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Affiliated with the National Association of Asian American Professionals (NAAAP), NAAAP-Phoenix is a non-profit organization servicing its members, their families, friends and the greater metropolitan Phoenix communities.



The Professional Development Committee develops programs which address the needs and concerns of Asian Pacific Americans as they enter the workforce, advance in their careers and become leaders in their profession and in the Asian American community.


The Cultural Awareness Committee supports activities that enhance a more wide spread perception of Asian Americans which in turn raises cultural awareness to the public.  NAAAP-Phoenix encourages its members to network and build relationships with other Asian groups within our community.


The Community Service Committee provides a variety of volunteer opportunities and other events to help engage NAAAP-Phoenix members in community outreach efforts. Other events include Special Olympics, Mesa Food Bank, Holiday Toy Drive and Dinner.


The Mentorship Committee seeks innovative ways to attract mentors, mentees and corporation to the Mentorship Program, hosts monthly meetings, oversees the mentorship application and interview process, manages the dissemination and collection or quarterly program reviews from participants . . .



White House.gov Press Office Feed
  • FACT SHEET: U.S.-Japan Global and Regional Cooperation

    During their April 24 meeting in Tokyo, Japan, President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe affirmed U.S.-Japan joint engagement and cooperation with Southeast Asian countries; trilateral diplomatic, economic, and security coordination with like-minded partners; and global development cooperation as priorities in the bilateral relationship.  Through these initiatives, we are working to foster economic prosperity, maintain stability, counter proliferation, stand up for gender equality, and promote universal values in the Asia-Pacific region and around the globe.  

    Cooperating Together with Southeast Asia

    The United States and Japan share a long history of positive engagement in Southeast Asia.  As the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) increasingly embraces unity toward the establishment of the ASEAN Community by 2015, we intend to deepen joint engagement and cooperation with the countries in the region.  The United States and Japan are enhancing collaboration in the East Asia Summit (EAS), the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) and the ASEAN Defense Ministers’ Meeting (ADMM)-Plus in order to strengthen the capacity of these regional fora to promote regional stability and prosperity. 

    The United States and Japan welcome efforts to promote democratic values in this region.  In this context, the United States and Japan acknowledge the tremendous progress Myanmar has made over the past several years, but note continuing challenges.  Both countries reaffirmed their commitment to supporting Myanmar political and economic reform and national reconciliation efforts. 

    In the economic sphere, the United States and Japan are working to strengthen ASEAN connectivity, including in the Mekong region through closer collaboration between Japan’s “Japan-Mekong Summit Meetings” and the United States’ “Lower Mekong Initiative.”  The two countries are also working to further promote cooperation on women’s empowerment in the ASEAN region.  In this context, the United States and Japan are working together for the WECREATE Initiative to establish women’s entrepreneurial centers in Cambodia and Laos. 

    Our two countries place a high priority on working together to reduce disaster risk, provide humanitarian response, and assist in the creation of disaster-resilient societies in Southeast Asia and around the globe, as demonstrated most recently by our coordinated response to the destruction caused by Typhoon Haiyan.  The U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency and Japan’s Cabinet Office intend to enhance cooperation on our respective emergency and disaster management capabilities through the exchange of lessons learned from disasters.  The United States and Japan are also cooperating in providing new support for the ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response (AADMER) Work Program Phase 2.  Additionally, our two countries are strengthening coordination with ASEAN nations in disaster risk reduction and relief through the ASEAN Coordinating Center for Humanitarian Assistance on Disaster Management (AHA Center), which serves as the hub of ASEAN’s disaster risk reduction efforts.  In this context, we welcome the success of Information and Communication Technology system support from Japan as well as assistance from the United States in developing risk assessment guidelines and improving dissemination of information on natural disasters throughout the region. 

    The United States and Japan have committed to coordinating our capacity building assistance on maritime safety and security for Southeast Asian countries, including on the provision of patrol vessels and development of port facilities.  We are working together to strengthen shared rules and principles of international law.  Both countries welcome ASEAN’s efforts to coordinate and develop common practices, consistent with international law, that allow ASEAN as a whole to implement effective and timely responses to maritime safety and security incidents.  The United States and Japan are conducting further discussion with ASEAN on additional assistance, including offering education and training to maritime safety officials of ASEAN members.  The United States welcomes that Japan supports the Expanded ASEAN Seafarers Training (EAST) initiative proposed by the United States under the framework of the Expanded ASEAN Maritime Forum (EAMF) in the field of Maritime Environmental Awareness. The two countries are also emphasizing the need to strengthen cooperation in building the capacity of aviation safety in Southeast Asian countries. 

    The United States and Japan share a common commitment to engaging other states, in particular those in the ASEAN region, in building their capacity for an open, interoperable, secure and reliable cyberspace.  In support of that commitment, the United States and Japan are collaborating on international and regional efforts to address cybersecurity incident response, to deter high tech crime, and to develop cyber confidence-building measures to reduce risk. 

