From August 11 to 15, 2014, Mr. Ryosei Tanaka, Parliamentary Vice Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, visited the U.S.
In Yonkers, New York, Parliamentary Vice Minister Tanaka visited Kawasaki Rail Car Inc., a manufacturer of subway cars for the New York City subway, and exchanged views with representatives from the company concerning its business strategy and challenges. In addition, he had a meeting with Dr. Hugh T. Patrick, professor of Columbia University, and explained the outline of Japan’s economic policy and measures for encouraging inward direct investment in Japan, and subsequently exchanged opinions with him concerning the future prospects for the Japanese economy.
In San Francisco, California, he visited nestGSV, an entity fostering venture businesses, and met with Mr. Kayvan Baroumand, CEO, to exchange views concerning the current situation of the venture ecosystem in Silicon Valley and ideal ways that national governments should be involved in the system. In addition, at a meeting with Ms. Ari Horie, CEO of Women’s Startup Lab, Parliamentary Vice Minister Tanaka was briefed on the company’s initiatives for supporting women in business startups in Silicon Valley and exchanged views with her concerning Japan’s challenges in encouraging women’s success in the workplace. Furthermore, he had a meeting with Dr. Robert Eberhart, Assistant Professor of Santa Clara University, and requested advancement of Japan-U.S. cooperation using existing knowledge and networks in the field which currently support venture businesses, and discussed cooperation in a planned study abroad program. He also had a meeting with Dr. John Victor Roos, former U.S. Ambassador to Japan, and exchanged views with him on the potential of specific cooperation between Japan and the U.S. in the field of innovation and startups.
Parliamentary Vice Minister Tanaka had a meeting with Dr. Eberhart, Assistant Professor of Santa Clara University. He expressed Japan’s appreciation to Dr. Eberhart for his contribution to the U.S.-Japan Innovation and Entrepreneurship Council, a cooperative project between the U.S. Department of State and METI, and requested further Japan-U.S. cooperation in supporting startups by making use of the existing networks among people related to the council. In response, Dr. Eberhart introduced a study abroad program, an initiative planned by Santa Clara University and Stanford University to provide Japanese people with support in studying in the U.S. to encourage business innovation and the creation of startups, and both sides discussed the potential of Japan-U.S. cooperation in this field in the future.