The JASG Newsletter is a quarterly publication which seeks to promote business, cultural exchange, and mutual understanding between Japan and Georgia. The newsletter is circulated among the more than 800 Society members and community partners. Please send suggestions about articles or articles you might want to contribute to The most current newsletter is below. Other archived newsletters in pdf format are at the bottom of the page. To advertise your goods or services, please contact

Japan-America Society of Georgia


Fall/Winter 2020 Newsletter


On December 17, JASG will host a virtual Bonenkai from 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm on Zoom. This year participants will wine and dine from the safety and comfort of their own homes as they listen to special messages from the Consul General of Japan as well business leaders from both Georgia and Japan. There will also be music and cultural performances, virtual networking breakouts, and holiday trivia and games. And what would a Bonenkai be without a silent auction fundraiser! An exclusive announcement for 2021 will be made so don’t miss it. 

For Japanese restaurant recommendations from JASG members, please go to:

Please go to to register for the Bonenkai.

                  Georgia Announces New Managing Director 

for Georgia Economic Development Office in Tokyo

     After 31 years as Managing Director of the Georgia Tokyo Office, Yumiko Nakazono will retire at the end of February. Nakazono served under six Georgia governors over 30 years and was instrumental in Japan catapulting to the top foreign investor in Georgia. Japanese affiliates in Georgia employ over 35,000 Georgians and Georgia exports to Japan total $1.48 billion. In 2007, Nakazono was presented with the George Busbee Award, which recognizes an individual who has contributed toward building strong relationships between Georgia and Japan.

     On March 1, GDEcD Senior Project Manager Joseph Huntemann will take her place in Tokyo. A graduate of Georgia Tech, Huntemann has served in the GDEcD’s Global Commerce Division for eight years. He previously worked at the Consulate-General of Japan in Atlanta and is fluent in Japanese.

Message from the Chair



    Al Hodge

    JASG Chair

    President & CEO, Hodge Consulting Services

    During this time of transition with Prime Minister Suga in Japan and the President-Elect Biden in the U.S., the mutual interests of trade, investment and defense are all in focus.  Japanese Ambassador to the U.S. Shinsuke Sugiyama has reaffirmed that strong relations will continue.

  • Another transition is happening that also affects Japanese and Georgians: the Department of Economic Development has announced that the Managing Director in is retiring.  Yumiko Nakazono, our friend for decades, has led efforts on behalf of our state, has professionally marketed our state resulting in dozens of solid decisions to invest in Georgia and for Georgia based businesses to invest in Japan.  Her list of accomplishments is very long, including her additional work for the Southeast US- Japan Association. We will miss her.  We are happy that JASG Board of Directors Member Joseph Huntemann, Senior Project Manager for the Global Commerce Team of GDEcD, has been selected by Commissioner Pat Wilson as the new Director in Tokyo. He will relocate to Japan soon and we wish our friend Joseph every success.

    The Society is encouraging ever stronger formal relations between and among the respective nations and Georgia. At the office and for members, our programming has significantly increased this year and is more accessible throughout our State.  If you have already tuned in to the wide range of online programs, thanks – you have seen the good information shared.  We invite all to check the titles and view the webinars with demonstrations, panels, and entertainment.

    We invite you to participate in the virtual Bonenkai and enjoy brief messages, entertainment and virtual tables during which members can interact with each other.  Each of our Board members will be your table hosts during the evening.  See friends, make new ones and catch up on everybody’s news while connecting with fellow Society members.

    We wish you a happy holiday season and a prosperous and safe 2021!

JASG Review the Past Year and Looks Ahead to 2021

Over 50 Board of Directors and general members of the Japan-American Society of Georgia tuned in for the 2020 Annual Membership Meeting held virtually via Zoom. The meeting served as a chance for members to recap the previous year and a look ahead to 2021. While membership retention and renewals are slower with the pandemic, the JASG has continued to keep its membership of about 750 people (400 representatives from over 150 Japanese and U.S. corporate members and about 350 individuals) currently engaged through a variety of virtual and online activities. Although all in-person events have stopped, the Society has been busier than ever hosting a record number of events this year – 131 compared to 113 last year.  A well balanced number of business, community cultural, educational, public affairs, and social events highlighted by the Annual Dinner, Bonenkai, JapanFest, APCC and Obirin University study abroad programs, Federal Reserve Bank luncheon, and much more, shows the JASG offers a little bit of everything to people of all ages and interests. More recently the Society has hosted webinars and a online programming almost on a weekly basis.

