aka USJC   |   Washington, DC   |


The U.S.-Japan Council develops and connects diverse leaders to create a stronger U.S.-Japan relationship. Founded by Japanese Americans, the Council brings together leaders of the United States and Japan from across backgrounds, sectors, and generations to partner for a better future for the Asia-Pacific region and beyond.

Ruling year info


President and CEO

Ms. Suzanne Basalla

Main address

1819 L Street, NW Suite 200

Washington, DC 20036 USA

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NTEE code info

Promotion of International Understanding (Q20)

International Cultural Exchange (Q21)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

U.S.-Japan Council Annual Conference

The U.S.-Japan Council Annual Conference is a yearly event that brings together regional, national and international leaders from government, business, academia and nonprofit sectors to discuss the current status and continuous future of the U.S.-Japan collaboration.

Population(s) Served

The TOMODACHI Initiative is a public-private partnership between the U.S.-Japan Council and the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo, with support from the Government of Japan. Born out of support for Japan’s recovery from the Great East Japan Earthquake, TOMODACHI invests in the next generation of Japanese and American leaders through educational and cultural exchanges as well as leadership programs.

Population(s) Served
Young adults

Where we work

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

We aim to contribute to a vibrant and dynamic U.S.-Japan relationship in which increasing positive and productive bilateral cooperation benefits both countries and the Asia Pacific region. We seek to increase the number and diversity of leaders committed to the relationship and who are actively supporting U.S.-Japan cooperation. We believe more diverse stakeholders can better address misunderstandings, identify and act on new opportunities, and broaden public support for this strategically important relationship. We seek to serve as a catalyst for new collaborations in business, government, and civil society to support greater opportunities for the United States and Japan. We administer the TOMODACHI Initiative, a public-private partnership with the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo, as one of our major programs. Because of our origins as an organization formed by Japanese American leaders, we retain a focus on actively engaging Japanese American leaders. At the same time, our mission is to involve leaders from different sectors, ages, genders, backgrounds, and locations, regardless of heritage. We have a particular interest in engaging women leaders; next generation leaders; entrepreneurial & innovative leaders; and leaders outside the traditional halls of power and capitals as we believe that these leaders have much more to contribute to U.S.-Japan relations than is currently tapped.

The TOMODACHI Initiative connects young Americans and Japanese with each other and each other's country in ways that will encourage continued engagement in the relationship over their lifetimes. We seek to reach younger students (high school and younger) who may have had minimal previous exposure, university students with a developing interest in cross-cultural opportunities, and young professionals from diverse sectors (generally 35 years old and younger) with strong leadership potential who are open to a more global experience. Through a series of programs that offer academic, cultural, and leadership activities, we provide transformative experiences that lead participants to gain a more global mindset, appreciate the U.S-Japan relationship, and find ways to contribute to strengthening people-to-people ties between the two countries in their current capacities and as future leaders. Over the long-term, our goal is a generation with more cross-cultural leaders who have a commitment to strengthening the relationship.

By bringing together public and private sectors to invest together creatively in young people, we are also bringing a new energy to the U.S.-Japan relationship, creating dynamic cross-generational learning, and heightening public support for the relationship in both countries.

USJC promotes people-to-people relationships to inspire and engage Japanese and Americans of all generations. The organization is comprised of leaders with an interest in U.S.-Japan relations, active in educational and networking programs that leverage their expertise and resources. We link to government, community, and political leaders; among educational institutions, corporations, and government organizations; and among like-minded individuals.

These networks allow us to help set and realize a positive agenda in U.S.-Japan relations through a combination of educational programming, networking activities, and social media discussions. We reach beyond traditional networks to bring in diverse leaders. We engage and expand these networks through high-quality, life-transforming experiences in U.S.-Japan relations. We then follow-up with participants of these programs to deepen their engagement, creating a continuum of experiences that appeal to their continued commitment and engagement, transforming them from observers to participants to leaders in the relationship.

This is particularly robust in our TOMODACHI Initiative, a public-private partnership with the U.S. government that engages youth from both countries in a full spectrum of activities from exposure to inspiration, and eventually to development as cross-cultural leaders through distinct TOMODACHI educational, cultural, and leadership programs for young people. We use social media to stay engaged with participants, and find ways to continue to engage them through follow-up on programs, alumni activities, cross-program interactions, connecting them with donors, and activities to create a sense of community. Finally, we invest in creating a “brand" around TOMODACHI, adding a fun, energetic buzz to build excitement that attracts more donors, allows more successful recruitment, and generates positive public support.

Tied to this initiative is our strategy to grow in Japan, making USJC a non-profit that has the infrastructure to meet the needs of stakeholders from both countries, whether located in Japan or in the States. To supplement these strategies, we aim to increase awareness and positive views in both countries of the contributions of the Japanese American community and Japanese American leaders in strengthening U.S.-Japan relations, while supporting new opportunities to increase Japanese American leadership and contributions. This strategy allows us to sustain future generations of leaders who may come to the relationship through ties of heritage, but will stay engaged in the relationship for the broader benefits and incentives of USJC's networking and programming.

