu Sakurai, Consul General of Japan in New York
 
2003 Taizo Nishimuro, Adviser to the Board, Toshiba Corporation and Chairman of the Boad, Tokyo Stock Exchange, Inc.
2003 Dr. Aris Candris, President and CEO of Westinghouse Electric
 
2009 The Honorable Howard Henry Baker, Jr., former Senator, White House Chief of Staff, and United States Ambassador to Japan
2010 Ichiro Fujisaki, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Embassy of Japan

 Ambassador Shigeyuki Hiroki, Consul General of Japan in New York

 John Surma, Chairman and CEO, United States Steel
   Ari Fleischer, Former White House Press Secretary
   Danny Roderick, President and CEO, Westinghouse Electric Company
Presidents:
 
2010 Sadaharu Honda, President, International Marketing Services.
 
2010 Sosuke Doi, Exec. Vice President, National Steel Corporation
 
2010 Yoshito Tokumitsu, Vice President, National Steel Corporation
 
Tsunehiro Ichiki, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Sumitomo Corporation of America
2010 Masahiko Nakagawa, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Sumitomo Corporation of America
2010 Hisashi Chujo Senior Vice President and General Manager, Sumitomo Corporation of America
2010 Masatoshi Adachi, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Sumitomo Corporation of America
2010 Kazuo Yamamoto, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Wheeling-Nisshin, Inc.
2010 Susumu Ishihara, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Sumitomo Corporation of America
Toshiaki Murai, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Mineral Resources and Energy Group, Sumitomo Corporation of North America; General Manager, Sumitomo Corporation of America
Yasuyuki Uruma, CEO, Elliott Group
Chairmen:
 
George T. Farrell, Senior Vice Chairman, Mellon Bank
 
Richard Simmons, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Allegheny Ludlum Corporation
Craig R. Andersson, President and Chief Executive Officer of Aristech Chemical Corporation
Thomas J. Usher, President of U.S. Steel
 
Mr. Paul J. Wilheim, President of U.S. Steel
 
J. Paul Kadlic, Executive Vice President of U. S. Steel
 
Stephen P. Ceurvorst, Lord Capital Partners, LLC
 
Executive Directors:
 
Patricia E. Winton
 
Mark Tankosich
 
John Uldrich
 
In the absence of an Executive Director, Program Director Terri Dinger and intern Donna Stroka keep the Society operating on a day-to-day basis.
Elise Moersch
 
Donna Lee Siple served for 6 months as Interim Executive Director
 
Wendy Bennett
Donna Lee Siple
Amy E. Boots

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