Saturday, January 23, 2010

Japan-U.S. Security Treaty 50 Years On

This past Tuesday marked the 50 year anniversary of the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty. The last 50 years has seen our (American) relationship with Japan change multiple times and today we may again be in a transition period.

Four of the AECs including myself had the pleasure of attending an event hosted by the Japan-Society in New York City on the day of the anniversary in their building between 1st and 2nd on 47th street. As part of an audience of 60 or so other members, many from businesses and governmental organizations, we were able to see an intergenerational panel discussion about the current and future relationship between the U.S. and Japan. We heard from three speakers who have had an impact on US-Japan relations the past, as well as three younger speakers who look to contribute to the relations in the future.

Some of the talk revolved around the current Futenma issue, but the panelists stressed that the relationship is beyond Futenma. A particularly interesting comment was mentioned by Mr. Evans Revere who proclaimed that the U.S. can only go so far in pressuring Japan and that in the end it is Japan's territory. Although the U.S. Defense Department may not be extremely happy, he again pointed out that our alliance is larger than Futenma. That in itself displays some of the misunderstandings between the two sides since it seems like the Japan side is stuck pondering the implications of the actions they want to take, fearful of how the U.S. may react.

All of the panelists agreed that Futenma is just a bump on the road of our long relationship. A few pointed out that in the past we have had much bigger issues come between our two countries and we still have persevered. Another panelist exclaimed that these bumps were actually indicative of an excellent relationship between our two countries; the turbulence is a result of the high expectations on both sides from each other and the rest of the world.

All in all, I left the event looking forward to the future of the two countries. Although JASC has an incredibly diverse delegate/alumni base, I'm hopeful that we'll be making contributions to the relationship in the future in one facet or another.

You can see the official information (Who the panelists were, etc.) about the event here!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Another Introduction!

(me with my friend Taishi Asano from JASC)
Hello !

My name is Mariama Holman and I am another one of the American Executive Committee members for the 62nd JASC. I am the publications director of JASC. Right now I am a sophomore at Wake Forest University in North Carolina. I am leading the San Francisco Site with my super-fabulous partner, Ikuno Naka. Also, I am the American leader for the Social Entrepreneurship Roundtable, which I co-lead with the "Incredible" Shuta Takada.
I was born in Chicago, Illinois, but I have spent a larger portion of my life in Georgia, therefore, I officially consider myself a southerner. However, I definitely enjoy visiting my family in New York and Chicago during the summer and reacquainting myself with my birth city. Right now, my home is in Atlanta, Georgia, and I am loving it. It has the most INCREDIBLE weather, and I feel sorry for the other AEC’s that are situated in the rust-belt and cannot enjoy a lovely 60 degrees spring...

My interests outside of school and career are dominated by the arts, especially painting and drawing. During my high school years I often drew caricatures or painted faces and bodies at fairs, festivals, and charity events. I especially liked to travel to nursing homes or hospitals and create portraits while being entertained with lively conversation.
Besides the visual arts, I REALLY enjoy music and poetry. I am the host of a Jazz show on my school’s student radio station. You can check out my show times for the upcoming semester at Additionally, I love to attend spoken word poetry slams at my school and in Atlanta. I have even read a poem or two of my own a few times…


I applied to JASC because I am just a naturally inquisitive person… Ha ha ha… Honestly, I thought JASC was a great opportunity for me to travel abroad and meet people from a different background from my own. Since I spent a huge chunk of my life in a small, isolated area of the South- I didn’t often engage in a diverse community. My “international experiences” were pretty limited before JASC. Besides a bathroom break at a gas station on the Canadian border when I was 6, I really hadn’t seen the outside world much…

After taking an incredible class on East Asian History and a Social Problems course in college, I realized that I had a strong interest in the study of globalization and its impacts on economics and society. During my Asian History course I was especially interested in the 1960’s of Japan and the expansion of the economy. This really piqued my interest because my folks raised me on stories about “back in the day,” which often times consisted of their first encounters with Japanese products and culture. I remember hearing about the first Japanese product on the American market- tiny Japanese transistor radios given to all good little boys and girls on Christmas. Or, tales of Speed Racer, Astro Boy, and other early forms of Japanese cartooning.
Back then, I thought it was incredible that Japan became an international economic leader in technological and pop-culture trends that hugely impact daily American life. Experiencing Japanese culture and society first-handedly and making friends from across the world further cemented my interests.

Today, I am still astounded at the great experiences I have had and friends that I have made through JASC. JASC was a great opportunity for me, and I don’t think I have learned half as much in any other month of my teenage life. If you all are looking for an adventure where you learn about yourself as well as the international community, JASC is definitely the place for you to be this summer!

Happy New Year
Peace and Deuces...

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Years! (Late) AEC Intro

Hello, this is the blog administrator. It has come to my attention that the people who have been given permission to post on this blog are the JASC 62 executive committee members "Naoki, Leah, David, Diane, Ikuno, Mariama and 62nd JASC AEC." While "62nd JASC AEC" may (or may not) be a fitting author for administrative announcements, it is unfortunately being used at the cost of the administrator's own name and email address. Astonishingly, the administrator is actually (a) human.
My name is Yudai Chiba. I am a senior at Princeton University majoring in East Asian Studies and getting a certificate in musical performance (violin). My JASC duties include cross-cultural liaison (or alternatively, AEC/JEC liaison) and technology = maintaining this blog. Lessons that I've learned (or am afraid I will be forced to learn soon) include A) communication gaps don't get bridged when you don't communicate and B) blogs don't set themselves up and entries don't write themselves. My New Year's resolution includes a clause about being a more responsive and responsible AEC member... orz Sorry everybody :(

In terms of other AEC responsibilities, I am also one of the site coordinators for the Richmond, IN site at Earlham College. I also happen to be an Indiana native so I'm very excited about this site...! I would have never guessed that JASC 62's first site would be in Indiana. To be perfectly honest I grew up in Indiana thinking it was the most boring place on Earth, and it's strange because I'm now trying to think of how I can convince others from thinking the same f(^^;) Really, though, I'm glad that JASC is coming to Indiana this year, and I can only hope that we can make our stay in Richmond (IN) a worthwhile one. Right, Diane...? ;)

I will also be co-running the roundtable (RT) "Security, Military and Peace: The US and Japan," which will focus on discussions of the Japan-US Alliance. Both my JEC partner, Mari, and I hope (I think??) to make it an engaging discussion in the spirit of the Alliance's 50th anniversary!

My hobbies? Ha, you'll find out if you apply to JASC~ >∀< Well, for one thing I play violin and have been since I was 4; I have been a member of the university orchestra since my freshman year. But that's not all! Teehee.

My plans after graduation? Haha, you'll, find, out, if, you, apply, to, JASC...?

For now, "doron!" (*The sound effect when ninjas disappear. Poof!)