USJC has over 600 Members, individuals who are leaders (including a cohort of emerging leaders) who give their time, expertise, and resources to help us accomplish our mission. These Members are supplemented by the active, highly-prestigious members of the Boards of Directors and Boards of Councilors. USJC has infrastructure to support activities in both the United States and Japan, offering flexibility that few other organizations offer. We are led by an accomplished and recognized non-profit leader supported by a talented, committed staff with a range of experience and skills based in the U.S. and Japan.

USJC is the private-sector partner with the U.S. government for the TOMODACHI Initiative, a vehicle for engaging corporate, government, civil society, education, and other institutional partners in Japan and the United States to support young people in both countries, benefiting from the additional reach of the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo and supporters elsewhere in both governments. To support implementation, a separate organization, U.S.-Japan Council (Japan) was established as a tax-exempt organization capable of receiving tax-deductible contributions in Japan. Through TOMODACHI's success, we have raised over $56 million to enable scores of unique programs for 39,000+ participants since inception. Many of these program alumni remain engaged, deepening the networks and creating a “movement" towards the creation of a TOMODACHI generation of leaders (a phrase coined by then-Secretary Hillary Clinton). The relationships developed through the TOMODACHI Initiative supplement the strong ties USJC enjoys with the Government of Japan, its Embassy and Consulates through its long-time involvement (predating its establishment as USJC) as the administrator of the Japanese American Leadership Delegation and the Ambassador, Consuls General and Japanese American Leaders Meeting on behalf of the Government of Japan.

USJC enjoys the support of a number of leading companies in both countries, as well as significant pro-bono professional services. USJC has very flexible and innovative programs, especially with our proven model of branded strategic partnerships under the TOMODACHI Initiative as well as significant grant-making ability under TOMODACHI. USJC has successfully developed its first endowed scholarship program, thanks to a generous individual donor's gift in late 2015. This new program enables a certain number of Japanese undergraduates with great financial need to study abroad in the U.S. for a one-year period at the institution of their choice.

USJC's vast network positions it well to bring together leaders in the U.S. and Japan to engage in robust dialogue and strategy development to make a difference in the climate sustainability arena. We have partnered with key sponsors to commit funding and expertise to the organization as we create a platform for discussion and change.

We have sustained a constant, high level of growth, reflected in successful and expanding fundraising, staffing, programming, and impact. The Government of Japan chooses us to administer the Japanese American Leadership Delegation and the Ambassador and Consuls General Dialogue with Japanese American Leaders. The U.S. government selected us to be their partner in the innovative public-private partnership, TOMODACHI, which has continued to raise significant funds, running several programs a year, and involved over 40,000 young people. As the Embassy's choice for TOMODACHI, USJC has grown its networks and infrastructure in Japan, making it one of the few non-profits able to operate effectively in both countries. We are the leading U.S.-Japan organization engaging all generations, with a strong pipeline of next generation leaders that we actively mentor.

Each year, our Annual Conference grows in sophistication, reach, and impact, continuing to draw top leaders from both countries as speakers and attendees, and enjoying high rates of Membership and Board participation. USJC has been at the forefront of new focus areas in the relationship, from women in leadership to high-speed rail to entrepreneurship, and to regional economic development.

Our Silicon Valley and entrepreneurship programs have tapped into a vein of interest and opportunity, and now we are identifying ways to leverage our network and resources in the region to implement events focused on entrepreneurship and innovation, increase networking opportunities between Japanese businesses and Silicon Valley institutions, foster joint research and development in core fields and that play to the strengths of both Japan and the Silicon Valley, highlight expanding media coverage of Silicon Valley in Japan, and host official visits to Silicon Valley by influential Japanese leaders. We continue to broaden our appeal to and engagement with other diverse Americans and Japanese to ensure a strong bilateral foundation in the future. Looking ahead, we plan to lever the investment we continuously make in people-to-people connections to make a difference in the climate sustainability dialogue.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, We don’t have the right technology to collect and aggregate feedback efficiently, It is difficult to find the ongoing funding to support feedback collection, Staff find it hard to prioritize feedback collection and review due to lack of time



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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.


Connect with nonprofit leaders


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Connect with nonprofit leaders


Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Board of directors
as of 01/23/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Susan Morita

Board co-chair

Kathy Matsui

David Kenji Chang

AN Capital Partners

Kazuhiro Gomi

NTT America, Inc.

Todd Guild

Beam Suntory, Inc.

Joshua Morey

The J. Morey Company, Inc.

Mark Okada

Highland Capital Management, L.P.

Yoko Otani

Straterix Inc.

Rona Tison

ITO EN, North America, Inc.

William Tsutsui

Ottawa University

Kathy Matsui

MPower Partners

Suzanne Basalla

U.S.-Japan Council

Eiichiro Kuwana

Cook Pine Capital LLC

Ann Teranishi

American Savings Bank

Sachi Hamai

Former County Executive, Los Angeles County

Yoh Kawanami

Hawaiian Electric Company

Brad Miyake

City of Bellevue

Andrew Ogawa

Quest Venture Partners

Curtis Takada Rooks

Loyola Marymount University

Yoshiteru Terry Suzuki

ORIX Corporation, USA

Minoru Tsumura

Deloitte & Touche LLP

Masami Tyson

Womble Bond Dickinson

Susan Morita

Retired Partner, Arnold & Porter Kay Scholer LLP

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 1/23/2023

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Gender identity
Sexual orientation
Decline to state
Disability status
Decline to state

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

No data


No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 01/23/2023

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.