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Joining Forces: U.S.-Japan Collaboration in Green Energy Technology

July 21 @ 4:30 pm - 6:45 pm


*In Person, English Program

To achieve their goal of net zero emissions by 2050, the US and Japan are adopting policies, making massive investments, and developing technologies involving virtually every sector of our economies. Power generation, which accounts for about half of those emissions in both countries, will be a central focus of that effort.  The US and Japan are key players in the global fight against climate change because they are big emitters (second and fifth largest) and because they both excel at technology innovation and deployment that will be key to achieving new zero emissions globally.

Come to a special program to hear about the effort in Japan and the US to adopt green energy technologies from the perspectives of political and business leaders. Diet member Akira Amari, an influential politician in the ruling party, will discuss Japan’s approach to achieving net zero emissions through policies to incentivize private sector investment, innovation strategy, and greater use of biofuels and e-fuel. Other speakers include Michael Hoban, General Manager, Hydrogen, Chevron New Energies, Antoine Pfieffer, VP Engineering at Principle Power Inc, a Bay Area company that is a leader in floating offshore wind energy and Dr. Tommy Hamamoto, Japan Director of the U.S. Grains Council.

Please join us for this very special program July 21, 4:30 – 6:45 PM at the offices of Orrick in San Francisco. The program will be followed by a networking session with drinks and light food. Special thanks to our sponsors, the U.S. Grains Council, Suntory, and Orrick.


Date & Time:
Friday, July 21, 2023 from 4:30-6:45 PM

4:00-4:30  Registration
4:30-4:40  Welcome & Introduction – Larry Greenwood | Chairman, Japan Society of Northern California
4:40-5:00  Presentation on development of green energy technologies in Japan, including promotion of biofuels – Akira Amari | Member of the House of Representatives, former fiscal and economic policy minister
5:00-5:10  Presentation by Michael Hoban General Manager Hydrogen, Chevron New Energies
5:10-5:20  Presentation by Antoine Peiffer | VP, Head of Engineering, Principle Power, a Bay Area company working on a floating wind project off the coast in Fukushima
5:20-5:30  Presentation by Tetsuo “Tommy” Hamamoto | Director. U.S. Grains Council’s (USGC) Japan office
5:30-6:00  Moderated discussion among participants on opportunities for U.S.-Japan collaboration in green energy technologies led by Suzanne Basalla, President, US Japan Council
6:00-6:15  Audience Q&A
6:15-6:45  Networking Reception


The Orrick Building | 405 Howard Street, San Francisco, CA 94105



Register Here



Akira Amari | Member of the House of Representatives, former fiscal and economic policy minister

For decades, Mr. Akira Amari has been a principal figure in Japan’s policy developments in key areas including innovation, taxation, and international trade, while exercising his power to bring electoral victories to the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) as Secretary General (2021) and Chair of Election Strategy Committee (2018-19).

As Chair of LDP Headquarters for the Promotion of Economic Security, Amari leads developments of Japan’s national economic security policies at the intersection of economic prosperity and national security. Also, as Chair of the LDP Caucus of Semiconductor Strategy, Amari has successfully upgraded Japan’s relevant policy to an unprecedented level of quality and quantity. Amari envisions a future where Japan’s industrial prowess in semiconductors will become indispensable to its allies’ and friends’ economic security through Japan’s significant technological contributions.

During the administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Amari served as Fiscal and Economic Policy Minister from 2012-16. Amari played key roles in developing and implementing “Abenomics,” resulting in recognition by Bloomberg Market Magazine as one of the “50 Most Influential” people in global finance in 2013. This ministerial position also included the highest responsibility of multilateral negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). In close cooperation with the United States, Amari became the greatest contributor to achieving an agreement on the mega free trade deal.

Amari was first elected in 1983 after working at Sony Corporation and in the office of Mr. Tadashi Amari, a member of the House of Representatives. In his political career, Amari held many other important positions including Labor Minister (1998), Industrial Minister (2006), Regulatory and Administrative Reform Minister (2008), Chair of LDP Policy Research Council, Chair of LDP Administrative Reform Promotion HQs, Chair of LDP Research Commission on the Tax System, and Head of LDP HQs for a Digital Society.

Amari graduated from Keio University with a BA in Political Science in 1972.


Michael Hoban | General Manager, Hydrogen, Chevron New Energies

Michael Hoban is the general manager of hydrogen supporting the US West Coast of Chevron New Energies. In this role, he is responsible for accelerating Chevron’s lower carbon business prospects, including the commercialization of hydrogen transportation, power, industrial, and other difficult-to-abate sector opportunities.

He previously served as general manager for hydrogen at Iwatani where he was responsible for the hydrogen operations and infrastructure development in California. Prior to joining Iwatani, Michael held various engineering, operations, and project positions with Shell including a role supporting hydrogen transportation infrastructure for Shell New Energies.

Michael holds a Bachelor of Science in Engineering from the Colorado School of Mines, a Master of Science in Energy Systems and Policy from the University of Iceland, and a Master of Business Administration from the University of California at Berkeley Haas School of Business.


Antoine Peiffer | VP, Head of Engineering, Principle Power

Antoine is a passionate advocate for ocean renewable energy and offshore floating wind turbines.

He has 10 years of experience in the global offshore floating wind sector at Principle Power and has held a few leadership roles in Engineering and Business Development. His technical expertise includes the design and supply of floating foundations for the offshore wind industry.

Antoine is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley under the Ocean Engineering and Naval Architecture program. He was the chair of the Northern California Section of the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers (SNAME) in 2017-2018.


Tetsuo “Tommy” Hamamoto | Japan Director, U.S. Grains Council

Tommy Hamamoto is the Japan Director of the U.S. Grains Council. Before joining the Council in August 2008, Dr. Hamamoto worked for Monsanto Japan, working on public affairs for two years. From 1997 to 2006, he worked as an agricultural specialist at the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo, where he was in charge of food safety and standards, including chemical residues and biotechnology. He had been a microbiology research scientist at the Institute of Physical and Chemical Research (RIKEN) for 11 years, working on early days’ industry application of genetic engineering using bacteria. Dr. Hamamoto received Ph. D. at the Graduate School, University of Tokyo in microbiology.


Suzanne Basalla | President and CEO, U.S.-Japan Council

Suzanne Basalla is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the U.S.-Japan Council (USJC). The Council promotes people-to-people relationships to strengthen ties between the United States and Japan, bringing together leaders across sectors, generations and regions.

Suzanne is also a member of the Japan Society of Northern California Board of Directors and Special Advisor to Career Girls. She rejoined USJC from her role as Chief of Staff at the Toyota Research Institute (TRI), a Silicon Valley-headquartered subsidiary of Toyota Motor Corporation that develops automated driving, robotics, and other human amplification technology for Toyota.

Read more about Suzanne here.






Register Here


July 21
4:30 pm - 6:45 pm


The Orrick Buidling
405 Howard St
San Francisco, CA 94105 United States
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