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U.S.-Japan Relations in a Turbulent World

October 29, 2019 @ 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm

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Weatherhead East Asian Institute Event



Click here for a write-up and video of the event.


Please join us for a panel discussion:

Kanji Yamanouchi, Ambassador and Consul General of Japan in New York

In discussion with:

Gerald Curtis, Burgess Professor Emeritus of Political Science, Department of Political Science, Columbia University

Hugh Patrick, Chairman, Center on Japanese Economy and Business, Columbia Business School

Moderated by:
Carol Gluck, George Sansom Professor of History, Department of History, Columbia University


Keynote speaker bio: Kanji Yamanouchi was appointed Ambassador and Consul General of Japan in New York in September of 2018. Since his arrival in New York a month later, the Ambassador has committed himself to utilizing his years of experience to craft a new chapter in U.S.-Japan relations that will fit the economic and political demands of the 21st century, as well as the nation each has become.

Ambassador Yamanouchi grew up in Nagasaki, Japan, a place which instilled in him a deep appreciation for peace. In 1984, he joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan and was first posted overseas in Washington, D.C. As the First Secretary in the Political Section of the Embassy of Japan, he gained a riveting introduction to U.S. politics through his work with President Clinton’s second administration. Ambassador Yamanouchi was then posted to the Embassy of Japan in Korea in 2001 as Counsellor, where he worked as part of the advance team for then-Prime Minister Koizumi’s first visit to North Korea.

After returning to Japan in 2003, he was assigned successive posts at the headquarters of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs such as Director of the First Southeast Asia Division and Director of the Press Division. In 2007, he became Director of the First North American Division and found himself deeply involved in U.S. politics at another historic moment – the election of President Barack Obama. As the head of the primary agency in charge of U.S.-Japan relations, he was critical in sound policy development which assisted in reinforcing the strong alliance between the two nations.

In 2009, the Ambassador was selected to be the Executive Assistant on Diplomatic Affairs for Prime Minister Hatoyama, and then for Prime Minister Kan. In this capacity, he participated in high level meetings with heads of state from around the world.

This was followed by a promotion in 2011 to the position of Deputy Director General for the Asian Affairs Bureau where he focused on regional issues with neighboring countries. He was key in negotiating with China on maritime issues and spearheaded the inaugural round of “Japan-China High Level Consultations on Maritime Issues.”

In 2013, he was posted to the Embassy of Japan in Washington, D.C. as Minister for Economic Affairs, where he made tremendous contributions to the development of Japan-U.S. economic relations and also played an active role in Japan’s negotiations of the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Those three years of experience in economic affairs in D.C. were invaluable to his diplomatic projectory. In 2016, he was promoted to the position of Assistant Minister/Director-General for the Economic Affairs Bureau and became a key player in the formation of Japanese foreign economic policy. That year he again witnessed a critical juncture in international affairs – the election of President Donald Trump and Brexit, among other major global changes – and contributed greatly to the advancement of international economic policies for Japan, including the U.S.-Japan Economic Dialogue, promotion of the TPP and Economic Partnership Agreements.

Ambassador Yamanouchi graduated from Tokyo University of Foreign Studies and went on to receive a Masters in Political Science from Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut. He has a deep appreciation of music, and while he can play many instruments, his favorite is the bass. Ambassador Yamanouchi is married and has one daughter.


This event is a Weatherhead East Asian Institute’s 70th Anniversary Event.


Please register here.


October 29, 2019

5:00 PM – 6:30 PM



International Affairs Building, Room 1501

420 West 118th Street


For press inquiries, please contact Ariana King ak4364@columbia.edu.

Cosponsors: Center on Japanese Economy and Business at Columbia Business School and School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University


October 29, 2019
5:00 pm - 6:30 pm
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