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Tohoku Transformation: The US Role

Keizai Society and Japan Society of Northern California

Thursday, March 8, 2012 at 5:00 PM (PST)

Tohoku Transformation: The US Role

Ticket Information

Ticket Type Sales End Price Fee Quantity
Early Registration
early registration ends at 11PM on March 2
Ended $30.00 $0.00
Late Registration
ends at 5PM on March 7
Ended $45.00 $0.00
Sponsors, VIPs, and Speakers
ends 5PM on March 7
Ended Free $0.00
Keizai & JSNC Staff and Board Members
ends 5PM on March 7
Ended Free $0.00
Early Registration (student)
Student ID required; ends at 11PM on March 2
Ended $20.00 $0.00

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Event Details


Hiroshi Inomata, Consul General of Japan in San Francisco
Film Preview: Stu Levy, cultural innovator, founder of TOKYOPOP, writer, producer & director of a new documentary film - Pray for Japan

Frank Clark, US Army Lt. Colonel &US Fellow of Japan’s National Institute of Defense Studies

A key leader in US Armed Forces rescue effort in Tohoku - Operation Tomodachi

Panel: John Raymont, nuclear energy industry veteran,President & CEO, Kurion Inc.
  Gaku Ueda, Head of the International Team & the Mobile Growth group, Twitter Inc.
  Ka-Ping Yee, Google Crisis Response team & architect of Google Person Finder, Google Inc.
  Richard Dasher (moderator), Director of US-Asia Technology Mgmt Center, Stanford Univ.


  • An update on US philanthropy in Tohoku by Give2Asia, a US-based non-profit organization


Thursday, March 8, 2012

  Registration/Networking: 5:00 P.M. - 6:00 P.M.
  Program: 6:00 P.M. - 8:15P.M
  Food reception/Networking: 8:15 P.M. - 9:30 P.M.



PARC (Palo Alto Research Center)

3333 Coyote Hill Road

Palo Alto, CA 94304


$30: Registration by March 2 (11:00 pm)

*$20 for full-time student. (Only for early registration & student ID required)

$45: Late Registration by March 7 (5:00 pm)

$70: Walk-ins (Seats are limited and may not be available)

Food, including sushi and drinks, will be served.


Download English Flyer

Event Overview

On March 11, 2011, a cataclysmic earthquake and tsunami struck Japan’s northern coastal Tohoku region of Japan, ravaging communities and transforming in an instant the world’s image of Japan. The heart-wrenching images of the disaster flashed across the world on the net and new SNS media triggered an international outpouring of compassion and support, while the courage and composure of the people of Tohoku stirred fresh admiration for the best qualities of Japan.

Yet, as the long year of recovery has passed, the drawn-out Fukushima nuclear crisis, reports of government and corporate failings both after and before the natural disaster itself, and lingering damage to a Japanese economy that had only just begun to emerge from more than a decade of stagnation has stirred new doubts about the future of the country once considered the unstoppable juggernaut of Asia. Today, Tohoku’s recovery is more than a domestic humanitarian challenge for Japan. It has taken on global import as a symbolic barometer of Japan’s ability to shake off its long malaise, and reinvent itself to once again flourish in a world transformed by new technologies and the rise of powerful new competitors. During the disaster and its aftermath, the US-Japan military alliance reasserted itself as a powerful tool for relief and recovery through Operation Tomodachi. But today, it is the emerging trans-Pacific synergy in hi-tech that is helping speed Tohoku’s recovery, and is pointing the way to new transformative possibilities for the future. The challenge today for Tohoku -- and for all of Japan -- is not simply to rebuild, but to transform, to emerge not just better prepared to respond to the next catastrophe, but reinvigorated and rewired to compete and flourish in the new connected world.

Our distinguished Tohoku Transformation speakers will take this moment a year since the disaster to see what has been accomplished, and to offer a preliminary sketch for what can be done in the future. Our mix of government and private-sector experts will review how Japan has overcome the immediate impact of the catastrophe, and at the powerful role the Japan-US alliance played in the recovery. They will discuss the new technologies put to the test during the disaster, and discuss what lies ahead in the drive to transform Tohoku, and Japan.

