Japan-United States Journalists Exchange

This 12-day program is a dialogue, travel and exchange program for journalists from Japan and the United States.  The program sends six to seven Japanese journalists to the United States and six to seven U.S. journalists to Japan to meet with government and business leaders, academics, non-governmental organizations and other members of the community. The program provides participating journalists with the opportunity to enhance their understanding of the political, security, economic, cultural and social issues of each country through the lens of a timely theme.

There is no Japan-US Journalists Exchange program planned for 2012. For those interested in Japan, please consider applying to our new Disaster Management and Resiliency in the Asia Pacific Journalism Fellowships program.

2011 Japan-United States Journalists Exchange
Theme:  Expanding the US-Japan Alliance


The 2011 Japan-United States Journalists Exchange program took place from March 6 – 18, 2011 and included six American journalists who visited Tokyo; Naha; Hiroshima; and Osaka and six Japanese who visited Washington, DC; Austin, Texas; and Sacramento, California


Highlights of the US trip included a session with Michael Beeman, deputy assistant U.S. Trade Representative, who emphasized the enduring trade relationship between Japan and the United States and engagement in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). In addition, a session with Joseph Donovan, principal deputy assistant secretary for the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs at the US State Department, provided the journalists with the opportunity to discuss US foreign policy and regional security issues as well as the impact of Japanese minster of foreign affairs, Seiji Maehara’s resignation. In Austin, Texas and Sacramento, California, the Japanese journalists examined the broader Japan-US relationship and the potential for cooperation on issues such as technological development, climate change mitigation and agriculture. In addition, the journalists also discussed new media models, including non-profit and community-linked models with the Texas Tribune and the Sacramento Bee. Given the massive 9.0 earthquake and the resulting tsunami-induced nuclear power plant crisis that occurred in Japan on March11th, the US mainland program also included a sessions on earthquake building codes and education efforts as well as regulations regarding nuclear power plants in California. 

The US journalists visited Tokyo, Tokyo; Naha; Hiroshima; and Osaka. A highlight in Tokyo was a meeting with Michio Kitahara, associate director general of the Bank of Japan. Mr. Kitahara discussed the Bank of Japan’s efforts to overcome deflation and return Japan’s economy to a sustainable growth path. The American journalists also met with Shigeru Ishiba, member of the House of Representatives and Chairman of the Liberal Democratic Party’s Policy Research Council to discuss the relocation of the U.S. Marine Corps’ Futenma Air Station. The journalists also benefited from a meeting with Susumu Matayoshi, Okinawa’s director general of disaster prevention who briefed the Americans on the damages inflicted by the March 11th disasters and initial rescue efforts in northern Japan. Later in Hiroshima, the journalists met two hibakusha, atomic-bomb survivors, to hear their personal stories.  Just outside Osaka, the Americans also visited the Panasonic Eco Technology Center, where recyclable materials from end-of-life household appliances are removed and reused to produce new products. Panasonic’s “from products to products” recycling program provided the journalists with an example of Japan’s efforts to limit natural resource use and promote sustainable growth.


The 2011 Japan-US Journalists Exchange concluded in Hawaii with a day and a half of dialogue in Honolulu, Hawaii at the East-West Center. The journalists described their experiences, discussed the quantity and quality of media reporting on Japan-US issues, and shared the new perspectives they will take home with them.



The 2011 Japanese participants were:


  • Mr. MIYASHITA Kazuya , Editorial Board Member and Columnist, Kumamoto Nichinichi Shimbun, Kumamoto
  • Mr. OKASAKA Kentaro , Staff Reporter, Kyodo News, Naha Bureau, Okinawa
  • Mr. SAKAMOTO Hideaki , Staff Writer, General Editorial Department, The Sankei Shimbun , Osaka
  • Mr. SUZUKI Hideo , Staff Writer, Cultural News Department, The Mainichi Newspapers, Tokyo
  • Mr. TSURUOKA Masahiro , Staff Writer, Political News Section, The Asahi Shimbun, Tokyo
  • Mr. YAMAMOTO Yuji , Editorial Writer, The Tokyo Shimbun, Tokyo


The 2011 American participants were:


  • Ms. Eve BOWER , International Desk Assignment Editor, CNN International, Atlanta, GA
  • Mr. Ed FLETCHER , Reporter, The Sacramento Bee , Sacramento, CA
  • Mr. Mark GARRISON , Assignment Editor, ABC News, New York, NY
  • Ms. Abby LEONARD , Producer, PBS "Need to Know", New York, NY
  • Ms. Hagit LIMOR , Investigative Reporter, WCPO TV and President, National Society of Professional Journalists, Cincinnati, OH
  • Ms. Sarah MULLER , Digital Producer, MSNBC, New York, NY


For more information on and a list of all East-West Center journalism fellowships and exchanges, see


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Contact Information
Liz A. Dorn
Program Coordinator, Seminars
East-West Center
1601 East-West Road
Honolulu, HI 96848, USA
Phone: 808-944-7368; Fax: 808-944-7600