US-Japan Leadership Program

The US-Japan Leadership Program (USJLP) launched in 2000 with the purpose of developing a network of communication, friendship and understanding among the next generation of leaders in each country. The relationship between two of the world’s most powerful democracies and economies has become so complex and broad-ranging that it is beyond the ability of governments or specialists to manage. Yet it continues to suffer from misunderstandings, neglect or stereotyped images of each other that arise from our very different histories and cultures.

With the goal of bridging the gap between East and West, the Program fosters a continuing dialogue among future leaders in a broad variety of professions. It starts this process by bringing some 20 young leaders (ages 28-42) together from each country for two intensive weeklong conferences over two years, with discussions revolving around historical and current issues in bilateral relations, as well as issues reaching beyond our two countries. Through serious conversation as well as recreation and shared cultural activities it seeks to nurture lifelong friendships. The Program is designed to keep the leaders in touch with each other throughout their careers through a dedicated website and member directory, frequent reunions and newsletters, and online social networks. To date, 392 young leaders have participated in USJLP.

The Program is managed under the leadership of Dr. George Packard, President of the US-Japan Foundation, with the assistance of Mr. Tomoyuki Watanabe, Japan Representative, and two dedicated Program Directors in New York and Tokyo. An Advisory Council of Japanese and American Fellows (participants who successfully attended previous conferences in both the U.S. and Japan) of the Program acts as the main alumni voice and lends support and council to the Program’s development and activities.

The next application cycle will be announced in early fall, 2017. Potential candidates and their nominators are invited to learn more about the application process here.

USJLP Conferences


US-Japan Leadership Program

Recap: Seattle 2016

The seveneenth annual USJLP conference was held in Seattle from Saturday, July 16 – Saturday, July 23, 2016.

US-Japan Leadership Program

Upcoming: Japan 2017

The eighteenth annual USJLP conference will be held in Kyoto and Tokyo from Sunday, July 23 – Sunday, July 30, 2017.


Learn More at USJLP.org