About JBA (English)
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President Toshihiro Kawachi
I am Toshihiro Kawachi of Mitsubishi International Corporation, and I have the honor of being appointed as the President of the Japan Business Association of Seattle in 2018. The predecessor of the JBAS, the Thursday Club, was formed in 1922 after the First World War. Taking on the role of the President of the JBAS, with the history and traditions built upon by my predecessors, is a great honor and a heavy responsibility.   The JBAS has three pillars at the core of our duties – 1. Proper education of our children, 2. Maintaining relations with local groups, and 3. Building strong ties among our members. In enacting these duties, we seek to deepen our understanding of each other, discuss shared issues, and drive everyone to greater heights. These goals are supported by our three committees; 1. Education 2. Community Affairs, and 3. Business / Culture. The JBAS will be returning to our original founding goals this year, and strive for activities that can provide “activities that suit the needs of today” and a “place that is beneficial to our members.”   The basic activities that will tie in to the three pillars will follow the basic guidelines outlined below. The new leadership of the three committees will strive to follow these guidelines while maintaining communication with the affiliated members. I believe that all of us – our administrative group, our various board members, and of course all of our members - strive together under the ideal of “One for All, All for One,” we will be able to create new opportunities from the tradition and history of our past.  

 

Japan Business Association Committee Activities Education Committee
As the governing body of the Seattle Japanese School, we will support the education of the children of our members through proper management.  

 

Community Affairs Committee
We will build deeper ties with local groups such as the Japan America Society through attendance and support of events, and bring together these ties in order to improve relations between USA and Japan.

 

Business / Culture Committee 
Through the planning and operation of various events and seminars, we will build closer ties between our members. In addition we will provide social and economic information in order to promote business.

 

 

We will continue to strengthen the activities of the JBAS this year. As the internet brings everything closer together, and Seattle is in the middle of what can be said to be the 4th production revolution, it becomes increasingly more important to discover and understand global issues in a timely manner. We would like to work together with other local Japan Business Associations in the United States and provide our members with useful information, as well as providing support to member families and future networking. I hope that our members understand our goals, and actively participate and support our endeavors.

 

* Board of Directors

Honorary President Yamada, Yoichiro Consulate-General of Japan
President Kawachi, Toshihiro* Mitsubishi Corporation (Americas)
Vice President / Chair
Education Committee
Mizuno, Tetsuji* Civil Aircraft Engineering Service Co., Ltd.
Vice Chair
Education Committee
Izawa, Daisaku* Yamato Transport USA, Inc.
Education Committee Nakamura, Ryotaro All Nippon Airways Co., Ltd 
Education Committee Saito, Jun NIPPI Corporation, Seattle Office
Education Committee Tamai, Naotaka Mitsubishi Corporation (Americas)
Education Committee Yokoyama, Shinya Mitsubishi Heavy Industries America, Inc.
Education Committee Komagata, Chihaya JAMCO America, Inc.
Vice President / Chair
Community Affairs Committee
Onishi, Moriyuki* Toray Composite Materials America, Inc.
Community Affairs Committee Odagiri, Nobuyuki* Toray Composite Materials America, Inc.
Community Affairs Committee Sugiura, Yuji Maruha Nichiro USA Group
Community Affairs Committee Tsuji, Kaoru Yusen Logistics (Americas) Inc.
Community Affairs Committee Arakane, Keiko MUFG Union Bank N.A.
Community Affairs Committee Suzuki, Takuya Ernst & Young LLP
Community Affairs Committee Miyahara, Hirofumi Sumitomo Life Insurance Company                (Symetra Financial Corporation)
Community Affairs Committee Baxter, Eriko Baxter Law International, PLLC
Community Affairs Committee Nakaseko, Takahiro Sumitomo Forestry America, Inc.
Community Affairs Committee Sasaki, Kae Sumitomo Forestry America, Inc.
Community Affairs Committee Asano, Tomohiro Tama Technical Core Co., Ltd.
Community Affairs Committee Tojo, Chihiro Sumitomo Life Insurance Company                (Symetra Financial Corporation)
Vice President / Chair
Business/Culture Committee
Yamamoto, Naoki* Sojitz Corporation of America
Business/Culture Committee Hattori, Masakazu* Nippon Express U.S.A., Inc.
Business/Culture Committee Arashiba, Masaki Mitsui & Co. (U.S.A.), Inc.
Business/Culture Committee Ando, Takeshi Nippon Express U.S.A., Inc.
Business/Culture Committee Saegusa, Hajime North American Subaru, Inc.
Business/Culture Committee Miura, Morihiko MITSUI-SOKO (U.S.A.), Inc.
Business/Culture Committee Katsumata, Masanori Interra USA, Inc.
Business/Culture Committee Kawahara, Toshinari Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation America, Inc.
Business/Culture Committee Nakatani, Tsuneko New York Life Insurance Company
Business/Culture Committee Takahashi, Nobuhiro Achilles USA, Inc.
Business/Culture Committee Koyanagi, Andrew Toray Composite Materials America, Inc.
Senior Advisor Kokage, Shinji  
Treasurer Hayashi, Tamako Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu LLC
Auditor Nakanishi, Wataru The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Ltd.
Executive Director Kurosawa, Yoshiharu Japan Business Association of Seattle

