The Japan-America Society’s “Annual Meeting: Soaring Towards the Future” held on Thursday, April 25 at The Museum of Flight, was an unforgettable evening filled with inspiration and gratitude. With the theme of looking ahead to new horizons, the event brought together passionate individuals dedicated to fostering understanding and cooperation between Japan and America.

We would like to acknowledge the remarkable contributions of our past Chair member, Shoko Farmer, whose dedication and leadership have been instrumental in advancing the mission of the Japan-America Society. As we bid farewell to Shoko, we warmly welcome Masami Katayama as our new Chair, confident in her ability to guide us towards a future of continued growth and collaboration.

One of the highlights of the evening was the keynote address delivered by Shinji Maeda, the visionary founder of the Aero Zypangu Project.

Despite facing adversity, Shinji exemplifies resilience and determination, embarking on a mission to circumnavigate the globe with a powerful message: “Nothing is impossible.” Born in Hokkaido prefecture, Shinji’s childhood dream of becoming a pilot was nearly shattered when he lost sight in one eye due to a tragic accident. Undeterred, he pursued his passion, obtaining a master’s degree in Safety Science from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and working as an aviation engineer at ShinMaywa Industries, Ltd. and Boeing.

In 2016, he founded the Aero Zypangu Project, a nonprofit organization aimed at empowering individuals through aviation activities. Through his motivational lectures and flight training, Shinji inspires hope and resilience, demonstrating that challenges can be overcome with perseverance and a positive mindset.

His nonprofit Aero Zypangu Project website is linked here, and for those curious about his next mission: click here to find out about the Japan & USA Friendship Flight 2025! Lastly, you can buy his book (in Japanese) here: book link.

Furthermore, we also extend our heartfelt gratitude to our generous donors and sponsors whose support made this event possible:

We would also like to say a special thanks to Shirafuji Sake Brewery Company for their contribution of Japanese sake, adding a touch of cultural richness to the evening. We were able to celebrate with a traditional kanpai toast from our new Chair, Masami Katayama. Additionally, we express our appreciation to The Westin Seattle for generously providing a one-night deluxe stay as a raffle prize, enhancing the excitement of the event. Congratulations to the winner, Uehara-san!

The “Annual Meeting: Soaring Towards the Future” was not only a celebration of achievements but also a reaffirmation of our commitment to building bridges across cultures and inspiring positive change. As we reflect on the event’s success, we are filled with optimism for the journey ahead, united in our belief that together, we can indeed soar towards a brighter future!

For those interested, we have posted our 2023-2024 year event recap video on our YouTube channel!

Japan-America Society of the State of Washington

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List of Our Past Interns

KyungYoung (Jenny) KimApril 10, 2023 ~ November 19, 2023
Christie JungMarch 31, 2023 ~ July 8, 2023
Taira ShimotsuyaFebruary 27, 2023 ~ June 1, 2023
Koki MatsumuraJanuary 23, 2023 ~ March 30, 2023
Harin ParkOctober 3, 2022 ~ January 20, 2023
Chihiro MatsuoJune 29, 2022 ~ September 2, 2022
Moena YamakawaJune 29, 2022 ~ August 19, 2022
Jiwoo JungApril 4, 2022 ~ July 31, 2022
Satoshi MikiJune 2022
Ellen UchidaApril 2021 ~ December 19, 2023
Isami February 24, 2020 ~ April 3, 2020
RioFebrary 3, 2020 ~ Febrary 27, 2020
DaichiFebruary 3, 2020 ~ February 27, 2020
Tomohiro IshiiJanuary 2020 ~ February 2020
Naoki KokubuNovember 1, 2019 ~ 
Randy UnJuly 2019 ~ September 2019
Tomomi July 1, 2019 ~September 13, 2019
Nanami KikuchiAug 7, 2019 ~ August 30, 2019
ChirikoJuly 2019 ~
Misako SatoJuly 22, 2019 ~
Kana KitahamaFebruary 6, 2019 ~ April 30, 2019
Aya OgataFebruary 1, 2019 ~ February 26, 2019
Yuno TanifujiJanuary 28, 2019 ~ March 30, 2019
Shari MonsonOctober 2018 ~ Febrary 2019
Midori NakanoAugust 16, 2018 ~ August 31, 2018
Hiroki IshiiJune 26, 2018 ~ August 31, 2018
Yuka MuroiFebruary 7, 2018 ~ March 2, 2018
Lee Hyung WooFebrary 2018 ~ June 2018
Nao MiyamotoJanuary 28, 2018 ~ April 1, 2018
Hitomi Kase January 2018 ~
Ryoko YamamotoOctober 11, 2017 ~
Raymond SimOctober, 2017 ~
Chihiro KurokawaOctober 9, 2017 ~ December 1, 2017
Tomomi TsukadaAugust 25, 2017 ~ September 13, 2017
Shohgo MiuraJuly 6, 2017 ~ 
Jumpei AsakuraEnd of February 2017 - Mid-March 2017