    The United States and Japan share the view that landmines and unexploded ordnance in Southeast Asia are not only a humanitarian issue, but also impede the maintenance of peace and stability and hinder development efforts.  Both countries reaffirmed their intention to strengthen cooperation on addressing this issue and support regional cooperation through multilateral fora, such as ASEAN. 

    Expanding Trilateral Coordination

    The United States and Japan work closely with third-country partners to advance our shared commitment to security, stability, and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region and around the world.  For example, trilateral cooperation among the United States, Japan, and the Republic of Korea seeks the complete and verifiable denuclearization of North Korea, a goal our three leaders recently reaffirmed at their summit in The Hague.  We are prepared to take further actions in response to North Korean provocations and its refusal to fulfill its international commitments regarding its nuclear and missile programs.  In order to respond to North Korean nuclear and missile threats, the United States and Japan recognize the importance of trilateral information sharing among the United States, Japan, and the Republic of Korea in a way that contributes to a comprehensive and cooperative response against such threats.  The April 7 meeting of the U.S., Japanese, and the Republic of Korea Six Party Talks representatives and April 17-18 Defense Trilateral Talks demonstrated our commitment to close coordination on our diplomatic and security policies towards North Korea.  We have also joined together to urge North Korea to address the systemic and gross human rights violations being perpetrated on its people, and to address the conclusions and recommendations in the UN Commission of Inquiry report including regarding the matter of abductees. 

    Under the auspices of the Trilateral Strategic Dialogue (TSD), the United States, Japan and Australia enjoy regular and high-level coordination on key issues such as nonproliferation, counterterrorism, regional stability, and sustained economic prosperity.  In the TSD, working-level counterparts from our three countries interact in subcommittees focused on Pacific Islands issues, Southeast Asia, counterterrorism, and nonproliferation.  Additionally, defense and foreign affairs officials cooperate under the auspices of the Security and Defense Cooperation Forum (SDCF), which since 2007 has focused on areas such as humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, regional capacity building, maritime security, and the state of regional security affairs. 

    The United States and Japan also have a robust trilateral dialogue with India on a wide range of regional and global issues, including, in particular, cooperation in the area of maritime security in the Indian Ocean and Western Pacific, the development of an Indo-Pacific economic connectivity corridor among the countries in the region to enhance regional connectivity, and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.  The sixth iteration of our trilateral meeting is scheduled to take place in New Delhi early this summer. 

    Advancing Development around the World

    The United States and Japan are closely united in the cause of alleviating human suffering by ending extreme poverty, increasing economic opportunities, and enabling resilient, democratic societies. 

    On February 20, we convened the inaugural meeting of the senior-level U.S.-Japan Development Dialogue in Washington, D.C.  During the Dialogue, the United States and Japan discussed deepening our bilateral development cooperation on a wide range of development challenges, including women’s economic empowerment and security, disaster risk reduction, and regional cooperation in Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands.  We are also committed to enhancing our dialogue on creating an ambitious, compelling post-2015 development agenda. 

    The United States and Japan are actively engaged in promoting women’s security and empowerment worldwide.  In India, the United States and Japan are jointly supporting the UN Women Safe Cities Program in Delhi.  The Delhi initiative is a part of the UN Women’s “Safe Cities Free of Violence against Women” Global Program, which aims at preventing sexual violence in urban public spaces through strategic alliances with communities, service providers and safety officials while empowering women and girls. 

    As part of Japan’s strong commitment to African development evidenced through the TICAD (Tokyo International Conference on African Development) process, including the First TICAD V Ministerial Meeting to be held in Yaoundé, Cameroon, May 2014, and in recognition of the proven value of giving women the tools to start their own businesses, both countries are working together to empower African women entrepreneurs.  The United States also took part in a Japanese-led program for African entrepreneurs and government officials in Yokohama, Japan, in February, and Japan is supporting the U.S. International Visitor Leadership Program for African female entrepreneurs in summer 2014.  The United States and Japan are also collaborating to provide professional development and capacity building services to African women entrepreneurs through the U.S. African Women’s Entrepreneurship Program and the Japan-Africa Business Women Exchange Program.  Moreover, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is partnering with the Japan International Cooperation Agency and Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs to coordinate global food security assistance efforts in Tanzania, Ghana, Rwanda, Senegal, and Mozambique.  Japan welcomes the United States’ announcement of the first-ever U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit, to be held in Washington in August 2014.  

    Looking to the Future

    The United States and Japan continue to seek ways to use our global partnership to promote peace, resiliency, and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region and around the world.  We look forward to continuing our close coordination efforts into the future.



  • FACT SHEET: U.S.-Japan Bilateral Cooperation

     The United States and Japan have a modern and diverse alliance focused on the future.  In April 2014, President Obama and Prime Minister Abe met in Tokyo to chart a future course that will foster prosperity, security, and welfare for citizens of both nations.  Their meeting underscores the depth and scope of our bilateral cooperation, which includes the following:

     Advancing Mutual Prosperity

    The United States and Japan share a robust and productive economic relationship.  Our close economic ties are reflected in the strong partnerships between U.S. and Japanese companies, and in ongoing economic dialogues spanning a variety of areas including environment and climate change, development, civil nuclear cooperation, clean energy, innovation policy, cybersecurity, and the Internet economy.

