President’s Note for September 2023

 In Japan Society News

Hello Friends!

It’s the end of September, and I’m just back from Japan where we had a very successful Japan Healthcare Week. The theme of this year’s US-Japan conference was “The Future of AI and Robotics in Healthcare” and we had two major events, one in Nagoya and another in Tokyo, as well as a full slate of dinner, breakfast and networking events.

The audience for these events was mostly Japanese people, with a mix of attendees from large companies, startups, government and academic institutions. However, the group that traveled from the US was about 25-people strong, including our keynote speakers, panelists, Healthcare Advisory Council members and 11 startup companies. It was particularly inspiring to see the commitment of the startups to travel to Japan to explore opportunities.  

For a more detailed summary of our healthcare program and the names of the companies that participated, please visit this blog post.

Meantime, our team has been hard at work on our final major event of the year – our 37th Annual Award of Honor Gala. This sounds like a fancy event – and it is – but it’s also our biggest community event of the year, and a great opportunity to get together with a lot of interesting people who share a strong interest in Japan and who support Japan Society. 

(Photo by Mark Shigenaga)

If you are reading this newsletter, I really hope you will consider getting a ticket and joining us at this year’s event. Here are a few reasons why this is a MUST DO event…

  • First, and this is personal – the Gala is on Nov. 1, my birthday, and I would LOVE to have hundreds of people celebrate with me!
  • It is also Hello Kitty’s birthday!! How can you resist helping our Cultural Ambassador Honoree to celebrate her 50th year?
  • You will have a chance to meet and hear Yoshiki sing. Our Honoree is one of Japan’s most well-known and influential singers and composers, as well as a committed philanthropist
  • You can meet Ira Ehrenpreis, a highly successful Silicon Valley serial entrepreneur and venture capitalist who founded and runs DBL Partners, an impact investing firm, and sits on the board of Tesla Motors
  • You can get some excellent deals on a GREAT list of dozens of Silent Auction items – past items have included everything from a private yacht cruise on the Bay, to vacation homes in luxury locations, hotel stays and tickets to sporting or entertainment events, to Opus One wine, to ramen kits and Hello Kitty merchandise. And you can bid on an even better list of Live Auction items – including business class and economy class tickets to Japan, and stays at the Imperial Hotel!
  • You can meet and mingle with a wonderful audience of high (and low) rollers who all have some interest in or connection with Japan
  • You can pull out that tuxedo or evening gown out of the closet and look fancy (but don’t worry if you don’t have a tux – it’s black tie optional)

This Year’s Honorees

But most of all, you should come because you want to enjoy a fun evening and because you support the Japan Society’s activities. This year Japan Society will do close to 60 different events, activities and programs, ranging from business programs on innovation, green energy, mobility, and healthcare, to programs looking at policy and politics, to a wide range of cultural programs and events, such as Rakugo theater, Japanese archery, sake, awamori and food tasting programs, numerous community events, and much more. Most of these programs are free or very low cost – which means that we need to cover our costs through our Gala and other fundraising activities.

You can find the details about the Gala and purchase tickets on our website, but in the meantime, please mark your calendars to hold the day, and we will see you on Nov. 1 at 5 pm at the Nikko Hotel in San Francisco

I very much look forward to seeing you there!

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