Featured Alumna
Laurel Lukaszewski

Executive Director,  United States Japan Exchange & Teaching Programme Alumni Association (USJETAA)
What is your expertise?
Most of my career has focused on US-Japan grassroots exchange, promoting cultural understanding and friendship through person-to-person interaction and programming covering education, politics, civil society, and arts & culture.

How did you become involved with Sasakawa USA?
Sasakawa USA has been very supportive of the work of USJETAA. This year they funded a grant program that we administered, inviting the 19 JET Alumni Association Chapters around the country to submit proposals for programmatic funding, resulting in support for programs in Tampa, Seattle, Chicago, Los Angeles, Minneapolis and Washington, DC.

What are you currently working on? 
As executive director of the USJETAA, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit established in 2015, I am working with alumni across the country to create programming celebrating the 30th Anniversary of the JET Programme. We will hold an All-Alumni Reunion in Washington, DC this summer to gather alumni and provide a platform for them to reconnect with each other and Japan, and re-engage in the US-Japan relationship.

How has learning about Japan affected your work? 
I started studying Japanese in the late-80s in undergraduate school, which led me to participate on the JET Program in Kagoshima Prefecture, on the island of Tanegashima. It was because of this experience that I pursued my MA in Asian Studies and continued working in US-Japan relations over the past twenty years.

What is your favorite aspect of Japan?
There are so many things that I love about Japan-from the friends I made over 25 years ago that are still part of my life, to its food, architecture and natural beauty. I am also a professional artist, and I have a great appreciation and affinity for Japanese pottery and contemporary art.  
Want to be featured in our next issue?
Contact Juliane Doscher with the header of your email as "Sasakawa USA: Featured Alumni", and answer the above questions in the body of the email.
Featured Articles
Ambassador James P. Zumwalt named Sasakawa USA's next CEO
Sasakawa USA is proud to announce that Ambassador James P. Zumwalt will be its Chief Executive Officer starting February 20, 2017. Ambassador Zumwalt has been the United States Ambassador to the Republic of Senegal and the Republic of Guinea-Bissau for the past two years, the capstone of a 36-year distinguished career in the United States Foreign Service.

Collaboration: Why Japan will lose 20 million people by 2050
Sasakawa USA x Tofugu.com
When a country's birth rate shrinks, it can face major challenges. When a country's population gets older, that causes problems too. But what if both happen at the same time?  To promote better public understanding of the crisis Japan is now facing , Sasakawa USA teamed up with  Tofugu.com.

True Stories from Japan
"From Nagasaki to the Netherlands"
Alexander Hoare
When Alexander Hoare, known among his friends and family as a student of all things Japanese, decided to pursue his master's degree in the Netherlands, many were understandably puzzled. But, as he explains, Japan has many historical connections with the Netherlands.
True Stories from Japan is an occasional blog featured on the Sasakawa USA Website that compiles reflections from one's travels to Japan. Topics range in interest from policy to culture and everything in between. Contac Juliane Doscher  if you would like to submit an article and be featured in the next Alumni Newsletter.

Upcoming Events
Second Annual Alumni Dinner
Mar. 23, 2017
On March 23, Sasakawa USA will host its Second Annual Alumni Dinner at Charlie Palmer Steak DC to bring together former participants of Sasakawa-run or Sasakawa-sponsored programs as well as our friends and partners in the U.S.-Japan community.
More info coming soon

Japan and Africa: Regional Views and U.S.-Japan Cooperation
Apr. 04, 2017
Celebrating the beginning of a new season symbolized by the cherry blossoms, Sasakawa USA will launch a new "Views of Japan" event series that will explore perceptions on Japan in other regions around the world.
Not all events are open to the public, and we anticipate listing a couple more in the coming weeks. Check each event link for details and view our events page  for new listings as they get posted.

Past Events
Climate and Energy Initiatives in Japan
Dec. 8, 2016
Sasakawa USA hosted a private, off-the-record discussion featuring Dr. Phyllis Yoshida, Fellow for Energy and Technology at Sasakawa USA. The event was an opportunity to engage in a candid conversation on the intersection between energy and climate, and mitigation and adaptation in Japan.

Public Opinion on the Future of Northeast Asia
Jan. 11, 2017
Sasakawa USA joined with Genron NPO to examine the results of polls looking at views of the Japanese, Chinese, and South Korean public on the future of Northeast Asia and challenges facing the region. Experts discussed the findings and their implications for the region as well as for U.S.-Japan relations.

Alumni Dinner: Continuing the Dialogue with Yasushi Kudo
Jan. 12, 2017
Sasakawa USA hosted a private dinner discussion exclusively for our alumni featuring Mr. Yasushi Kudo, President of The Genron NPO.
Sasakawa USA Forum
The Sasakawa USA Forum is  a new platform for research and analysis related to Japan and U.S.-Japan relations in a bilateral, regional, and global context.  In order to gain a more comprehensive view of U.S.-Japan relations, the Sasakawa USA Forum offers experts outside Sasakawa USA as well as our esteemed alumni a chance to bring their work to a wide audience.  

How to submit:
The Sasakawa USA Forum is now accepting submissions for future publication. Submissions should be 750 to 2,000 words in length and written on issues that previously have been inadequately covered regarding Japan or U.S.-Japan relations from a bilateral, regional, and global context. Authors of accepted submissions will receive a modest honorarium.