    Japan and the United States are the world’s largest free-market economies with a two-way goods and services trade flow of $290 billion in 2012, making Japan the United States’ fourth-largest trading partner.  Moreover, Japan is the second-largest source of foreign direct investment into the United States, the stock of two-way investment between our countries topped $442 billion in 2012, and Japanese companies employed approximately 650,000 U.S. workers.  These close trade and investment ties contribute to increased prosperity in both our countries.  Our countries are closely aligned in promoting 21st century economic rules in the region and globally, including through the G-7 and G-20, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum and the World Trade Organization.  We are firmly committed to reaching a high-standards agreement on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), recognizing that this will support jobs and growth in both countries. 

    Our countries share a common focus on empowering women to take a greater role in our societies.  Recognizing that expanding economic opportunities for women and ensuring their full participation in the workforce are challenges shared by both countries, the United States is pleased to announce its intent to invite five Japanese participants to attend the White House Summit on Working Families, which President Obama plans to host on June 23, 2014.  The Summit aims to bring together businesses, economists, labor leaders, policymakers, advocates, and ordinary citizens to discuss how we can create a 21st century workplace that supports working families and improves women’s labor force participation.   

    The United States welcomed Japan’s joining the Equal Futures Partnership in September 2013, a public commitment made by countries around the world to break down barriers to women’s political and economic participation.  The United States is working with Japan in the G-20 to expand female labor force participation as a way of accelerating global growth.  We applaud Japan’s leadership in strengthening women’s empowerment efforts in APEC and will work closely with Japan to advance that agenda. 

    Enhancing our Security

    The U.S.-Japan Alliance remains the cornerstone of both countries’ security policy in the Asia-Pacific region, ensuring mutual security as well as the peace, stability, and economic prosperity of the region in the 21st century.  We are committed to building an even more robust and effective Alliance based on expanding security and defense cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region and beyond to reflect contemporary challenges and on implementing the realignment of U.S. forces in Japan, including the construction of a new Marine Corps Air Facility at Camp Schwab to replace MCAS Futenma and the relocation of U.S. Marines to Guam.  The two countries are developing an environmental framework related to U.S. bases in Japan, including an agreement supplementing the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA). 

    The United States and Japan have made steady progress in revising the Guidelines for U.S.-Japan Defense Cooperation to ensure the Alliance continues its vital role in deterring conflict and advancing peace and security.  To support the roles, missions, and capabilities the new guidelines will define, the Alliance is upgrading its forces using the latest cutting edge technology.  We will be deploying U.S. Air Force Global Hawk unmanned aircraft rotationally, U.S. Navy P-8 maritime patrol aircraft, and U.S. Marine Corps F-35B aircraft.  Remaining vigilant against emerging threats, we are also coordinating in bilateral working groups to address challenges in new domains such as space and cyberspace. 

    The United States and Japan agree on the importance of the peaceful denuclearization of North Korea.  In order to achieve this goal, we seek authentic and credible negotiations while ensuring that North Korea's provocative behavior and reluctance to live up to its international obligations incurs consequences.  Given North Korea's missile threat, we are strengthening bilateral cooperation on ballistic missile defense, including construction of a new X-Band radar facility in Japan.  The United States also recently announced the deployment of two additional Aegis ballistic missile defense vessels to Japan by 2017, further enhancing our defenses.  Together, these steps and others demonstrate our shared, strong commitment to protecting both Japan and the United States from North Korean aggression. 

    We also cooperate in the area of domestic law enforcement to protect our citizens’ interests and safety.  Building on the February 7 signing of the bilateral Agreement on Preventing and Combating Serious Crime, we are deepening law enforcement cooperation to protect the citizens of both nations.  The United States welcomes Japan’s ongoing efforts to criminalize child pornography, as well as Japan’s consideration of criminalizing conspiracy to help combat transnational organized crime as part of the process allowing Japan to conclude the UN Convention on Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC) and the Palermo Protocol on Human Trafficking.  Moreover, on April 1, 2014, the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction entered into effect in Japan.  The Convention provides a legal framework for securing the prompt return of wrongfully removed or retained children to their country of habitual residence, where a competent court can make determinations of child custody and access based on the child’s best interests.  We welcome Japan’s decision to join the Hague Convention and look forward to working closely to resolve existing and future international parental child abduction cases. 

    Ensuring Stability and Prosperity around the World

    The relationship between the United States and Japan is global in scope.  Rooted in shared values, our two countries address political, humanitarian and security related issues worldwide, working together to create a more safe, stable, and equitable world. 

    The United States and Japan are supporting the efforts of the Ukrainian people to pursue democracy and economic development.  In The Hague, the leaders of the United States and Japan joined with the other G-7 Leaders to reaffirm our support for Ukraine’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, and independence and committed to impose a variety of sanctions against Russia if Russia continues to escalate the situation in Ukraine. 

