2022 US-Japan Women Leaders Dialogue

January–March 2022
Online

JCIE is holding the 2022 US-Japan Women Leaders Dialogue, a three-part virtual discussion bringing together more than 40 women leaders from across multiple sectors from the United States and Japan. The dialogue is co-chaired by Hon. Diana DeGette (D-CO) and Hon. Seiko Noda, who is now Minister in Charge of Women’s Empowerment, Minister of State for Gender Equality, Minister of State for Measures for Declining Birthrate. The dialogue is intended to  provide a platform for women leaders in both countries to share insights and ideas on how best to empower women as full and thriving participants in our economies, governments, and societies, and to create meaningful connections and networks that serve to strengthen and underpin the US-Japan relationship.

This program builds on the discussions from two previous US-Japan Women Leaders Dialogue discussions. The inaugural dialogue was held in person in September 2017 in New York, which led to the creation of a Diet caucus in Japan to support young mothers and fathers in the legislature, as well as the launch of a foreign policy study group for women Diet members. The second dialogue was held online in 2021 and focused on the theme of “Advancing Women’s Leadership in a Time of Crisis” to address the impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic on women, and it resulted in a set of recommendations that were published in a report

 The topics covered in our 2022 Dialogue are:

Session 1: Gender and the Role of Politics (January 12, 2022)
Session 2: Frameworks for Success—Systems to Empower Women in Politics and Promote Leadership (February 15, 2022)
Session 3: Promoting Women in the Digital Society (March 22, 2022)

Implementation of many of the proposed reforms discussed at the 2021 dialogue has yet to be achieved, though they have now become part of the mainstream discourse in both countries. This offers room for further discussions among women leaders in Japan and the United States to exchange concrete steps that governments, businesses and other actors can take to bring about the changes that are needed. The 2022 dialogue therefore focuses on discussing key policies and best practices in promoting women in politics to reflect more women’s voices in policymaking, and facilitate discussions between policymakers and leaders of other sectors including businesses and non-profits to promote women in the economy including those in STEM-related fields.

The dialogue was sponsored by the MRA Foundation, with additional support from ITOCHU Corporation. 

The first session of the 2022 US-Japan Women Leaders Dialogue began with presentations on each nation’s gender policies. Hon. Seiko Noda discussed her new role in the Kishida cabinet and her plans to improve women’s employment conditions, reform Japan’s workstyle, and address childcare and eldercare in order to permit women to live up to their full capabilities. On the US side, Ms. Jennifer Klein, co-chair of the White House Gender Policy Council, then outlined the Biden administration’s newly released National Strategy on Gender Equity and Equality, the nation’s first-ever gender strategy, and Rep. Diana DeGette spoke about some of the policies that Congress has passed to improve the lives of women and families, particularly in light of the pandemic. All participants were then invited to voice their thoughts in a roundtable discussion on the impact of policies on key issues affecting women. Some of the topics raised included the importance of the care economy and making caregiving more accessible to all women, ways in which businesses are helping women meet the challenges of the pandemic, the impact that reliance on part-time/freelance jobs for women has on individual financial security and the economy, the undervaluation of women’s work in the nonprofit sector in Japan, and more.

Welcome & Introduction

Ms. Hideko Katsumata, Executive Director & COO, JCIE/Japan
Ms. Peggy Blumenthal, Chair, JCIE/USA; Senior Counselor to the President, Institute of International Education

Initial Remarks from Dialogue Co-Chair

Hon. Diana DeGette, Member, US House of Representatives (D-CO)

Remarks from Resource Persons

Hon. Seiko Noda, Minister in Charge of Women’s Empowerment, Minister of State for Gender Equality, Minister of State for Measures for Declining Birthrate (LDP)
Ms. Jennifer Klein, Co-chair, White House Gender Policy Council

Moderated Discussion

JCIE and the Center for American Women and Politics of Rutgers University have prepared an illustrative survey of programs and organizations in the United States and Japan that are working to encourage greater engagement in the political process among women. This will inform the second session, which will look at systemic challenges in each country to women’s leadership in politics and the private sector. This discussion will introduce existing efforts of civil society organizations and other mechanisms in place to help women overcome those challenges—from initiatives that encourage leadership among women in high school and college, to programs that offer advice on hiring campaign managers or train women to be effective speakers, and to organizations that raise campaign contributions. Our 2021 dialogue touched on a number of these structural issues, and this session will delve deeper into them and compare notes on what specific programs and approaches work in each society. We will also seek parallels between effective initiatives to promote women in politics and efforts to promote women’s leadership in business and other sectors.

