Trade Starts with a Conversation

Posted by: Global Chamber Phoenix on Thursday, March 12, 2015

Business, trade and exporting... all begin with a conversation.

What's the opportunity? How can we work together? What's the win-win?

When a delegation recently visited the U.S. from Japan, there were plenty of win-win's.

Former Japanese Ambassador to the U.S. Ichiro Fujisaki visited Phoenix on to meet with business and government leaders. Ambassador Fujisaki presented the "Walk in U.S., Talk on Japan" program, and was joined by a traveling delegation in special programs at Global Chamber (for lunch) and Taliesin West (for an evening reception).

In between and along the way the Ambassador met business and government leaders - the latter including Mayor Greg Stanton, Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema, Mayor Jim Lane and Mayor John Lewis.

The evening reception was put on with the Consular Corps of Arizona - and we were honored to have Chairman Alisa Jost (Switzerland) address the audience on the steps of Taliesin West, overlooking a beautiful Arizona sunset across the Metro Phoenix Valley. Thanks to the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation.

Very special thanks to the Japan Consulate in Los Angeles for the honor and privilege of hosting the Ambassador. Also more thanks to Honorary Consul Kelly Moeur for his support and all he's doing to create a better business environment between Arizona and Japan.

Also thanks to Governor Doug Ducey for his follow-up with the Ambassador. A foundation was set... and now let's all follow-up.

See more pictures at the Reception here: Pictures of the Lunch, Meeting with Mayor Stanton, VIP Reception, and Taliesin West

And George Nakamura's wrap-up here: Ace Japan Story and Pictures

Best of all? The delegation member Nobuo Yoneyama... became our Executive Director for Global Chamber Tokyo.

Start the conversation!


Profile of Delegation Members



Ichiro Fujisaki lived and worked in the US on several occasions, first as a junior high school student in Seattle in the early 1960’s, then in the early 1970’s as a student at both Brown and Stanford Universities. After starting his career he served twice in Washington, DC in the late 1990’s and again in 2008-2012. On the latter occasion he served as Japanese Ambassador. He maintains strong ties with the US and visits the country several times every year. He has also served in Jakarta, Paris, London, and Geneva. In Tokyo, he was Director-General of the North American Affairs Bureau at the Foreign Ministry before being appointed as Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs in 2002. He is now President of The America-Japan Society in Japan.




Nobuo Yoneyama has lived and worked in the US on two occasions. The first time was in New York from 1988, followed by a stint in Washington, DC in 1991. The second was in Washington, DC from 2008 to 2012. His second son was born in New York and his first daughter in Maryland, therefore he has two Americans in his family. Following his early retirement in 2012, he founded Nisshin Global Corporation to be a bridge between Japanese SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises) and international markets.


Azusa (Hanah) TOBIMATSU

Background: Azusa Tobimatsu was born and raised in Toyohashi City in the Aichi region of Japan. She attended Marshall University in the State of West Virginia for two years as an outreach coordinator for The Japan Foundation, through the Japan Outreach Initiative Program. Her first undergraduate degree is law, and she is now studying to acquire her second undergraduate degree in English education as well as a teaching certificate.


Momoka SEINO

Background: Momoka is a violinist and singer-songwriter. She holds a Bachelor of Music degree in violin performance from Tokyo College of Music. Momoka performs a variety of musical styles including classical, jazz, and other popular styles, as well as performing her own original music. She was also appointed as the ambassador of sight-seeing for two cities in Hokkaido in northern Japan.



Background: Erika Takeda was born in Canada, and grew up in Singapore and Hong Kong. She went to middle and high schools in California, and is currently a senior at Keio University SFC, faculty of policy management. She is researching the United States Constitution with Professor Naoyuki Agawa, with a focus on the relationship between the internet and law. She is also an intern at The America-Japan Society in Tokyo. 

Stories I would like to share: Through my experiences in both the U.S. and Japan, I couldn't help but notice how different these two countries were; in some aspects even to say the polar opposite. However, I came to realize that these differences are what make our partnership so strong and important. One of these differences is the role of women in Japanese society. I would like to talk about this role, by looking at how society perceives the concept of gender and its gradual evolution as Japan incorporates global standards.



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