    Japan and the United States promote stability, security, and prosperity in the Middle East.  Joining the United States, which is the largest contributor of humanitarian assistance to the region, in support of a united, democratic Syria, Japan has provided nearly $420 million in aid to assist conflict-affected and displaced populations in Syria, as well as Syrian refugees and countries hosting them, and assists in the destruction and elimination of Syria’s chemical weapon stockpile.  The United States and Japan have also been the leading donors of civilian assistance to Afghanistan, and have already pledged to continue their support through 2016. 

    Moreover, the United States and Japan have consistently supported Middle East peace efforts, notably through assistance for Palestinian economic growth and institution building.  The United States is the largest donor to the Palestinian Authority, having committed approximately $5 billion in bilateral assistance since the mid-1990s.  Japan has committed $1.44 billion in assistance to the Palestinian Authority during the same timeframe and has made efforts to mobilize the expertise and resources of East Asian countries in assisting the Palestinians. 

    Both countries are strong supporters of the work of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in expanding the benefits of the peaceful use of nuclear energy in health, agriculture, medicine, industry, and power to countries that comply with their nonproliferation obligations, and are the two largest supporters of the IAEA’s Peaceful Uses Initiative. 

    Working with the United States to convince Iran to address the international community’s concerns about its nuclear program, Japan has significantly reduced its imports of Iranian oil and supports implementation of the Joint Plan of Action. 

    Cooperating on Advanced Technologies

    U.S.-Japan partnership in the areas of science and technology confronts a broad array of complex issues facing our two countries and the global community.  Under the auspices of the U.S.-Japan Science and Technology Agreement, our two countries have collaborated for over 25 years on scientific research in areas such as new energy technologies, emergency management, supercomputing, and critical materials.  In recognition of these achievements, the President and Prime Minister announced an extension of our bilateral Science and Technology Agreement for an additional 10 years. 

    The United States and Japan share a commitment to an open, interoperable, secure, and reliable cyberspace.  To reinforce this commitment, the United States and Japan have strengthened their bilateral and international collaboration in promoting the multi-stakeholder system of Internet governance, developing the Internet economy, addressing national security issues in cyberspace, combating cybercrime, and enhancing cybersecurity and critical infrastructure cybersecurity in particular.  At the fifth U.S.-Japan Internet Economy Dialogue, the United States and Japan decided to work together in international discussions of internet policy issues to promote the free flow of information and further development of the global Internet economy, especially in developing countries.  At the second U.S.-Japan Cyber Dialogue, the United States and Japan reaffirmed their shared recognition and approach to cyber policy.  In particular, the two sides decided on more in-depth whole-of-government bilateral engagement on critical infrastructure cybersecurity and the establishment of international norms of state behavior and practical regional cyber confidence-building measures. 

    The United States and Japan maintain robust and mutually beneficial cooperation in the field of peaceful exploration and use of outer space.  The Annual U.S.-Japan Comprehensive Dialogue on Space, scheduled for May 2014 in Washington, D.C., will advance our cooperation on the use of space for environmental research, scientific discovery, national and international security, and economic growth.  Japan plays a major role in the success of the International Space Station.  A robust multi-agency Japanese delegation attended the inaugural International Space Exploration Forum (ISEF) in Washington in January 2014.  The United States looks forward to supporting Japan as the host of the next ISEF.  Nearly 50 active documents underpin cooperation between NASA and Japan, including the launch of a NASA-built Global Precipitation Measurement satellite on a Japanese H-2A rocket in February 2014.  The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) is one of the few international space agencies with which NASA cooperates in all mission areas – human space flight, Earth science, space science, space technology, and aeronautics research. 

    Over the past year, Japan and the United States have signed an unprecedented set of documents to facilitate bilateral collaboration in robotics for disaster response.  A Japanese team came in first place in the December 2013 Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Robotics Challenge Trials for developing disaster response robotics technology, and Japan will field several more teams in 2015.  Our collaboration will yield robotic systems with greater ability to navigate difficult terrain and greater capacity to work with humans in addressing dangerous environments resulting from natural and manmade disasters. 

    We also cooperate in the area of advanced health research and development.  The National Cancer Center of Japan and the U.S. National Cancer Institute recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding to promote and conduct high-quality research to strengthen cancer prevention and control.  In addition, the U.S.-Japan Vaccine Policy Exchange (VPE), held annually since 2010, is serving to develop better understanding of short- and long- term goals for U.S. and Japanese vaccine policy.  

    Securing a Clean Energy Future

    The United States and Japan work together to share our skills and knowledge to develop clean, reliable, and efficient energy resources for current and future generations.  The U.S.-Japan Clean Energy Policy Dialogue, most recently held in December 2013, fosters coordination on policies and on research and development activities.  Through the Dialogue, U.S. and Japanese researchers are pursuing exchanges on fuel cell, solar, and geothermal technology, and contribute to our governments’ plan to collaborate on a joint project on microgrid systems.  The U.S.-Japan Renewable Energy Policy Business Roundtable, held in conjunction with the Dialogue, provides a venue for companies of both countries to discuss policy developments in the clean energy sector, identify new business opportunities, and share information on issues such as creative public-private financing mechanisms for renewable energy projects. 

