Minnesota’s relationship with Japan has flourished through trade and investment. The North Star State exported over $350 million dollars of goods to Japan in the 1st quarter of 2019 alone, making Japan a consistent Top Five destination for Minnesotan products. Japan is also the 2nd-largest foreign investor in Minnesota and 4th-largest foreign employer. In addition to strong business and economic relations, decades-long cultural and educational exchanges have also led to increased people-to-people ties and mutual understanding between Japan and Minnesota.
To discuss the positive impact and benefits of U.S.-Japan relations to Minnesota and the United States at large, Sasakawa USA will hold its next The Alliance Working in America (TAWA) program in Minneapolis-St. Paul on September 17-18, 2019. Sasakawa USA will take a group of policy experts on trade, economy, and security and foreign affairs in Washington, D.C. to Minneapolis-St. Paul, and co-organize a series of events and activities with Global Minnesota and the World Affairs Councils of America (WACA), and in partnership with other local institutions. Participating D.C. experts will include: Admiral Dennis Blair, USN (ret.), Chairman and Distinguished Senior Fellow (Non-Resident) of Sasakawa USA; Ms. Wendy Cutler, Vice President and Managing Director of Asia Society Policy Institute and former Acting Deputy U.S. Trade Representative; Ms. Liz Brailsford, COO, World Affairs Councils of America; Dr. Satu Limaye, Vice President and Director, East-West Center in Washington; and Amb. James Zumwalt, Distinguished Senior Fellow (Non-Resident) of Sasakawa USA.
Over the course of the two days, the speakers will engage in dialogues with local businesses, media representatives, non-profits, university students, and other groups to discuss the importance of U.S.-Japan relations in a variety of formats. Scheduled events include: a briefing for the Minnesota business community executives featuring Ms. Cutler on trade and investment opportunities with Japan in partnership with Dorsey & Whitney, LLP, KPMG, and the Minnesota Trade Office; a public forum, “Global Conversations MINNEAPOLIS: The U.S.-Japan Alliance in an Evolving Indo-Pacific,” featuring Admiral Blair and Dr. Limaye to discuss the role of the U.S.-Japan security alliance in the Indo-Pacific region and why “Japan Matters for America;” networking event with the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) alumni in the region in partnership with the Japan-America Society of Minnesota; lectures by Amb. Zumwalt at University of Minnesota and other local universities; and additional engagements with Japanese businesses in Minnesota and members of the U.S. Naval Academy Alumni Association Upper Midwest Chapter, among others.