The meeting also appreciated Board members cycling off the Board and welcomed new Board members. The Board can be seen at: If you might be interested in serving on the Board in the future, please contact the JASG office.

The JASG Celebrates 40 Years! 

(Part Three)

Since June of 1980, the JASG has been busy building its membership base and promoting the mutual understanding between the people of Japan and the state of Georgia by offering programs and services in the areas of business, culture, customs, education, commerce, politics, and social networking. It has been the place where Japanese citizens come to learn about Americans, and Americans come to learn about the Japanese.

The 1980s were highlighted by an explosion of Japanese investment, particularly from the electronics and automotive industry, not only in Georgia but throughout the U.S. The Society developed a variety of new programs led by Chairs Sam Ayoub (Coca-Cola), former Governor Carl Sanders (Troutman Sanders), Robert Harlin (Powell Goldstein), and John Georgas (Coca-Cola). One of these annual programs was JapanFest, which was started by the Consulate General of Japan in Atlanta as Japan Week, and later became JapanFest in 1986 with support from the JASG and Japanese Chamber of Commerce of Georgia (JCCG). JASG also started recognizing outstanding Japanese and Americans through the creation of the “Mike Mansfield Awards.” Amongst others, recipients of these awards in the 1980s included Robert Broadwater (Georgia Tech), Fred Chanoki (Murata Erie), former Governor George Busbee, Yoshinori Kitano (YKK), and Yoshio Takei (Emory University Hospital).

While the 1990s was a challenging period for some Japanese in the U.S. due to trade policy complications, people inGeorgia continued to appreciate direct investment from Japan as it created jobs and stimulated the economy. Chairs in the 90s, including Don Sands (Gold Kist), Joseph White (Troutman Sanders), Dan Amos (Aflac) and James Martin (Georgia Power), helped expand the Society’s prestige – bestowing the Mike Mansfield Awards to prominent figures like President Jimmy Carter, Ambassadors Kazuo Chiba and Andrew Young, Minister Takayuki Kimura, and others. Furthermore, the visit to Georgia by then Prime Minister Toshihiki Kaifu in 1991 and the Emperor and Empress of Japan in 1994 showed how Georgia-Japan relations had developed in a short period of time.

After a short recession from the IT Bubble between 2000 and 2001, the U.S. economy grew until 2007 when the global economic downturn created setbacks for many nonprofits including the JASG. However, the leadership of the Chairs during the start of the new millennium, which included Geoff Kelly (Coca-Cola), John Beane (McGuireWoods), Ben Greer (Alston & Bird), Alex Gregory (YKK), Chuck Ganz (Sutherland), and Sachi Koto (Sachi Koto Communications), helped the Society continue playing an important role in US-Japan relations in Georgia as Japanese investment in Georgia culminated to over $9 billion by the end of the decade. The 2000s was also marked by Mike Mansfield Awards winners, Tadahiro Yoshida (YKK), Dan Amos (Aflac), and Glen Cornell (Georgia Department of Economic Development), and the JASG joining the annual Asian-Pacific Children Convention with Atlanta and Fukuoka formally starting a Sister City relationship after many of years of being friendship cities.

