The third series featured Kenji Kanasugi, Counselor of Economic Affairs, Embassy of Japan, Richard Cronin, Senior Associate, Henry L. Stimson Center, and Atsushi Yamakoshi, Director, Keidanren-USA. The Two dominant themese were tighter economic and political relations in the Asia-Pacific Region and closer US-Japan economic integration.
The first three caravans were collaborative programs by the Embassy of Japan, the National Association of Japan-America Societies (NAJAS), and Keidanren. For this caravan, the New-York based Japan-Foundation Center for Global Planning (CGP) was also a sponsor.
During the Fall Caravan, we presented twice in each of the cities (first to a local university audience and then to a local business-focused audience) and engaged in extensive Q&A sessions. for the most part, the audiences were generally kownledgeable about foriegn policy and enthusiastic about closer US-Japan ties.
As with all collaborative efforts, the three entities have their individual but complimentary reasons for participating in the Caravan. NAJAS's interest lies in providing Societies with non-local speakers and fresh views. The Embassy of Japan wants to explain to US audiences that Japan has stepped out of the shadows of its "Lost Decade" and is eager to play a prominent role in the regional and global economy. Keidanren's main purpose is to familiarize Americans with the Japanese Business Federation office in Washington, DC and to explain their mission in the United States.
All three organizations benefited from the sustained interactions with the Japanese Consul-Generals from New Orleans and Atlanta.