Center for Japanese Studies 50th Anniversary
Hybrid Japan

Japan and Japanese America: Connections Across the Pacific Rim
October 09, Friday – October 10, Saturday

Japan and Japanese America: A Keynote Lecture by Norman Mineta (Video Archive)
All 50th Anniversary Events Video Archive

On Friday, October 9th, 2009, the Center for Japanese Studies hosted a keynote lecture by Norman Mineta (former US Secretary of Commerce, Clinton Administration, U.S. Secretary of Transportation, Bush Administration, UC Berkeley Class of '53) on U.S.-Japan relations. Secretary Mineta shared his own family's story of life as a Japanese immigrant family living in the United States during and after the Second World War, leading into a greater discussion about pertinent issues affecting U.S.-Japan relations today. He concluded by saying that government to government relations is only one part of the future of U.S.-Japan relations, and that it is the American and Japanese people, particularly the younger generation, who are the real base of the relationship. He believes that the future leaders of the U.S. and Japan will be these youth who are expressing growing interest in each other's cultures and societies, and have the potential of building up, once again, the most important bi-lateral relationship in the world. Secretary Mineta then engaged in a question and answer session with the audience.

The next day, Saturday, October 10th, the Center for Japanese Studies presented a conference on the close historical and contemporary interconnections between Japan and the Japanese American Community. Keynote lectures were given by Gary Okihiro (Professor, Columbia University) and Glen Fukushima (CEO, Airbus Japan and former President, ACCJ), each followed by panel discussions by distinguished professors from around the world that explored the theme of "Japan and Japanese America" from the perspectives of history — Eiichiro Azuma (University of Pennsylvania), Lon Kurashige (University of Southern California), and Greg Robinson (University of Quebec), literature — Yoshitaka Hibi (Nagoya University), Teruko Kumei (Shirayuri College), Kyoko Nozaki (Kyoto Sangyo University), and Andrew Leung (UC Berkeley), and religion — Mark Mullins (Sophia University), Akihiro Yamakura (Tenri University), Duncan Williams (UC Berkeley), and Jane Iwamura (University of Southern California).

Secretary Norman Y. Mineta is Vice Chairman of Hill & Knowlton based in its Washington, DC office. Mineta's career in public service has been both distinguished and unique, having served in Congress and the Cabinet of both Republican and Democratic presidents.

For almost 30 years, Mineta represented San Jose, California, the heart of Silicon Valley, first on the City Council, then as Mayor, and then from 1975 to 1995 as a Member of Congress. Mineta served as the Chairman of the House Transportation and Public Works Committee from 1992 to 1994, after having chaired the Subcommittee on Aviation and the Subcommittee on Surface Transportation. He was the primary author of the groundbreaking Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA) of 1991. In 2000, Mineta was appointed by President Bill Clinton as the United States Secretary of Commerce, and then in 2001, he was appointed Secretary of Transportation by President George W. Bush where he served until he joined Hill & Knowlton in July 2006. Following the horrific terrorist acts of September 11, 2001, Mineta guided the creation of the Transportation Security Administration, the largest mobilization of a new federal agency since World War II. He was also a Vice President of Lockheed Martin where he oversaw the first successful implementation of the EZ-Pass system in New York State.

Mineta has been awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, our nation's highest civilian honor, and the Wright Brothers Memorial Trophy, which is awarded for significant public service of enduring value to aviation in the United States. He is also the recipient of the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun. He was the co-founder of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus and Chair of the National Civil Aviation Review Commission. Mineta is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley.

Event Program: October 09, Friday

Norman Mineta

Location: David Brower Center, Berkeley
Time: 7:30pm-9:00pm

Welcome and Introduction

Duncan Williams (Chair, Center for Japanese Studies)
Yasumasa Nagamine (Consul General of Japan, San Francisco)

Keynote Lecture

"U.S.-Japan Relations: A Japanese American Perspective"
Norman Mineta, former U.S. Secretary of Commerce, Clinton Administration, U.S. Secretary of Transportation, Bush Administration, Cal class of '53

Co-sponsored by: Consulate General of Japan, San Francisco

Event Program: October 10, Saturday

Location: David Brower Center, 2150 Allston Way, Berkeley
Time: 9:00am-5:30pm

Opening Remarks

Duncan Williams (Chair, Center for Japanese Studies)
Seishi Takeda (President, Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, SF)

Keynote Lecture II

"Rethinking Subjects: 'Japan' and 'America'"
Gary Okihiro (International and Public Affairs, Columbia University)

Panel Session I: On History

"Issei Antiracism and Japan's World War I Diplomacy: The Fickleness and Perils at Immigration Homeland Political Partnership"
Eiichiro Azuma (History, University of Pennsylvania)

"Japanese Immigrants and the Opposition to White Supremacy in the U.S."
Lon Kurashige (History/American Studies and Ethnicity, University of Southern California)

Respondent: Greg Robinson (History, University of Quebec)

Luncheon Lecture

"Adventures of a Japanese American Positioned Between the U.S. and Japan"
Glen S. Fukushima, CEO, Airbus Japan and former President, ACCJ

Panel Session II: On Literature

"The Flow of Books and Japanese (Language) Literature"
Yoshitaka Hibi (apanese Literature, Nagoya University)

"Immigrant Senryu Clubs and Japan, 1930s-1950s"
Teruko Kumei (English Language and Literature, Shirayuri College)

"Internment and Identity Shift: Through Transnational War Memory"
Kyoko Nozaki (Intercultural Studies, Kyoto Sangyo University)

Respondent: Andrew Leung (UC Berkeley)

Panel Session III: On Religion

"Kagawa Toyohiko and the Japanese Christian Impact on American Society"
Mark Mullins (Religion, Sophia University)

"Transnational Context of the Wartime Internment of Tenrikyo Ministers in America"
Akihiro Yamakura (International Studies, Tenri University)

"Faith within Barbed Wire: Issei Buddhism and the Wartime Incarceration"
Duncan Williams (East Asian Languages and Cultures, UC Berkeley)

Respondent: Jane Iwamura (Religion/American Studies and Ethnicity, University of Southern California)

Closing Remarks

Co-Sponsored by: Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, UC Berkeley Asian American Studies Program, San Francisco Consulate General of Japan, National Japanese American Historical Society