The Honorable Hiroshi Inomata, Consul General of Japan in San Francisco, will update us on the Government of Japan’s responses and initiatives to transform the Tohoku region. U.S. Army Lt. Colonel Frank Clark, a key driver of the U.S. Government’s Operation Tomodachi that brought the hi-tech weight of the U.S. military into play for disaster response in the immediate aftermath of the quake and tsunami, will discuss what has been achieved and the new, long-term goals of Operation Tomodachi in the years ahead. On our transformational technology panel moderated by Dr. Richard Dasher of Stanford’s US-Asia Technology Management Center, Gaku Ueda of Twitter and Dr. Ka Ping Yee of Google will discuss how SNS and collective information technologies came to the rescue when traditional communication networks crashed during the crisis, and forecast what we can anticipate in the future. Kurion’s John Raymont discusses the new technologies going into the cleanup of the badly damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactor farm. Putting the focus back on the still pressing humanitarian needs in the disaster zone, documentarian and US-Japan cultural innovator Stu Levy shares footage shot on the ground in the devastated community of Ishinomaki for his new documentary, “Pray for Japan,” while representatives of Give2Asia will update us how the Asia-focused relief organization is deploying the millions of dollars of contributions received from around the United States so support Tohoku’s medium and long-term recovery and transformation.

Guest Speakers

Picture of LTC Frank Clark US Army Lieutenant Colonel (LTC) Frank Clark is a native of Hollywood, Florida. He is currently representing the U.S. at Japan’s National Institute of Defense Studies (NIDS), the leading institution in Japan dedicated to the research of national security and defense issues. Frank is writing his thesis on Lessons Learned from the Great Northeastern Earthquake Response, specifically examining the leadership, decision-making, and information-sharing aspects. LTC Clark recently finished an assignment as the Assistant Army Attaché, where his responsibilities included coordinating bilateral military meetings and events, improving bilateral military planning, and informing senior officials on respective capabilities, as well as representing these officials to the Japan Self-Defense Forces. Frank was the first U.S. person deployed to Sendai in response to the disasters that hit that area (Tohoku, or NE Japan) on 11 March 2011. This is Frank's fourth tour in Japan; he attended a year of Japanese language training at FSI Yokohama (2001-2002), represented the U.S. at the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force Command and General Staff College (2002-2003), and was the first US Army Japan Liaison Officer to the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force Northeastern Army Headquarters in Sendai, Japan (2003-2005), where he helped coordinate with and prepare the Japanese for their ground-breaking deployment to Iraq. He maintains general fluency in Japanese. After his four years in Japan, Frank served as the Strategic Policy Plans Officer in the Combined Forces Command-Afghanistan (CFC-A) Headquarters in Kabul, Afghanistan, as well as LTG Eikenberry’s (Commander, CFC-A) writer (2005-2006). Prior to returning to Japan to work in the Defense Attaché Office, Frank served as the Chief of the Asia-Pacific Branch (and Japan Desk Officer) for Army International Affairs, Headquarters, Department of the Army, in the Pentagon (2006-2008). Frank has served almost 22 years in the military, with his first eight years spent in various Army Aviation (Air Cavalry) assignments as a helicopter pilot. LTC Clark was selected for promotion to Colonel, expected in summer 2012. Frank graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree from the United States Military Academy in 1990, where he focused on European Area Studies, and he received a master's degree in East Asian Studies from Stanford University in 2001. In 2007-2008, Frank was a Fellow in MIT's Seminar XXI: Foreign Politics, International Relations & the National Interest.


Picture of Dr. Richard DasherDr. Richard Dasher has directed the US-Asia Technology Management Center at the Stanford University School of Engineering since 1994 and served concurrently as Executive Director of the Center for Integrated Systems since 1998. He holds Consulting Professor appointments at Stanford in the Departments of Electrical Engineering (technology management), Asian Languages (Japanese business), and with the Stanford Program on Regions of Innovation and Entrepreneurship. In 2004, Dr. Dasher became the first non-Japanese person ever asked to join the governance of a Japanese national university, serving on the Board of Directors and then the Management Council of Tohoku University until 2010. He regularly participates on selection and review committees of government programs for innovation in Canada, Germany, Japan, and Hong Kong. Dr. Dasher also serves as a board member of privately held companies and non-profit organizations (including the Keizai Society) and as an advisor to start-up companies in the U.S., Japan, and China. He received M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Linguistics from Stanford University and is co-author of the book ‘Regularity in Semantic Change’ (Cambridge University Press, 2002). From 1986 -90, he was the Director of the U.S. State Department’s advanced training centers in Japan and Korea that provide full-time language and area studies curricula to U.S. and select Commonwealth Country diplomats headed for assignments in those countries.


Picture of Honorable Hiroshi InomataHiroshi Inomata assumed his current position as Japan's Consul General in San Francisco in August 2010. Prior to that, he was the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) Director-General for Southeast and Southwest Asian Affairs (2008-2010). A career diplomat, Inomata has held senior positions in several MOFA bureaus, including Director of the International Agreements Division in the Treaties Bureau from 1995-1997, Director of the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty Division in the North American Bureau from 1997-1998, Counselor at the Japanese Embassy in London from 1998-2001, Minister at the Japanese Embassy in Seoul from 2001-2004 and Deputy Director-General of the International Legal Affairs Bureau from 2006-2008. Inomata was also seconded to the Cabinet from 2004-2006, where he served as a senior advisor to the Chief Cabinet Secretary. Inomata earned a BA in Law from Waseda University in Tokyo, Japan in 1978. He also studied at Oxford University from 1979-1981.

