About JBA (English)

President Takeshi Katsurada
Welcome to the Japan Business Association of Seattle website. As the president of JBAS, I feel very privileged to be writing this special message.

For the past fifty plus years, we have been growing the organization. We promise to move forward preserving our great tradition together with our members, board members and staff.

The JBAS is a membership organization comprised of Japanese businesses and their supporters.  The mission of the JBAS is to foster friendship among its members, to enhance their children's education, and to promote economic relations among its members and the local community by deepening mutual understanding.

Main activities of the Association include:

Business / Culture Committee
  • Organizing various events such as golf tournaments, fishing tours and family gatherings to promote friendship among the members

Education Committee
  • Operating the Seattle Japanese School
  • Organizing tours for invite teachers of the Seattle area schools to travel to Japan and learn about the Japanese education system

Community Affairs Committee
  • Cooperating with local community groups such as Japan-America Society of the State of Washington, Japanese Community Service of Seattle and other local non-profits and charitable organizations.
  • Supporting the Cherry Blossom and Japanese Cultural Festival, the Japanese Speech and Skit Contest by American high school students.

Along with keeping abreast of world events, we strive to strengthen our role in the areas of commerce and industries through holding seminars, sending in petitions and recommendations for economic policies.

As we enter into the new year of 2016-2017, I would like to thank our members and the community members who show faith in our organization and get involved in the various activities. We are grateful for everything you do to keep the Japan Business Association of Seattle the prestigious community organization that it is.

 

* Board of Directors

Honorary President Omura, Masahiro Consulate-General of Japan
President Katsurada, Takeshi* Japan Airlines Co., Ltd.
Vice President / Chair
Education Committee
Izawa, Daisaku* Yamato Transport USA, Inc.
Vice Chair
Education Committee
Mizuno, Tetsuji* Civil Aircraft Engineering Service Co., Ltd.
Education Committee Nakamura, Ryotaro All Nippon Airways Co., Ltd 
Education Committee Harada, Katsushi JAMCO America, Inc.
Education Committee Saito, Jun NIPPI Corporation, Seattle Office
Education Committee Tamai, Naotaka Mitsubishi Corporation (Americas)
Education Committee Ikeda, Jun Nabtesco Aerospace, Inc.
Vice President / Chair
Community Affairs Committee
Onishi, Moriyuki* Toray Composites (America), Inc.
Community Affairs Committee Odagiri, Nobuyuki* Toray Composites (America), Inc.
Community Affairs Committee Nohara, Kazuaki Medallion Foods Inc.
Community Affairs Committee Sugiura, Yuji Maruha Nichiro USA Group
Community Affairs Committee Tsuji, Kaoru Yusen Logistics (Americas) Inc.
Community Affairs Committee Arakane, Keiko MUFG Union Bank N.A.
Community Affairs Committee Suzuki, Takuya Ernst & Young LLP
Community Affairs Committee Miyahara, Hirofumi Sumitomo Life Insurance Company                (Symetra Financial Corporation)
Community Affairs Committee Baxter, Eriko Baxter Law International, PLLC
Community Affairs Committee Nakaseko, Takahiro Sumitomo Forestry America, Inc.
Vice President / Chair
Business/Culture Committee
Arashiba, Masaki* Mitsui & Co. (U.S.A.), Inc.
Business/Culture Committee Hattori, Masakazu* IACE TRAVEL
Business/Culture Committee Ando, Takeshi Nippon Express U.S.A., Inc.
Business/Culture Committee Saegusa, Hajime Fuji Heavy Industries U.S.A., Inc.
Business/Culture Committee Miura, Morihiko MITSUI-SOKO (U.S.A.), Inc.
Business/Culture Committee Harada, Yukiyoshi Toray Composites (America), Inc.
Business/Culture Committee Nishikura, Takuhisa Sojitz Corporation of America
Business/Culture Committee Katsumata, Masanori Interra USA, Inc.
Business/Culture Committee Ogata, Hiroshi Pac-Maru, Inc.
Business/Culture Committee Kawahara, Toshinari Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation America, Inc.
Business/Culture Committee Nakatani, Tsuneko New York Life Insurance Company
Honorary Advisor Sugimoto, Tsuyoshi Seattle Japanese School
Senior Advisor Kokage, Shinji  
Treasurer Hayashi, Tamako Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu LLC
Auditor Nakanishi, Wataru The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Ltd.
Executive Director Kurosawa, Yoshiharu Japan Business Association of Seattle

 

History

 

In 1922, group called “Mokuyo-kai” (“Thursday Club”) was formed jointly with Consulate General of Japan at Seattle. The group members were the employees of several Japanese corporations in the Seattle area. The club meetings were nice opportunities for socializing and exchanging information among the members. The “Mokuyo-kai” vanished as the World War II broke out. In 1952, after the War was over, a new business group was reorganized by Japanese firms and started as "Kayo-kai” (“Tuesday Club”).

 

The “Tuesday Club” later changed its name to “Shunju Club”. As the Japanese economy expanded after the WWII, many Japanese firms launched their businesses in Seattle, and the membership increased.

 

In 1960, the group was officially established as an entity and was named “Shunju Club.” headed by Mr. Hisashi Nakayama, who was the General Manager of Mitsui & Co. at the time.

 

The early efforts focused on establishing a Japanese school to provide solid education for the children of the members, so that those children could seamlessly reintegrate into the Japanese educational system upon their return. For this, it was imperative that the school comply with the official curriculum set by the Japanese government.

 

In 1971, the long awaited Seattle Japanese School was inaugurated under the management by the Shunju Club. The School accommodated 52 students with 4 teachers for Elementary and Junior High school. The kindergarten and the high School were added later.

 

In the following years, the Seattle area saw an explosive increase in the member of Japanese businesses opening operations here. The management members of Shunju Club faced challenges time and again as the members’ needs changed. To better serve, its members and to better promote friendship with local communities, the organization went through repeated restructuring.

 

As enrollment increased, the Seattle Japanese School faced a different challenge. Some of the students decided to live in the United States and not return to Japan. The number of such permanent resident students expanded remarkably, and the School opened its doors to them. While the School firmly maintains its fundamental philosophy that its main mission is to prepare for their eventual return to the Japanese education system, the school now accepts students who despite their intention to remain in the United States permanent, have a sincere desire to receive formal Japanese education.

 

In 2002, the organization changed its name to “Japan Business Association of Seattle (Shunju Club)” better express the nature of its activities.

 

Activities

  1. Supporting the Cherry Blossom and Japanese Cultural Festival
  2. Supporting the Japanese Speech and Skit Contest by American high school students
  3. Supporting the Eastside Aki Matsuri (Autumn Festival)
  4. Cooperating with local community groupies such as Japan-America Society of the State of Washington, Japanese Community Service of Seattle and others
  5. Organizing tours for invite teachers of the Seattle area schools to travel to Japan and learn about the Japanese education system
  6. Working with local non-profits and charitable organizations, such as participating in the Day of Caring
  7. Organizing various events such as golf tournaments, fishing tours and family gatherings to promote friendship among the members
  8. Organizing Summer Social and the Business Round Table with Japan America Society of the State of Washington
  9. Operating the Seattle Japanese School

 

The constitution of JBAS in Japanese (PDF)