Japan Participants

yamamotosm Takashi Yamamoto President, Peace Boat Disaster Relief Volunteer Center 

As an Executive Committee for NGO Peace Boat, Yamamoto has been coordinating Peace Boat’s Global Voyages which aim to promote peace through international exchange. He has been in charge of preparations for the global voyages, conducting field investigations with the local partner and affiliated organizations in more than 80 countries prior to the ship’s call at ports. His past disaster relief experience began in Japan, where he provided support following the Great Hanshin Earthquake in Kobe in 1995, which affected him personally, and the Niigata Earthquake. Yamamoto has also worked on the international stage, supporting the relief efforts for disasters such as in Turkey, Taiwan, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. At each disaster, he has always arrived on-site as early as possible to establish relief operations.After the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake, he entered Ishinomaki City in Miyagi Prefecture on March 17, and since then he has been leading the disaster relief operations on-site with the cooperation of the local government and organizations.

miho2sm Miho Kazama Communications Coordinator, Think the Earth
Miho Kazama acts as the catalyst that bridges the gap and produces creative projects between companies, government, research institutes, municipalities, NPO / NGO, creators and people in the field of education, etc. Since 2007 she has been involved with Think the Earth – an intermediary support organization aiming for the “coexistence of ecology and economy” and ultimately the realization of a sustainable and peaceful society. She is currently orchestrating projects and the creation of places of learning to “connect social innovators in East Asia and the Pacific Rim” under the primary themes of “water”, “forest” and “CSV”.Think the Earth engages in four major types of activities: networking with companies, NPOs/NGOs and private individuals, project development and service provision, providing learning opportunities and information on Earth-related topics, and supporting work to build a better future for children around the world. Think the Earth places emphasis on building relationships through business relations to build mechanisms in society. This approach is based in the belief that good social relations can leave the Earth a beautiful place for the next generation, and public relations can create opportunities to think about our relationship to the planet. After 3/11 Miho is committed to the work of building dialogue to find solutions and contribute to the world as a global citizen. Through the SIFJ, Miho has heard what professionals think about how the world should be, regardless of the barriers and challenges. To have a beautiful and rich world Miho wants to explore what we can do for short and long term social innovation plans such as 10, 50 and 100 years into the
+81-80-5509-2390 the Earth
macosm Maco Nishida Volunteer, Megumi-Japan 

Originally from Osaka, Japan, Maco is currently an artist residing in San Francisco ( After the March 11, 2011 disasters, Maco decided that she needed to help out and has made 6 trips to the Tohoku area for extended periods, volunteering with Megumi-Japan  in Ishinomaki City, Miyagi Prefecture. Megumi-Japan helps distributes basic living necessities such as blankets, oils and food.

1983       Came to America
1989 ~    started working as a volunteer for NPO “Noboru kai” in San Francisco
2003~     started to organize documentary film screening and talk events as a member of SF Gala volunteer group”
2011~     Became a member of “Taruokoshi” San Francisco
miyukism Miyuki Hashinoguchi Coordinator, Megumi-Japan 

Born in Kagoshima Prefecture, Miyuki became interested in peace and environmental issues since her early school days. Her desire is to assist children in developing countries and to touch their lives in a positive way. With her mission to help create a society where children from all over the world will live in peace, she decided to open up a private school where she instituted an environment for naturopathic learning. Students learn about environment, nature, natural foods and are encouraged to volunteer in the community. Miyuki has lectured about her teachings throughout Japan. Her work has taken her to Uganda to support former child soldiers, Sudan refugees in India and mine victim assistance in Cambodia. “I love people. I love children. I love helping them to fulfill their dreams.”When the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake of March 11, 2011 happened, Miyuki became a lead coordinator working with other volunteers through Megumi-Japan.

hatsunosm Hatsuno SanoEvacuee from Iitate, Carnation Club organizer 

Hatsuno Sano is an evacuee from Iitate village, Fukushima. Today, she is the leader of the Iitate Carnation Club and also responsible for maintaining the Matsuyama #1 temporary housing units in which 250 evacuees from Iitate live. Under the circumstance that many families are forced to live apart from their children, suffer salary cuts, and depression, Hatsuno formed, “Iitate Carnation Club” to start making items made by the Kimono donated all over Japan. They hope to open a Kimono factory and start a new business rather than returning to agriculture.

 jack Jack BaylesCEO, Alishan / Tengu Natural Foods, Second Harvest Japan board member 

Jack Bayles  was born in New England  where he studied Animal Sciences and worked in respiratory toxicology field ( air pollution research), as a stockbroker/alternative investments analyst and silkscreen printer. Leaving the USA for Africa and South Asia in 1979 he arrived in Japan in 1981 where he was involved in the export of Japanese art & craft. In the late 80‘s he started to import organic and vegetarian foods to Japan which he has continued to do to the present day. He has been involved with Second Harvest and Food Banking in Japan since the late 90‘s. His primary focus is to be helpful, have fun and avoid delusionary thought.