    The Bilateral Commission on Civil Nuclear Cooperation consolidates and expands bilateral cooperation on civil nuclear energy, addressing issues such as nuclear safety and regulation, clean-up from the Fukushima nuclear accident, nuclear energy research and development, non-proliferation, safeguards and security, and emergency response.  The Bilateral Commission most recently met in November 2013, setting the stage for successful U.S.-Japan cooperation at the March 2014 Nuclear Security Summit.  The next meeting of the Bilateral Commission will be held in June 2014. Recent activities under the Bilateral Commission’s umbrella include the Japan-U.S. Decommissioning and Remediation Fukushima Recovery Forum, which met February 18-19 in Tokyo and brought together representatives from U.S. and Japanese firms to discuss potential partnerships to assist with Fukushima recovery.  That same week, under the auspices of the Bilateral Commission’s Civil Nuclear Energy Research and Development Working Group, the Department of Energy and Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry held a U.S.-Japan roundtable on probabilistic risk assessment methodologies and their applications for nuclear safety.  The United States welcomes Japan’s October 2013 announcement of its plans to ratify the Convention on Supplementary Compensation for Nuclear Damage in the near future, demonstrating its leadership in the establishment of a global nuclear liability regime. 

    Japan and the United States have extensive cooperation on nuclear security.  Bilaterally, Japanese and U.S. agencies work together under the Nuclear Security Working Group toward nine nuclear security goals.  We also cooperate closely in multilateral fora, including the Nuclear Security Summits, the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism, and the Global Partnership against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction.  We welcome Japan’s March 2014 announcement of its plans to remove hundreds of kilograms of highly enriched uranium and plutonium to the United States for disposition.  We are also working together, with three other countries, on nuclear transportation security and highlighted this work at the third Nuclear Security Summit this March. 

    Finally, Japan and the United States work together on climate change issues, including through a bilateral dialogue.  We will continue our close cooperation, including in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, with the goal of securing the participation of all major economies and other major emitters in an effective, ambitious, and durable global climate change agreement to be adopted in 2015.   


  • U.S.-Japan Joint Statement: The United States and Japan: Shaping the Future of the Asia-Pacific and Beyond

    The relationship between the United States of America and Japan is founded on mutual trust, a common vision for a rules-based international order, a shared commitment to upholding democratic values and promoting open markets, and deep cultural and people-to-people ties. The U.S.-Japan Alliance is the cornerstone for regional peace and security as well as a platform for global cooperation.  The U.S. rebalance to the Asia-Pacific and Japan’s policy of “Proactive Contribution to Peace” based on the principle of international cooperation both contribute to the Alliance playing a leading role in ensuring a peaceful and prosperous Asia-Pacific.  

    Close U.S.-Japan cooperation is essential in managing and responding to long-standing and emerging threats and challenges in Asia and around the world.  Recent events underscore the importance of coordinated action to uphold regional and global rules and norms.  At the March 25 Trilateral Summit in The Hague, the leaders of the United States, Japan, and the Republic of Korea urged North Korea to take concrete actions to meet its international obligations on nuclear and missile issues and to address, without delay, humanitarian concerns, including the abductions issue.  In concert with our G-7 partners, the United States and Japan have condemned Russia over its illegal attempt to annex Crimea and are consulting closely on further measures against Russia over its deplorable conduct, while strongly urging Russia to deescalate tensions in Ukraine.  Together, we are taking concrete steps to support Ukraine’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, and economic stability.  The United States and Japan are working collaboratively to resolve the Iranian nuclear issue, support Middle East peace efforts, contribute to Afghan reconstruction, and improve the situation in Syria, including through the disposal of its chemical stockpiles.  The United States and Japan recognize that China can play an important role in addressing all of these challenges, and both countries reaffirm their interest in building a productive and constructive relationship with China. 

    The United States and Japan, as maritime nations with global trade networks that depend on open seas, underscore the importance of maintaining a maritime order based upon respect for international law, including the freedom of navigation and overflight.  The United States and Japan share strong concern over recent actions that have raised tensions in the East China Sea and South China Sea, such as the uncoordinated declaration of an Air Defense Identification Zone in the East China Sea.  Our two countries oppose any attempt to assert territorial or maritime claims through the use of intimidation, coercion or force.  The United States and Japan urge the establishment of confidence-building measures among governments and militaries in the region to address these tensions.  In the South China Sea, we call on countries concerned to clarify the basis of their maritime claims in accordance with international law.  We support efforts for the early establishment of an effective Code of Conduct as a way to reduce the risk of an unintended incident.  The United States and Japan fully support the use of diplomatic and legal means, including international arbitration, to settle maritime disputes in the South China Sea. 