Welcome by JCIE Representatives

Ms. Hideko Katsumata, Executive Director & COO, JCIE/Japan
Ms. Peggy Blumenthal, Chair, JCIE/USA; Senior Counselor to the President, Institute of International Education

Introductory Remarks from Co-chair

Hon. Diana DeGette, Member, US House of Representatives (D-CO)

Presentations

Ms. Jean Sinzdak, Associate Director, Center for American Women and Politics, Eagleton Institute of Politics, Rutgers-New Brunswick
Prof. Mari Miura, Professor of Political Science, Faculty of Law, and Deputy Director, Promotion of Gender Equality Office, Sophia University

Roundtable Discussion Moderated by JCIE Representatives

Closing Remarks from Co-chairs

Hon. Diana DeGette
Hon. Seiko Noda, Minister in Charge of Women’s Empowerment, Minister of State for Gender Equality, Minister of State for Measures for Declining Birthrate, Liberal Democratic Party (LDP)

Both the United States and Japan have been working in recent decades to encourage more young women to enter STEM fields, but with modest progress. Women remain underrepresented in areas such as computer science, mathematics, and engineering—areas that are particularly relevant to the digital economy and that often offer higher wages and greater career flexibility. And while women are better represented in some areas of the health/medical fields (which has put them squarely on the frontlines during the pandemic), they still face inequities in terms of the types of medicine they enter and their career paths. This session will address what has succeeded and what needs to improve in various sectors of society (education and research, media, business, and government), as well as how the United States and Japan can cooperate to promote women’s fuller engagement in STEM and the digital society.

Welcome by JCIE Representatives

Ms. Hideko Katsumata, Executive Director & COO, JCIE/Japan
Ms. Peggy Blumenthal, Chair, JCIE/USA; Senior Counselor to the President, Institute of International Education 

Introductory Remarks from Co-chair

Hon. Diana DeGette, Member, US House of Representatives (D-CO)

Presentations

Dr. Takako Hashimoto, Vice President, Chiba University of Commerce 
Dr. Rita Colwell, Distinguished University Professor, Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health; Distinguished University Professor, University of Maryland, College Park; former Director, US National Science Foundation; Member, Board of Governors, Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology

Roundtable Discussion Moderated by JCIE Representatives

Closing Remarks from Co-chairs

Hon. Diana DeGette
Hon. Seiko Noda, Minister in Charge of Women’s Empowerment, Minister of State for Gender Equality, Minister of State for Measures for Declining Birthrate, Liberal Democratic Party (LDP)

United States

Co-chair | Diana DeGette

Member, House of Representatives (D-CO)

Co-host | Peggy Blumenthal

Chair, JCIE/USA; Senior Counselor to the President, Institute of International Education (IIE)

Manira Alva

Vice President, Issue Advocacy, Vital Voices Global Partnership

Suzanne Basalla

President and CEO, US-Japan Council

Susan Berresford

Former President, Ford Foundation

Suzanne Bonamici

Member, House of Representatives (D-OR)

Anne Boneparte

President, Three Degrees

Claire Chino

President & CEO, ITOCHU International Inc.

Rita Colwell

Distinguished University Professor, Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health; Distinguished University Professor, University of Maryland, College Park; former Director, US National Science Foundation; Member, Board of Governors, Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology

Paige Cottingham-Streater

Executive Director, Japan-US Friendship Commission

Wendy Cutler

Vice President, Asia Society Policy Institute

Barbara Dyer

Senior Lecturer and Executive Director, Good Companies, Good Jobs Initiative, MIT Sloan School of Management

Atsuko Fish

Founder, Japan Women’s Leadership Initiative
Trustee, Fish Family Foundation

Melissa Horwitz

Deputy Director, Office of Japanese Affairs, US Department of State

Isabelle Johnson

CEO, SK Impact Fund

Kazuyo Kato

Executive Director, JCIE/USA

Sarah Kemp

Vice President of International Government Affairs, Intel

Rie Kijima

Inaugural director of the Initiative for Education Policy and Innovation at the Centre for the Study of Global Japan, University of Toronto; Co-Founder of STEAM labo called SKY Labo

Marie Kissel

Senior Advisor for Government Affairs, Abbott

Jennifer Klein

Co-Chair of the White House Gender Policy Council, The White House

Catherine Kobayashi

NHK World News Anchor & Reporter

Helena Kolenda

Program Director for Asia, Henry Luce Foundation

Julie Makinen

Executive Editor, The Desert Sun; State Editor—California for the USA Today Network; 2016 JCIE US-Japan Journalism Fellow

Yukiko Morishita

General Manager, Chubu Electric Power Co., Inc., Washington Office

Elizabeth “Libbie” Prescott

Director, Fellowships Office, Policy and Global Affairs Division, National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM)

Susan Roos

Chief Administrative Officer, Geodesic Capital

Jean Sinzdak

Associate Director at Center for American Women and Politics, Rutgers University

Mariko Silver

President, Henry Luce Foundation

Sheila Smith

Senior Fellow for Japan Studies, Council on Foreign Relations

Hiroko Tada

Senior Vice President & General Manager, ITOCHU International, Washington DC

Kathy Takayama

Senior Consultant for Professional Development and Inclusive Excellence (Acting Executive Director), Center for Professional Development & Inclusive Excellence (C-Hub), Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST)

Rachel Vogelstein

Senior Advisor, White House Gender Policy Council, The White House

Teresa Younger

President and CEO of the Ms. Foundation for Women

 

 