Picture of Stu LevyStu Levy is an international entrepreneur, producer, director and writer across mediums including graphic novels, film, television and new media. Founder of the pioneering media company TOKYOPOP, Levy is known for his work in establishing the manga market in North America. Levy has directed two feature films, his feature documentary PRAY FOR JAPAN and his award-winning feature debut VAN VON HUNTER, along with the 8-episode docu-reality series America’s Greatest Otaku. His first major studio feature film as Executive Producer was PRIEST, released theatrically worldwide in 2011 through Sony Pictures. As a producer, he has a number of live-action and animated feature films and television shows in various stages of development, including adaptations of his graphic novels Princess Ai and Juror 13. Fluent in Japanese, Levy also serves as chair of the Producers Guild of America’s International Committee and was previously a Board Member of its New Media Council.


Picture of John RaymontJohn Raymont is the Founder and President of Kurion, Inc. Based in Irvine, CA he has more than 35 years of experience in the domestic and international nuclear industry ranging across plant design, safety related equipment design and waste management. Previously he was the President of NUKEM Corporation and built it and its subsidiaries to about a $100 million business serving the commercial and DOE nuclear markets with more than 450 employees. He has a BS, MA and MBA, holds several patents and patent applications, and is a member of the American Nuclear Society. He has been building Kurion since 2008 with its mission to “isolate waste from the environment to support a clean, safe, and secure Nuclear Industry”. In April 2011 Kurion was selected by the Tokyo Electric Power Company to design and deliver in 5-weeks a water processing system that uses the company’s proprietary Ion Specific Media to process and remove cesium and other isotopes from the 120,000 MT (32 million gallons) of oily saline water in the turbine and reactor buildings of the tsunami-damaged Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. Kurion was the sole US firm in a lead position in this historic response.


Picture of Gaku UedaGaku Ueda is an Engineering Manager at Twitter where he is the head of both the International Engineering team and the Mobile Growth team. In a wide range of international efforts, the development of Japanese mobile phone (Keitai) version of Twitter is one of the key efforts for Japanese market. Prior to joining Twitter, he was a part of engineering team of popular internet services, such as eGroups, Yahoo Groups from 1999 to 2003. He joined Google as the second Japanese engineer and later became an Engineering Manager responsible for Google Maps and Google’s mobile products for the Japanese market. He received BE and ME of Information and Computer Science from Waseda University in Tokyo, Japan in 1995 and 1997.


Picture of Dr. Ka-Ping YeeDr. Ka-Ping Yee is a software engineer on the Google Crisis Response team, which is part of Google.org, the philanthropic arm of Google. He was among the many Google employees who contributed to response efforts after the earthquake of March 11. Ping has been the technical lead of the Google Person Finder project since its inception after the Haiti earthquake in 2010, and he also coordinates the development of the missing person data standard known as PFIF, which he initiated after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Ping was raised in Winnipeg, Canada. He received his B. A. Sc. at the University of Waterloo and completed his Ph. D. at UC Berkeley before joining Google in 2008. His research interests have included human factors, computer security, bioinformatics, electronic voting, electoral systems, and information visualization.


Have questions about Tohoku Transformation: The US Role? Contact Keizai Society and Japan Society of Northern California

When & Where

PARC (Palo Alto Research Center)
3333 Coyote Hill Road
Palo Alto, CA 94304

Thursday, March 8, 2012 at 5:00 PM (PST)

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Keizai Society and Japan Society of Northern California

Keizai Society logo

Founded in 1990, the Keizai Society US-Japan Business Forum is an all-volunteer business and professional networking organization based in the San Francisco Bay Area. One of its primary purposes is to provide a venue for programs that showcase specialists with expertise on issues critical to the success of entrepreneurs and companies doing business with Japan and the U.S. Please visit www.keizai.org for more information.


Japan Society of Northern California logo

Founded in San Francisco in 1905, the Japan Society of Northern California is committed to fostering US-Japan relations in a changing world. The Society holds conferences and events, networking sessions, cultural and language classes. It sponsors the annual Japan-US Innovation Awards, JSNC Award of Honor, and Japan in the Schools initiative. Please see www.usajapan.org and www.usjinnovate.org for more information.

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Tohoku Transformation: The US Role
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