International Exchange & Tourism Seminar in DC

KIF Chair Shin Koyamada was invited to participate as a speaker along with other distinguished speakers for 2019 International Exchange and Tourism Seminar hosted by JTTRI (Japan Transport and Tourism Research Institute) and JNTO (Japan National Tourism Organization) at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center on March 21, 2019 in Washington D.C. The topic was The Future of the US-Japan Friendship: How International Exchange and Tourism are Changing Perspectives.

The opening remarks was made by Mr. Masafumi Shukuri, Chairman, Japan Transport and Tourism Research Institute (JTTRI)​, followed by honorable guest speech by Mr. Shinsuke Sugiyama, Ambassador of Japan to the United States and then Mr. Norman Mineta, Former Secretary of Transportation; President & CEO, Mineta & Associates and Mr. Satoshi Seino, President, Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO).

Panelist speakers included Abigail Friedman (Founder and CEO, The Wisteria Group; Officer of the Board of Trustees, JASWDC; Haiku Poet), Takehiro Shimada (Minister, Communications and Cultural Affairs, Embassy of Japan), Laura Abbot (Executive Vice President and COO, US-Japan Council), Mr. Shin Koyamada, Aaron Wodin-Schwartz (Vice President of Public Policy and Public Affairs, Brand USA).

Koyamada said, "In today's world, citizen diplomats play such an important role of people to people exchanges in many different ways such as tourism, culture, education, medical, economic. Through KIF and Sister Cities International, I work with citizen diplomats in many countries and local communities and see why it's so important in my own experience to promote mutual understanding, respect and peace. I was honored to be part of this discussions with such a distinguished group of speakers. "

For this seminar, JTTRI・JITI and JNTO was pleased to have well-known individuals and experts in international exchange and tourism between the US and Japan who will speak on the current situation and issues in their field, the many aspects of their efforts, and the measures which need to be taken to deepen international exchange, including tourism, between the US and Japan.

In the modern world, people-to-people exchanges play a great role in international relations.  Such exchanges are often called the people’s diplomacy, and given equal weight as government diplomacy.  Similarly, the United Nations World Tourism Organization asserts that tourism also can play a key role as a catalyst for peace and development. In this sense, international exchange and tourism serve the same function.

For more information, please visit JTTRI here.