Events Third Annual Alumni Reunion

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Third Annual Alumni Reunion

March 14, 2018 @ 5:30 pm - 8:00 pm

On March 14, 2018, Sasakawa USA held its Annual Reunion Dinner with Alumni and Friends, featuring a keynote speech from Manny Manriquez, General Director of the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association, Inc (JAMA) Washington Office, and a special preview into the research of the three participants of Sasakawa USA’s In-Depth Alumni Research Trip.

The private reception was a celebration of Sasakawa USA’s Japan Alumni Program, held exclusively for those who visited Japan under programs organized or sponsored by Sasakawa USA and its sister organizations, as well as for friends and partners in the U.S.-Japan community who have collaborated with Sasakawa USA on other projects and events. It was an opportunity for alumni to re-connect with Japan and other alumni who have traveled or worked together, and to re-engage on current issues in U.S.-Japan relations.

Ambassador James Zumwalt, CEO of Sasakawa USA, gave opening remarks on Sasakawa USA’s alumni program and upcoming events. He introduced Manriquez, who spoke on “The Success Story of U.S.-Japan Relations: How the Japanese Automobile Industry Helped Strengthen U.S.-Japan Relations.”

Manriquez encouraged the audience to continue engaging with and supporting the U.S.-Japan relationship. He elaborated on the automobile industry’s role in strengthening the U.S.-Japan relationship on a national as well as community level, highlighting the impact of JAMA and the importance of joint efforts in manufacturing.

Following Manriquez’s keynote speech, Juliane Doscher , Executive Assistant to the CEO and Program Assistant, introduced three alumni who traveled on the Sasakawa USA In-Depth Alumni Research Trip to Japan in February. Sharon Burke, Senior Advisor at New America, introduced her research on holistic defense in Japan’s shifting security context; Tarak Shah, Energy Policy Consultant, discussed renewable energy cooperation in the context of Japan’s changing internal electricity market; and Grace Ruch Clegg, Projects and Outreach Coordinator at the East-West Center in Washington, spoke on the impact of U.S.-Japan sister city relationships. Their presentations provided the audience with a preview of the writing projects that they will be submitting to Sasakawa USA for publication.

About 65 friends and alumni attended the dinner, enjoying the networking opportunities, the keynote speech, alumni presentations, and a slideshow featuring past Sasakawa USA events and alumni. Sasakawa USA looks forward to continuing this tradition again in the future.


5:30 p.m. | Registration and Cocktails
6:00 p.m. | Buffet Opens
6:30 p.m. | Keynote Address: “The Success Story of U.S.-Japan Relations: How the Japanese Automobile Industry Helped Strengthen U.S.-Japan Relations”
7:00 p.m. | Alumni Presentations: “Opportunities for Greater U.S. Engagement with Japan: Defense, Energy, and City-to-City Relations”

Speakers and Participants

Manny Manriquez, General Director, Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association, Inc (JAMA) Washington Office
Sharon Burke, Senior Advisor, New America
Tarak Shah, Energy Policy Consultant
Grace Ruch-Clegg, Projects and Outreach Coordinator, East-West Center in Washington
Juliane Doscher, Executive Assistant to the CEO & Program Assistant, Sasakawa USA


Photos by Chris Ferenzi





March 14, 2018
5:30 pm - 8:00 pm
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