Japan

Co-chair | Seiko Noda

Minister of State for Gender Equality; Minister in Charge of Women’s Empowerment; Minister for Measures for Declining Birthrate; Minister in Charge of Policies Related to Children; Minister of State for Regional Revitalization; Minister in Charge of Measures for Loneliness and Isolation; Member, House of Representatives of Japan (LDP)

Co-host | Hideko Katsumata

Executive Director and COO, JCIE/Japan

Noriko Akiyama

Senior Political Writer, Asahi Shimbun

Rie Asayama

Vice President, SMBC Operation Service Co., Ltd.; J-Win Executive Network Member

Tae Aso

Partner, KPMG Consulting Co., Ltd.; J-Win Executive Network

Shannon Dorsey

Culture and Sports Attaché, Public Affairs Section, U.S. Embassy Tokyo

Mariko Eguchi

Vice President, Aflac Life Insurance Japan Ltd.

Sachiko Habu

Editor-in-chief, Nikkei xwoman

Takako Hashimoto

Vice President, Professor, Chiba University of Commerce; Associate Member, Science Council of Japan; former Chair of IEEE Women in Engineering

Tomoko Hayashi

Director-General, Gender Equality Bureau, Cabinet Office of Japan 

Maiko Ichihara

Associate Professor, Graduate School of Law and the School of International

and Public Policy, Hitotsubashi University

Naoko Ishida

Managing Officer & General Manager, Accounting Department, Prince Hotels, Inc.

Takae Ito

Member, House of Councillors (Komeito)

Takae Ito

Member, House of Councillors (Democratic Party for the People, DPFP)

Yuko Kakazu

Senior Specialist, National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ); Trustee and

Education Ambassador, OIST (Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology) Foundation

Masako Kanaya

Partner, Ernst & Young Tax Co.; J-Win Executive Network Member

Masako Kanno

Partner, KPMG AZSA LLC; J-Win Executive Network Member

Izumi Kobayashi

Chairman of the Board of Directors, Mizuho Financial Group Inc.; Member of the Board of Director, ANA Holdings, Inc., Mitsui & Co., Ltd., and OMRON Corporation

Mari Kogiso

CEO, SDG Impact Japan

Yukako Maekawa

Senior Vice President, General Manager, Marketing Department of Management Service Division, NTT Learning Systems Corporation

Mari Miura

Professor of Political Science, Faculty of Law, and Deputy Director, Promotion of Gender Equality Office, Sophia University

Kana Morimura

Partner, Sharman & Sterling LLP

Rei Murakami

President, The Murakami Foundation

Yumiko Murakami

Head, OECD Tokyo Centre

Akiko Okamoto

Member of the House of Representatives (CDP)

Tazuko Shibusawa

Member, Executive Board of the Eiichi Shibusawa Memorial Foundation and the MRA Foundation

Hiroko Shinjo

Executive Director, Talent Development Department, Talent Innovation HQs, Eisai Co., Ltd.

Yuko Shoriki

Senior Vice President, NEC Platforms, Ltd.

Maiko Tajima

Member of the House of Representatives (CDP)

Hiromi Takase

Member, House of Councillors (Komeito)

Yoko Takeda

Research Fellow, Chief Economist/Deputy General Manager, Think Tank Unit & General Manager, Center for Policy and the Economy, Mitsubishi Research Institute., Inc.

Keiko Tashiro

Vice President, Daiwa Securities Group Inc.

Yukako Uchinaga

Board Chair, J-Win (Japan Women’s Innovative Network)

Miwa Yamaguchi

Executive Officer, e-Procurement Solutions Unit, Askul Corp; J-Win Executive Network Member

Keiko Yokoyama

President, NTT Media Supply Co., Ltd.

Saori Yoshikawa

Member of the House of Councillors (CDP)

 

 

Observers

Jack Arriaga

Senior Legislative Assistant to Rep. Suzanne Bonamici

Tomoko Kasamatsu

J-Win

Mariko Kuwayama

Senior Program Officer, Toshiba International Foundation 

Yoichi Mineo

Senior Vice President & General Manager, Marubeni America Corp.

Yoshie Ogawa

Advisor, Japan International Transport and Tourism Institute, USA

Arden Parker

Legislative Assistant to Rep. Diana DeGette

Aki Saito

Program Officer, Toshiba International Foundation 

Daisuke Sakuraba

Consul, Consulate General of Japan in New York

Tomoko Sasaki

Trustee, Toshiba International Foundation

Risa Shibuya

Consul, Consulate General of Japan in New York

Akie Shimatani

Program Specialist, Public Affairs Section, U.S. Embassy Tokyo

Yusuke Yashita

Policy Secretary to Hon. Maiko Tajima, Member of the House of Councillors (CDP)

Lisa Wong

Associate Program Officer, Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership, New York 

Kim Gould Ashizawa

Senior Advisor, JCIE/USA

Hayley Hutchison

Program Officer, JCIE/USA

Stephen McHugh

Assistant Program Officer, JCIE/USA

Hifumi Tajima

Chief Program Officer, JCIE/Japan