    Given the common security challenges our two countries face, the United States and Japan are strengthening and modernizing our security alliance as directed by the Security Consultative Committee, including through the revision of the Guidelines for U.S.-Japan Defense Cooperation.  The United States has deployed its most advanced military assets to Japan and provides all necessary capabilities to meet its commitments under the U.S.-Japan Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security.  These commitments extend to all the territories under the administration of Japan, including the Senkaku Islands.  In that context, the United States opposes any unilateral action that seeks to undermine Japan’s administration of the Senkaku Islands. The United States appreciates Japan’s establishment of a National Security Council and creation of a legal framework for information security that will facilitate enhanced policy and intelligence coordination between the two countries.  The United States welcomes and supports Japan’s consideration of the matter of exercising the right of collective self-defense.  The United States and Japan reaffirmed the importance of the U.S. extended deterrence to maintain regional security.  The United States and Japan are also making sustained progress towards realizing a geographically distributed, operationally resilient and politically sustainable U.S. force posture in the Asia Pacific, including the development of Guam as a strategic hub.  The early relocation of Futenma Marine Corps Air Station to Camp Schwab and consolidation of bases in Okinawa will ensure a long-term sustainable presence for U.S. forces.  In this context, we reaffirm our commitment to reducing the impact of U.S. forces on Okinawa. 

    The United States and Japan also coordinate closely in multilateral financial and economic fora to advance trade liberalization and promote economic growth.  Our joint efforts are grounded in support for an international economic system that is free, open, and transparent, and embraces innovation.  In order to further enhance economic growth, expand regional trade and investment, and strengthen the rules-based trading system, the United States and Japan are committed to taking the bold steps necessary to complete a high-standard, ambitious, comprehensive  Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement.  Today, we have identified a path forward on important bilateral TPP issues. This marks a key milestone in the TPP negotiations and will inject fresh momentum into the broader talks. We now call upon all TPP partners to move as soon as possible to take the necessary steps to conclude the agreement.  Even with this step forward, there is still much work to be done to conclude TPP.

    We also support Japan’s Chairmanship in the OECD Ministerial Council Meeting on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of its accession to the OECD and support China’s hosting of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum and Australia’s hosting of the G20 this year.  We are working together in the APEC and the G20 on the promotion of the role of women, which is an important domestic and foreign policy priority for both countries.  Through the Equal Futures Partnership and upcoming events such as the White House Summit on Working Families and Japan’s international symposium on women’s empowerment, the two countries are committed to ensuring women’s full participation in society.  Furthermore, the United States and Japan continue to be world leaders in high-technology, where our collaboration is expanding the frontiers of robotics, space, and medical science. 

    The United States and Japan view energy security as vital to prosperity and stability.  Both sides welcomed the prospect of U.S. LNG exports in the future since additional global supplies will benefit Japan and other strategic partners.  The United States welcomed Japan’s new Strategic Energy Plan, which includes global, peaceful and safe use of nuclear energy and acceleration of the introduction of renewable energy.  Both countries are working together to promote the development of clean energy, including by facilitating business cooperation and deepening civil nuclear cooperation.  These steps are part of a broader effort to address the urgent challenge of global climate change.  Both countries plan to put forward robust post-2020 nationally determined contributions, building on decisions taken at the 19th Conference of the Parties (COP-19) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), in order to promote the adoption of a protocol, another legal instrument, or an agreed outcome with legal force under the UNFCCC applicable to all Parties at COP-21 in Paris in December 2015.  We will continue to work with other countries on complementary initiatives to encourage reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. 

    The United States and Japan are committed to promoting peace, stability, and economic growth throughout the world, including in Africa.  Through our recently launched senior-level U.S.-Japan Development Dialogue, we are expanding our development cooperation in these areas.  Furthermore, the United States and Japan are continuing bilateral policy coordination to address other global challenges and promote our common agenda, such as women’s empowerment, human security, humanitarian assistance, disaster risk reduction, the post-2015 development agenda, global health, climate change, counter-terrorism and transnational organized crime, cyber policy, the goal of a world without nuclear weapons, nuclear security, and cooperation at the United Nations, including in peacekeeping.  The United States looks forward to a reformed UN Security Council that includes Japan as a permanent member.  Our two countries are continuing to cooperate in the field of disaster risk management based on the experience of the Great East Japan Earthquake. 

    The United States and Japan renew our commitment to deepening diplomatic, economic, and security cooperation with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), recognizing the importance of ASEAN unity and centrality to regional security and prosperity.  We are coordinating closely to support ASEAN and its affiliated fora as its members seek to build a regional economic community and address trans-border challenges, including cybersecurity and cybercrime.  In this context, the two countries view the East Asia Summit as the premier political and security forum in the region.  We support the Asian Development Bank work to address the region’s infrastructure and connectivity needs.  The United States and Japan are collaborating to assist Southeast Asian littoral states in building maritime domain awareness and other capacities for maritime safety and security so that they can better enforce law, combat illicit trafficking and weapons proliferation, and protect marine resources.  The robust U.S. and Japanese civilian and military response to Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines demonstrated our ability to collectively assist the region in disaster relief and risk reduction. 

    To achieve our shared objectives of promoting peace and economic prosperity in the Asia-Pacific and around the globe, the United States and Japan are strengthening trilateral cooperation with like-minded partners, including the Republic of Korea, Australia, and India. 

    The United States and Japan reaffirm our long-standing and indispensable partnership in shaping the future of the Asia-Pacific and beyond through close cooperation and collaboration.

