Japan Forum Panelists | Kent State University

Walk in the U.S., Talk in Japan Forum

 

Profiles of the Forum's Panelists

 

Ambassador Shuji SHIMOKOJI Hirohichi Nadachi Toshiyuki Miyawaki, Ph.D Saho Miyashita TakakiMinamoto
Shuji Shimokoji Hirokichi Nadachi Toshiyuki Miyawaki, Ph.D. Saho Miyashita Takaki Minamoto

Shuji Shimokoji
Ambassador Shimokoji has more than 40 years of experience in Japanese diplomatic service, including as Ambassador to Panama and Venezuela, as well as Consul-General in Vancouver. Earlier in his career, as an expert in Chinese studies, he served twice in both Beijing and Taipei. He also served as Counsellor in Seoul. While in Tokyo, beyond Chinese issues, his expertise extended to economic, international cooperation and information fields at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In the academic sphere, Ambassador Shimokoji also served as a chief researcher at the Japan Institute of International Affairs, and a senior fellow at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard University. He earned a Master’s degree in Chinese Studies at Harvard University after earning a Bachelor’s degree in Law at the University of Tokyo. He is currently an advisor to Obayashi Corporation.


Hirokichi Nadachi
Mr. Nadachi worked for ITOCHU Corporation, one of Japan’s largest trading companies, for 33 years, and for Isuzu Motors, a major Japanese automotive manufacturer, for 10 years. He has done business in more than 110 countries over the course of his career. He was assigned to Michigan twice for some ten years, first between 1975 – 1982 , then again  between 2002 – 2004.  He also lived in Frankfurt, Germany between 2007 – 2009. Since retiring in 2014, he lectures on automotive marketing at several universities in Tokyo and Osaka.

"Although Japanese and Americans live on opposite sides of the globe, I believe we share countless values, morals, and spirit. Based on my experience working in the U.S. during the era of Japan-U.S. automobile trade conflict, I would like to talk about our similarities, and how together we can strive to improve our world."


Toshiyuki Miyawaki, Ph.D.
Major General (Ret.) Miyawaki joined the Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) in 1976. He earned his Ph.D. degree from the University of California, Irvine, and took the Defense Systems Management Course at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama. During his career, he served on various assignments, including Japan-U.S. Defense Cooperation. He currently works as a corporate advisor and serves the secretariat of the Japan America Air Force Goodwill Association.

"The Japan-US Security Treaty went into effect in 1952. Under this treaty, the aim of the Guidelines for Japan-U.S. Defense Cooperation have evolved from the security of Japan to the maintenance of international peace and security. I would like to share how Defense Cooperation has evolved and how it will evolve in the future. As a retired general, I am very proud that Japan is a U.S. ally."


Saho Miyashita
Ms. Miyashita, a 22 year-old rising senior, was born and raised in rural Fukui Prefecture (located in North Central Japan, and known for heavy snowfall). After graduating high school, she moved to South Central Japan to study Comparative Literature and Culture at Shizuoka University. While attending Shizuoka University, she also studied in Omaha, Nebraska, and Santa Barbara, California for eight months.

"When you think about Japan, which cities come to mind? Tokyo? Osaka? Perhaps Kyoto? These are certainly great cities, but I believe there is rich and beautiful culture rooted in rural Japan as well. The food, scenery, and people are just a few examples of this beauty, which forms the base of our government’s driving force to promote regional revitalization. I would like to share the aspects of Japan’s small cities, towns, and villages that make them so special, based on my childhood memories and personal experiences."


Takaki Minamoto
Mr. Minamoto has worked for Morgan Stanley, mainly on cross-border M&A and finance projects, and for a Chinese venture firm in Beijing, in management. He is currently CEO of a travel agency he launched in Tokyo. His education includes graduate studies in International Relations at Peking University, and Area Studies at the University of Tokyo.

“‘Made in Japan’ has long been regarded as a synonym for ‘high quality.’ I would like to talk about how Japan maintains high quality standards (e.g., even for  taxis, train station platforms and municipal institution reception areas), thanks to the nation’s unique history, culture and society. I would like to elaborate on this topic through my experience working in an American company, living in China, and communicating with current customers (travelers) visiting Japan from all around the world."