28th Annual Japan America Grassroots Summit 2018

in Washington State


Messages of Welcome

Governor Jay Inslee
Washington State

I am pleased to express my enthusiastic support for the 28th Annual Japan-America Grassroots Summit and extend a warm hand of welcome to all of the Japanese guests visiting our great state. [More]

Consul General Yoichiro Yamada
Consulate General of Japan in Seattle

It is with great pleasure that next year’s Grassroots Summit will take place in Washington State. I look forward to welcoming approximately 150 people from Japan participating in this wonderful people-to-people exchange program... [More]

Representative Sharon Tomiko Santos
2018 Grassroots Summit Co-Chair
Washington State Legislature

Tay Yoshitani
2018 Grassroots Summit Co-Chair
former CEO of the Port of Seattle

As the Co-Chairmen of the Grassroots Committee of the Japan America Society of Washington State (JASSW), we would like to welcome our guests from Japan to the upcoming 28th Japan America Grassroots Summit to be held in Washington State in September of 2018. [More]

What is the Japan-America Grassroots Summit?

The Japan America Grassroots Summit is an annual large-scale exchange of Japanese and American people, held alternately in Japan and America. The Summit aims to strengthen the peaceful relationship between our two countries by fostering friendship at the grassroots level.

The Summit honors the friendship between Captain William Whitfield and John Manjiro Nakahama. In 1841, the 14-year-old Nakahama Manjiro joined a fishing expedition off the coast of Usa, Japan. The boat was caught in a terrifying storm and Manjiro found himself marooned on an island for six-months. He was eventually rescued by Captain William Whitfield, who offered Manjiro his own home in America and the opportunity to receive an education there. The relationship they formed and Manjiro’s rare command of English became pivotal in building the Japan-US relationship after Japanese isolationism ended.

The Japan-America Society of the State of Washington is partnering with the John Manjiro-Whitfield Commemorative Center for International Exchange in Japan to host the 28th Annual Japan-America Grassroots Summit 2018 in Washington State. Nearly 150 Japanese visitors will come to Seattle, where they will participate in tours, activities, home stays, and ceremonies over the week-long program






FUJIFILM SonoSite, Inc.        Achilles USA

CIE-US        Davis Wright Tremaine, LLP

Port of Seattle        Uwajimaya, Inc.

*Additional Donors


Lynn Hashimoto     Microsoft Corporation

Tom & Yoko Sasaki


Gobo Enterprises          Bellevue Children's Academy

Tomio Moriguchi


Sojitz Corporation of America          Sara Sandford

Summit Schedule

Sep 18 (Tue) Arrive at Sea-Tac airport
Sep 19 (Wed) Optional Local Tour (with extra tour fee)
Opening Ceremony & Reception: Argosy Cruise to Tillicum Village on Blake Island.
Sep 20 (Thu) Move to local session area [Home-stay]
Sep 21 (Fri) Local Session [Home-stay]
Sep 22 (Sat) Local Session or spend whole day with host family [Home-stay]
Sep 23 (Sun) Depart local area for Hyatt Regency Lake Washington
Closing Ceremony at the Hyatt Regency Lake Washington

*Two members from each host family will receive complimentary tickets
Sep 24 (Mon) Leave hotel for Sea-Tac airport by bus
Fly back to Japan
Extend stay in US by joining one of the Post Summit Optional Programs or on your own plan.

Opening Ceremony

Welcome speeches, local entertainment, and local cuisine are offered at the Opening Ceremony and Welcome Reception. This convivial party is the first opportunity for participants to meet the people of their host region, including volunteers, artists, and dignitaries. During the day of the Ceremony, local sight-seeing tours are available for Japanese participants.

Local Sessions

Participants leave Seattle for their home stay town on 9/20 and stay with their host family for four days and three nights. During the home stay days, the local town leaders and host families work together to share the best that their community has to offer. This person-to-person exchange is the essence of the Japan America Grassroots Summit.

Closing Ceremony

After the Local Sessions, everyone gathers together for a Closing Ceremony and Farewell Program to reflect on and celebrate their experiences. These are attended not only by participants but also by host families and others who have connected during the Summit.

Grassroots Summit Planning Committee

Rep. Sharon Tomiko Santos
Co-Chair, Grassroots Committee
Representative, Washington State Legislature

Barbara Mizoguchi-Asahara
Board of Directors, JASSW

Hideaki Kawachi
Executive Director, Hyogo Business and Cultural Center

Rita Brogan
PR Consultant, PRR

Josephine Hoyne
Grassroots Summit Coordinator, Japan-America Society of the State of Washington

Tay Yoshitani
Co-Chair, Grassroots Committee
Past Chair 2016-2017, JASSW
Former CEO, Port of Seattle

Akinori Yokosawa
District Sales Manager, Delta Air Lines, Inc.

Karin Zaugg Black
International Business Protocol Liaison, Port of Seattle

Lynn Hashimoto
Senior Attorney, Microsoft

Carolyn Peterson
Programs & Administrative Assistant, Japan-America Society of the State of Washington

Takeshi Murazawa
Senior Consul, Consulate General of Japan in Seattle

Kazuhiro Hoshi
President & COO, Distant Lands Coffee / Ito En

Christopher Helm
Partner, Davis Wright Tremaine, LLP

Daniel Winters
Seattle Branch Manager, JTB USA, Inc.

Sam Shepherd
Board Chair, JASSW

Toshihiro Kawachi
Vice President, Mitsubishi Corporation (Americas)

Jane Corddry Langill
International Projects, Teatro ZinZanni

Dale Watanabe
Executive Director, Japan-America Society of the State of Washington

  • Grassroots Summit 2018
  • Grassroots Summit 2018
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