 

History

 

In 1922, group called “Mokuyo-kai” (“Thursday Club”) was formed jointly with Consulate General of Japan at Seattle. The group members were the employees of several Japanese corporations in the Seattle area. The club meetings were nice opportunities for socializing and exchanging information among the members. The “Mokuyo-kai” vanished as the World War II broke out. In 1952, after the War was over, a new business group was reorganized by Japanese firms and started as "Kayo-kai” (“Tuesday Club”).

 

The “Tuesday Club” later changed its name to “Shunju Club”. As the Japanese economy expanded after the WWII, many Japanese firms launched their businesses in Seattle, and the membership increased.

 

In 1960, the group was officially established as an entity and was named “Shunju Club.” headed by Mr. Hisashi Nakayama, who was the General Manager of Mitsui & Co. at the time.

 

The early efforts focused on establishing a Japanese school to provide solid education for the children of the members, so that those children could seamlessly reintegrate into the Japanese educational system upon their return. For this, it was imperative that the school comply with the official curriculum set by the Japanese government.

 

In 1971, the long awaited Seattle Japanese School was inaugurated under the management by the Shunju Club. The School accommodated 52 students with 4 teachers for Elementary and Junior High school. The kindergarten and the high School were added later.

 

In the following years, the Seattle area saw an explosive increase in the member of Japanese businesses opening operations here. The management members of Shunju Club faced challenges time and again as the members’ needs changed. To better serve, its members and to better promote friendship with local communities, the organization went through repeated restructuring.

 

As enrollment increased, the Seattle Japanese School faced a different challenge. Some of the students decided to live in the United States and not return to Japan. The number of such permanent resident students expanded remarkably, and the School opened its doors to them. While the School firmly maintains its fundamental philosophy that its main mission is to prepare for their eventual return to the Japanese education system, the school now accepts students who despite their intention to remain in the United States permanent, have a sincere desire to receive formal Japanese education.

 

In 2002, the organization changed its name to “Japan Business Association of Seattle (Shunju Club)” better express the nature of its activities.

 

Activities

  1. Supporting the Cherry Blossom and Japanese Cultural Festival
  2. Supporting the Japanese Speech and Skit Contest by American high school students
  3. Supporting the Eastside Aki Matsuri (Autumn Festival)
  4. Cooperating with local community groupies such as Japan-America Society of the State of Washington, Japanese Community Service of Seattle and others
  5. Organizing tours for invite teachers of the Seattle area schools to travel to Japan and learn about the Japanese education system
  6. Working with local non-profits and charitable organizations, such as participating in the Day of Caring
  7. Organizing various events such as golf tournaments, fishing tours and family gatherings to promote friendship among the members
  8. Organizing Summer Social and the Business Round Table with Japan America Society of the State of Washington
  9. Operating the Seattle Japanese School

 

The constitution of JBAS in Japanese (PDF)