William Tsutsui, dean of SMU’s Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, is one of 13 Japanese American leaders from across the nation selected to join the 2011 Japanese American Leadership Delegation (JALD).
The delegation, led by U.S.-Japan Council President Irene Hirano Inouye, will travel to Japan March 4-12 to meet and exchange information with the highest level of Japanese leaders in the government, business, and cultural sectors. In previous years, the delegation has met with the Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Director-General of Japan’s Foreign Ministry, economic entities such as Keizai Doyukai and Keidanren, and Her Imperial Highness Princess Takamado.
The trip allows Japanese leaders to gain a greater understanding of multicultural America through the experiences of a diverse group of Japanese Americans.
Upon returning to the United States, delegation members work with former delegates, local Consulates, the U.S.-Japan Council and local and national community organizations to organize and participate in programs and activities related to building U.S.-Japan relations.
“Participation in the JALD could help me focus the energy and commitment that I bring to increasing American understanding of Japan and offer me a structured way of fusing my personal heritage with my professional objectives,” said Tsutsui. “I see the JALD as an exceptional opportunity for me to better engage with the Japanese American community, build upon my past work in advancing American-Japanese interactions, and become a more effective advocate and leader in U.S.-Japan relations locally, regionally, and nationally.”
Because of his background and expertise in education, Tsutsui will represent the delegation by speaking at a symposium in Osaka held in conjunction with the delegation trip to Japan. The symposium will focus on education, specifically study abroad and language.
In addition to serving as dean, Tsutsui is a professor of history. His academic work has focused on 20th-century U.S.-Japan relations. He has written several books exploring the postwar Japanese financial system, the American influence on Japanese factory management, and the globalization of Japanese pop culture (particularly the Godzilla film series).