    ANNEX:  Leaders Statement on U.S.-Japan Bilateral Exchanges

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      ANNEX:  Leaders Statement on U.S.-Japan Bilateral Exchanges

     Broad people-to-people exchange between Japan and the United States has been a key pillar of our Alliance since its inception.  Close ties and shared values between the people of the United States and the people of Japan form the foundation of the global partnership between our nations.

    To ensure the future strength of the U.S.-Japan relationship, the two governments share the goal, established by the U.S.-Japan Conference on Cultural and Educational Interchange (CULCON), of doubling two-way student exchange by the year 2020.

    Recognizing that people-to-people exchange is an irreplaceable investment in the future of the Alliance, President Obama and Prime Minister Abe announced their intent to create a new bilateral exchange program that would enable Japanese youth to visit the United States, enhance their English language abilities, and develop professional skills through internship opportunities.  The leaders also intend to explore internship opportunities for U.S. youth in Japan.  

    Furthermore, Japan is going to send 6,000 Japanese students to the United States in fiscal year 2014 through student exchange support programs, including public-private partnerships such as the TOBITATE! Young Ambassador Program, further contributing to reaching our shared goal established by CULCON.  Japan and the United States also plan to explore new avenues for exchange, including support for Japanese researchers and programs linking the next generation of Japanese and U.S. leaders and friends. 

    The Japanese government’s program inviting Japanese-American leaders to Japan has promoted broad understanding and support for the U.S.-Japan Alliance.  Building on this successful effort, Japan intends to broaden the scope of this initiative in fiscal year 2014 to further deepen mutual understanding. 

    The Japanese government’s ongoing KAKEHASHI Project, under which a total of 4,600 young Japanese and U.S. citizens are expected to visit each other’s countries in exchange programs, has made a significant contribution to fostering mutual understanding.  In addition, following the March 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake, the U.S. government and the U.S.-Japan Council launched the TOMODACHI Initiative, a path-breaking public-private partnership that engages the private sector in promoting U.S.-Japan youth exchange.  To date, with the support of over eighty U.S. and Japanese companies, organizations, and individuals, more than 2,300 Japanese and U.S. youth have participated in TOMODACHI exchange programs. 

    These initiatives build on established programs, such as the binational Fulbright Program, which has benefited nearly 10,000 Japanese and U.S. students and scholars over more than 60 years; the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program; the Student Exchange Support Program and the Japanese Government Scholarship provided by the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology; the National Science Foundation’s Summer Institutes in Japan, funded in cooperation with the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science; the Japan-U.S. Training Exchange Program for English Language Teachers (JUSTE); and the Mansfield Fellowship Program.  These programs have for years expanded and strengthened people-to-people connections between our countries. 

    These government programs are complemented by the many non-governmental programs linking the people of our two countries, such as the Japan-America Societies, the U.S.-Japan Council, and the more than 400 sister-city and sister-state and prefecture relationships between Japan and the United States.  Such programs are indispensable, as are the dozens of academic associations, university linkages, and privately-funded exchanges, for example the Crown Prince Akihito Scholarship; the United States-Japan Bridging Foundation Scholarships, the Grew Bancroft Scholarship; and the Japan-America Student Conference, which celebrates its 80th anniversary this year.  Japan and the United States aim to further encourage new and expanded non-governmental dialogues to bring together opinion leaders from both nations. 

    Symbolizing the grassroots friendship uniting our nations, the U.S. government and a range of private sector partners have created the Friendship Blossoms Initiative, which is currently planting 3,000 American dogwood trees throughout Japan on behalf of the people of the United States, to reciprocate the City of Tokyo’s gift of 3,000 flowering cherry trees to Washington, DC in 1912.  The 1912 gift from Japan is celebrated each year during the National Cherry Blossom Festival, an iconic spring event in Washington, D.C. 

    The President and Prime Minister welcomed the invigoration of exchanges between the U.S. Congress and the Diet of Japan, praising the work of the U.S.-Japan Caucus and the Congressional Study Group on Japan in the United States Congress, the Japan-U.S. Parliamentary Friendship League in the Diet of Japan, as well as the U.S.-Japan Legislative Exchange Program and the Japan-U.S. Senate Inter-parliamentary Conference.  Nearly 200 Diet Members visited the United States in fiscal year 2013, and the number of Members of Congress visiting Japan in 2013 more than doubled over the previous year and continues to increase in 2014. 

    Finally, the United States and Japan note that millions of Japanese and U.S. citizens visit each other’s country every year to visit family and friends, enjoy tourist sites and cultural experiences, and conduct the business transactions that underpin the tight economic relationship between two of the world’s largest economies.  To facilitate this travel, the United States and Japan plan to expedite work to establish a reciprocal arrangement, including through Japan’s participation in the U.S. Global Entry program, to streamline border formalities for trusted travelers from both our countries, and to make travel between the United States and Japan easier, faster and more secure. 