U.S. Panel

osuga Consul Kenichi Osuga Finance Consul at the Consulate-General of Japan in San Francisco
Mr. Kenichi Osuga is the Finance Consul at the Consulate General of Japan in San Francisco. He was born in Osaka, Japan and educated at Doshisha University in Kyoto. Mr. Osuga holds a B.A. in Law and Japanese History. He arrived in San Francisco in July 2011 after serving as a Special Officer in the Debt Management Policy Division of the Ministry of Finance. Mr. Osuga currently oversees topics related to California’s budget, taxes, and economic indicators.

(Note: due to scheduling conflicts, Consul General Hiroshi Inomata could not attend our event).

edshikada Ed Shikada Assistant City Manager, City of San Jose, CA Shikada is San José’s Assistant City Manager, responsible for overseeing day-to-day services within the City’s $2.6 billion operation. Ed provides key leadership in adapting the organization to ongoing fiscal challenges, including reduction of the City’s workforce from a peak of over 7,100 positions to its current 5,500. Ed has led transition from capital expansion to new sustainable operating models and public-private partnerships, as well as initiatives such as developing demonstration technologies and new service delivery methods, implementation of San Jose’s Green Vision, legislative advocacy and grants management, and real estate management. Ed joined the City in 2003 as a Deputy City Manager with oversight of the City’s $2 billion capital improvement program. Prior to joining San José, Ed served as Public Works Director in Long Beach, CA; managed a regional program to address traffic congestion in Los Angeles County; and in consulting. Ed is a licensed civil and traffic engineer, with a bachelor of science in civil engineering from the University of Hawaii and a master of arts in architecture and urban planning from UCLA.The City of San José is the tenth largest U.S. city, known as the Capital of Silicon Valley, and provides police, fire, public works, and community services, including an international airport and regional wastewater facility, to roughly 1 million residents and businesses. Under a Council-Manager charter, the City Manager is appointed by the 11-member Mayor and City Council and directs all City departments except the City’s attorney, clerk, auditor, and police auditor, which are Council-appointed.Ed is a member of the US-Japan Council, a US non-profit organization whose mission is to strengthen ties between Japan and the US by building on people-to-people relationships through a national network of Japanese American leaders.
stevesm Steve Yamaguma President, Design2Market 

Design2Market is a Silicon Valley-bsed graphic design and marketing communications company and has worked with many Japanese technology companies here and in Japan. After the March 11, 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster in Japan, Steve started the blog A Billion Voices ( for people to share their thoughts and support for the people of Tohoku.March 10, 2011, Steve organized a fundraising event, One Year After: a benefit concert for the children of Tohoku, Japan with Music at the Mission at the Old Mission San Jose in Fremont, California. With the help of Give2Asia, this concert raised monies for an orphanage in Soma City.In October, Steve had the opportunity to visit the orphanage and along the way met many people involved in the rebuild and relief efforts.As March, 2013 was approaching, Steve presented the idea of a public forum with Skype calls to those people and sharing the calls via a live webcast online, to Japantown community organizations in San Jose. With enthusiastic support, Tohoku Insights 2013: Live conversations with Japan was born. The goal was to keep the awareness of the ongoing relief efforts in the public eye, and to learn, share and support, and hopefully inspire others to help in any way they can.

taku2a Taku Namikawa Student, San Jose State University, Madei Project organizer 

I’m a student at San Jose State University and an exchange student from Japan. After I stayed in Iwaki-Fukushima to join the tsunami debris clean up for 2 months, I have been supporting the people who were affected by the disaster by selling items from kimono fabric which is saved and re-purposed into handcrafted gifts made by the evacuees.The group, Iitate Carnation Group, is creating a business out of the once community based sewing group which will now become a community based business group.Currently, I’m looking for stores that will be able to add these items to their own inventories in order to make these handcrafted items continually available to their customer base and the public at large.There is a word in Tohoku region of Japan, ‘Madei’ – Pronounced ‘mah-day’ – in the local dialect which means “respectfully, considerately, modestly, with care, with spirit, without haste and without waste”.The new project is called ‘The Madei Project.’

michaelsera Michael Sera Moderator 

Born and raised in San Francisco, CA by an Issei Mother and Father who raised him Japanese at home. American educated he was able to assimilate to both cultures and languages from an early age. Has been in the semiconductor and electronics industry for over 25 years and now has his own consulting company where he helps bridge the technology and culture gap between Japan and North America. He became involved with JAMsj in the late Summer of 2010 by helping with the construction of the JAMsj Exhibit area. He is now more often found as a Docent on the weekends, with an occasional hammering here and there. Michael also joined the JAMsj Board in May of 2011. His attraction to JAMsj was the opportunity to give back to the local community while learning more about the Japanese American experience. “I’ve learned more from the internees who visit JAMsj then I will ever read about” says Michael.