Kizuna Economic Seminar (2014-03-12)
On Wednesday, March 12, 2014, the International Studies & Programs at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, The Japan America Society of St. Louis, the Consulate General of Japan at Chicago, the Chicago office of the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) and the St. Louis Regional Chamber will host the Kizuna Economic Seminar. This event is being presented in commemoration of the 3rd Anniversary of The Great East Japan Earthquake and will examine the state of Japan’s economic recovery, both at the national level and in the areas affected by the disaster.
On his trip to the United States in late February 2013, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced that “I am back and so is Japan.” Since then, the well spring of business confidence that has resulted from the Prime Minister’s economic policies, commonly known as Abenomics, has been nothing short of phenomenal. In 2013, the Nikkei Stock average rose almost 57%. The growth rate of Japan’s real GDP during the second quarter of 2013 was 3.6%, the highest of the G8 countries with the current forecast for the first three months of 2014 at 4.4%. Importantly, Japan’s unemployment rate during November 2013 was 4.0%, the lowest among the G8. As a result of Prime Minister Abe’s leadership, there is a renewed sense of optimism in Japan.
The Kizuna Economic Seminar will feature Opening Remarks by Masaharu Yoshida, Consul General of Japan at Chicago which will be followed by a presentation from Ichiro Soné, Chief Executive Director of the Chicago office of the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO). As the official economic development agency of the Japanese government, JETRO promotes trade & investment between Japan and the rest of the world. Mr. Soné will provide an update on the progress of Abenomics, the economic reform measures put forth by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Mr. Soné will also speak about the structural changes the Japan economy will soon undertake which are key to the success of Abenomics. These include advancing the role of women in the workforce, liberalizing the electricity market, increasing the deployment of solar and thermal power generation, commercializing advances in regenerative medicine and the importance of assisting foreign companies to expand and grow their presence in Japan.
Following Mr. Soné will be Akiko Nakagawa, Director-General of the Trade Fair Department at JETRO Tokyo. Ms. Nakagawa is a native of Fukushima, one of the prefectures hardest hit by The Great East Japan Earthquake. At the time of the disaster, she was working at JETRO’s office in Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture, the largest city in the Tohoku region. Ms. Nakagawa will share her personal account of the disaster and the effect it had on the region’s people and economy. She will also talk about the progress of the recovery in the Tohoku area and the challenges faced by local industries, especially the manufacturing, agriculture and fishing sectors.
This event will be held in Room 202 of the J.C. Penney Conference Center, at the University of Missouri–St. Louis. Registration will begin at 4:30 PM, with the program scheduled for 5:00–6:45 PM. Participation is free but advance registration is requested. A parking permit is required for all visitors to the UMSL campus. To register and request your free parking permit, visit www.umsl.edu/isp and click on “Event Registration” or call (314) 516-7299.
Date: Wednesday, March 12, 2014
Time: 4:30pm - 6:45pm
Location: University of Missouri-St. Louis
AgendaMC - Dr. Joel Glassman, Director, International Studies & Programs and Associate Provost of Academic Affairs, University of Missouri-St. Louis
|4:30 PM||Registration and Networking Reception|
|5:00 PM||Introduction of Speakers, James Alexander, Vice President, Global Client Solutions, St. Louis Regional Chamber|
|5:10 PM||Opening Remarks, Masaharu Yoshida, Consul General of Japan at Chicago|
|5:20 PM||Ichiro Soné, Chief Executive Director, JETRO Chicago|
|5:40 PM||Coffee Break|
|5:50 PM||Akiko Nakagawa, Director-General, Trade Fair Department, JETRO Tokyo|
|6:20 PM||Question & Answer|
|6:35 PM||Closing Remarks, Dr. Chikako Usui, President, Japan America Society of St. Louis and Associate Professor of Sociology, University of Missouri-St. Louis|
- UMSL International Studies and Programs
- Consulate General of Japan at Chicago
- St. Louis Regional Chamber
Consul General, Consulate General of Japan at Chicago
The Hon. Masaharu Yoshida joined Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1978, following his graduation from the University of Tokyo. Mr. Yoshida previously served as Consul General, Consulate General of Japan in Guangzhou in the People’s Republic of China, and as Director General, International Affairs Department in Japan. He has worked with Japan’s delegation to the United Nations and has been assigned to Japan’s Embassies in the Philippines and China. In 2006, Mr. Yoshida was made the Consul General of the Consulate General of Japan in Guangzhou, China. In 2000, he returned to Japan where he served as the Director General, International Affairs Department, H.R. Japan. Mr. Yoshida was appointed the Consul General for the Consulate General of Japan at Chicago on January 25, 2013.
Chief Executive Director, JETRO Chicago
Ichiro Soné was appointed Chief Executive Director of the Chicago office of the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO Chicago) in June 2013. As Chief Executive Director, he oversees JETRO Chicago’s activities designed to facilitate trade and investment between Japan and 12 Midwestern states. Mr. Soné joined JETRO in 1988 after graduating from Doshisha University in Kyoto. He worked in JETRO’s Los Angeles office from 1994-1998. From 2001 through 2003, he was tasked to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where he worked on a number of bilateral trade issues relating to steel, energy and foreign investment. In late 2003, he returned to JETRO and was named the Director in Charge of Investment Promotion, responsible for the “Invest Japan” campaign. In March 2005, Mr. Soné was named the Executive Director of JETRO San Francisco. In March 2008, Mr. Soné was made Director of the Overseas Offices Division, where he managed all the JETRO offices overseas, responsible for the budget, staff training and development, and administration of more than 70 offices worldwide.
Director-General of the Trade Fair Department, JETRO Tokyo
Akiko Nakagawa was appointed Director-General of the Trade Fair Department at JETRO Tokyo in July 2013. Following her graduation from the Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, Ms. Nakagawa joined the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO). In her career, she has served in a variety of leadership roles, including Director of International Human Resources Support Division (JETRO Tokyo); Director of Overseas Investment Division (JETRO Tokyo); Director of Overseas Business Support Division (JETRO Tokyo); and Director of JETRO Melbourne in Australia. Ms. Nakagawa has strong ties with the Tohoku region. Not only was she was born in Fukushima Prefecture, she also served as the Chief Executive Director of JETRO Fukushima from 2003 to 2006. Ms. Nakagawa experienced The Great East Japan Earthquake firsthand and witnessed the recovery process of the region during her tenure as Chief Executive Director of JETRO Sendai from 2009 to 2013.