Birmingham-Ibaraki: USJ Young Professionals Forum

As part of KIF Global's Subnational X Initiative, 1st U.S.A.-Japan Subnational Global Young Professionals Forum was held virtually between the City of Birmingham, Alabama and City of Hitachi/Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan.

The Forum is a public-private partnership (PPP) in a forum series held virtually and organized globally by the Koyamada International Foundation (KIF) Japan, KIF America and Junior Chamber International (JCI) Japan. The subnational hosts are JCI Ibaraki, City of Birmingham, Birmingham Sister Cities, TechBirmingham, StreetMetrics.

The purpose of the forum is for American and Japanese young professional leaders to deepen bilateral economic and cultural people-to-people relationships to foster mutual understanding, as well as to create an international cooperation between communities in the United States and Japan at a subnational level.

The guests speakers were the following;

  • U.S. Congressman Ted Lieu, (Foreign Committee, author of a bipartizen bill "City and State Diplomacy Act"
  • Ambassador Tamaki Tsukada, Deputy Chief Mission, the Embassy of Japan, DC
  • Mr. Michael Turner, Culture and Sports Attaché, US Embassy Tokyo
  • Mr. Shin Koyamada, Chairman, KIF Global
  • Mr. Anthony Al-Jamie, Chairman of KIF America
  • Mr. Mike Holland, Board of Directors, KIF Japan
  • Ms. Marie Kitamura, JCI Japan
  • Mayor Randall Woodfin, City of Birmingham
  • Ms. Gwendolyn Amamoo, Chair of Birmingham Sister Cities
  • Ms. Corlette Stewart Burns, Executive Director of Birmingham Sister Cities
  • Mr. Yusuke Asaka, President of JCI Ibaraki

Ms. Nanette Baldwin, IOM, APR, Vice President of Regional Development for the Birmingham Business Alliance

American speakers from Birmingham, Alabama

  • Mr. Earl Hillard Jr. - Senior Director of Government Affairs, City of Birmingham
  • Mr. Deon Gordon - CEO & President of TechBirmingham
  • Mr. Drew Jackson - CEO of StreetMetrics
  • Ms. Shia Hendricks - Senior Manager of Commercial Strategy at Kellogg
  • Ms. Forte - Chief Joy Officer of Birmingham, Ed Foundation

Japanese speakers from JCI Ibaraki, Japan

  • Mr. Shunsuke Ueda - Style Shop Mito Store Manager of Homesic
  • Ms. Yuki Suwa - Officer, Maszen Co. Ltd
  • Mr. Keiji Tsutsumi - President of Tsutsumi Rubiyou (Hair Salon)
  • Ms. Ayaka Hattori - Managing Director, Kuramoto Odaya
  • Mr. Toshihiro Kikuchi - Founder, Healthcare Aid Co. Ltd

The U.S. and Japan also share more sister city relationships with each other than with any other country, with a total of 458 subnational partnerships at the prefecture, city, ward, town and village levels. The final report of the Forum will be presented by JCI Japan as a bilateral recommendation to the United States-Japan Conference on Cultural and Educational Interchange (CULCON) in Japan.