Lunch with Mrs. Akie Abe

 In Business, Japan Society News

February 20th, the Japan Society of Northern California, with the support of Salesforce, Skadden, Houlihan and Lokey, and Olympus, hosted a lunch in honor of Mrs. Akie Abe to discuss how San Francisco and Japan can learn from each other, how to best promote diversity and how ensure the protection of rights of under-represented groups. Civic, business and academic leaders from the Bay Area explained how their organizations are empowering women, the LGBTQ community and the disabled in addressing challenges of discrimination and exclusion.

Mrs. Abe began her talk by pointing to the picture on the lunch program of her at last year’s Gay Pride Parade in Tokyo as she described the difficulties that women, LGBTQ members and the disabled face in Japan. She explained that social views were changing with increased awareness, though Japan still has a long way to go. One participant noted that in some areas –like requiring job quotas for disabled people and the effective enforcement of access regulations – Japan is ahead of the US. After an insightful discussion, we proposed to continue this discussion in Tokyo and Mrs. Abe agreed.

Many thanks to our sponsors, whose support made the lunch possible, to the Bay Area community and business leaders who generously shared their time and perspectives, and of course to Mrs. Akio Abe for taking the time to join us.

(Above are JSNC President Larry Greenwood and Mrs. Akio Abe)

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