    # # #

  • President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts

    WASHINGTON, DC – Today, President Barack Obama announced his intent to appoint the following individuals to key Administration posts:

    • Jason Collins – Member, President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition
    • Misty Copeland – Member, President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition
    • Alonzo H. Mourning, Jr. – Member, President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition
    • Rachael Ray – Member, President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition
    • Robert Thomas Shepardson – Member, President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition
    • Michèle Taylor – Member, United States Holocaust Memorial Council 

    President Obama said, “I am grateful that these impressive individuals have chosen to dedicate their talents to serving the American people at this important time for our country.  I look forward to working with them in the months and years ahead.”

    President Obama announced his intent to appoint the following individuals to key Administration posts:

    Jason Collins, Appointee for Member, President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition

    Jason Collins is a professional basketball player with the Brooklyn Nets, where he has played since 2014.  Previously, he played for the Washington Wizards, the Boston Celtics, the Atlanta Hawks, the Minnesota Timberwolves, the Memphis Grizzlies, and the New Jersey Nets.  He joined the National Basketball Association in 2001 after playing for Stanford University, where he was a National Association of Basketball Coaches third team All-American and a member of the All-PAC-10 first team.  Mr. Collins is a partner with the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN), a national education organization focused on ensuring safe schools for all students.  Mr. Collins received a B.A. from Stanford University.

    Misty Copeland, Appointee for Member, President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition

    Misty Copeland is the first African American female soloist in more than two decades at American Ballet Theatre (ABT), a company she joined in 2000.  She actively supports the Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BCGA) and is its Youth of the Year Ambassador.  In 2012 she was inducted into the BCGA Alumni Hall of Fame.  She recently helped launch ABT’s Project Plié, a national diversity initiative in ballet.  Ms. Copeland received the Council of Urban Professionals’ inaugural Breakthrough Award in 2012 and was the Black Girls Rock! Young, Gifted & Black honoree in 2013.  In 2008, she received the Leonore Annenberg Fellowship in the Arts.  Ms. Copeland studied at the Lauridsen Ballet Center, the San Francisco Ballet School, and American Ballet Theatre’s Summer Intensive Program.

    Alonzo H. Mourning, Jr., Appointee for Member, President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition

    Alonzo H. Mourning, Jr. is Vice President, Player Programs for the Miami Heat Basketball Organization, a position he has held since 2009.  Mr. Mourning played with the Miami Heat from 1995 to 2002 and from 2005 to 2008 and was a member of the Heat team that won the 2006 National Basketball Association (NBA) Championship.  Previously, he played for the New Jersey Nets and the Charlotte Hornets.  Mr. Mourning is a member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2014.  He is a seven-time All-Star, a two-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year, and was named to the All-NBA First Team in 1999.  In 2009, he became the first Miami Heat player to have his number retired.  He is a founder of a number of charitable organizations, including the Mourning Family Foundation, Athletes for Hope, Zo’s Fund for Life, and the Overtown Youth Center.  Mr. Mourning received a B.A. from Georgetown University.

    Rachael Ray, Appointee for Member, President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition

    Rachael Ray is the host of a syndicated daytime television show, The Rachael Ray Show.  Additionally, she is the founder of the lifestyle magazine Every Day with Rachael Ray and has created her own brands of cookware, cutlery, kitchen tools, and signature food ingredients.  In 2008, she created a line of pet food called Nutrish, from which she donates her proceeds to help support animals in need.  In 2007, Ms. Ray launched Yum-o!, a nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering kids and their families to develop healthier relationships with food and cooking.  Ms. Ray’s television shows have received three Emmy Awards.

    Robert Thomas Shepardson, Appointee for Member, President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition

    Robert Thomas Shepardson is a Partner with SS+K, a firm he co-founded in 1993.  He has worked for over 25 years in public affairs, advertising, and marketing.  At SS+K, his portfolio has included work for the Obama for America campaigns in 2008 and 2012 as well as for First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! and Joining Forces initiatives.  Previously, he was a managing director at the Sawyer Miller Group from 1988 to 1993.  Mr. Shepardson is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and several business and charitable boards, including the New York advisory board of Enterprise Community Partners and the advisory board of the Center for Health Communication at Harvard University’s School of Public Health.  Mr. Shepardson received a B.A. from Franklin and Marshall College and an M.P.P. from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

    Michèle Taylor, Appointee for Member, United States Holocaust Memorial Council

    Michèle Taylor has served since 2004 as a member of the Board of Directors of the North Carolina Outward Bound School, where she is also Chair of the Governance Committee and immediate past Secretary.  She also volunteers as a Lead Instructor and Course Director for the school.  Ms. Taylor is a member of the Southeast Regional Board of Directors of the Anti-Defamation League and a member of Atlanta's Midtown Improvement District Board of Directors.  She is also a member of the American Jewish Committee’s Atlanta Black-Jewish Coalition.  She is an advisor to Atlanta’s Mayor, Kasim Reed, and served as Co-Chair of his 2013 re-election campaign.  Previously, she served on the board of Congregation Or Hadash, the Georgia Network to End Sexual Assault, and Ahavath Achim Synagogue.  Ms. Taylor received a B.A. from Mills College and an M.A. from Boston University.