The 2010s started with a bang as the Society was awarded the renowned Commendation from the Japanese ForeignMinister for its work to promote US-Japan relations in Georgia. The next year, the JASG showed the recognition was not without merit as it helped coordinate a variety of relief programs and reconstruction project support after the Great East Japan Earthquake devastated the country on March 11, 2011. Under the leadership of Mike Mansfield Award winners, Alex Gregory (YKK) and Tom Yamamoto (Murata Electronics), and Chairs, Day Lancaster (NAI/Brannen Goddard), Robert Marsh (UPS), Bob Johnson (Baker Donelson), Bill Strang (TOTO), and Al Hodge (Hodge Consulting Services), new ways to promote US-Japan relations were launched. The establishment of the  Obirin University study abroad programs, Japan Outreach Initiative (JOI), Japan-America Grassroots Summit, and most recently the Grassroots Education Network Japan (GEN-J) program all occurred this past decade. With the new Georgia-Japan Legislative Caucus being formed in 2019 along with many future opportunities still on the horizon, the future of Georgia-Japan relations and the role the JASG continues to be bright. 

As we navigate through the challenges of the current pandemic, the JASG thanks all the support from its Chairs, Board of Directors, Committees, members and partners – past, current and future. Previous staff led by former Executive Directors George Waldner, Robert Broadwater, Sara Englade, Mary Earle, Hilda Lockhart, James Foster, Clark Wisenbaker, and Grace Netland have paved the way for the current staff – but one thing has not changed over the years… the Society’s efforts to foster the people-people connection and seeking ways to continue improving ways to foster friendships among Japanese and Americans. 

Global Atlanta

Japanese Ambassador Anticipates Stable Ties

During Presidential Transition

Signs point to a shift in tone and approach from the Trump administration, but the core tenets of the U.S.-Japan reationship will remain much the same despite the impending U.S. leadership[ in January 2021, Japanese Ambassador Shinsuke Sugiyama said in a virtual call with the Atlanta World Affairs Council. To access the full article, please click: 

Virtual JapanFest 2020 – Wasshoi One World!

Even though it has been a challenging year for all, the 34thJapanFest met the challenge by going to virtual JapanFest activities that spanned four months for the first time. The theme was “Wasshoi! One World (WOW)” reminded us all that we could overcome our challenges if everyone in the world worked together.


From June to the finale in September, JapanFest hosted weekly programming including performances and workshops. These included restaurant and grocery tours, cooking lessons, anime workshops, and introductions to Japanese companies in Georgia. The highlight was the weeklong virtual summer camp for children when we had daily Japanese language lessons, arts, crafts, storytelling, music, cultural activities, and cooking classes. We watched Nexflix together and discussed what we saw. 

For the final weekend when a total of 1,700 people participated, festival programs went from 10am to 7pm on September 26 and then 10 am to 5 pm on September 27. Most participants were from Georgia, but we even attracted attendees from Brazil, Canada, and Japan. Despite some minor technical issues, the team resolved them quickly. Saturday included a shamisen concert by Kyle Abbott and Ekaki Uta with Junko Fuiyama. Nozomi Morgan presented a workshop “Awakening your Ikigai Within: The Japanese Secret to Waking Up with Joy and Purpose”  and a workshop by MomoCon. In addition, there were martial arts demonstrations and lessons. The Sunday finale included webinars on the Japanese economy by Professor James Hoadley and reminiscences about living in Japan by Bob Johnson. In addition, there were storytelling, anime, cooking, a Bon Odori workshop and a samurai workshop. Finally, we had a live drawing and ran a JapanFest store that sold T-shirts, bag, mugs, stickers, and posters. To give back to the community that has given so much to us, we asked for donations that were distributed to Giving Kitchen's efforts to feed font-line workers and people in need.

The virtual festival became famous as Kazuko Lillie, the Festival Manager, was interviewed by TV Japan. Other states sought JapanFest's advice and asked for opinions about their plans. Kazuko even spoke at a symposium in November with participants from many states and Canada. To succeed, the JapanFest Committee was even more dependent on the JASG than usual. The Committee could not have handled the virtual aspects without the JASG, which was involved in all the events that shared Japanese culture with the community. We are pleased that we could share JapanFest with everyone. We would like to appreciate our sponsors, vendors, and participants for another successful JapanFest. JapanFest would also like to thank the Consulate General of Japan, the Japan-America Society of Georgia, and the Japanese Chamber of Commerce of Georgia for their support. We look forward to seeing you all next year!


Due to COVID-19, JASG has been focusing on virtual programing: webinars, seminars, cooking lessons, children's programs, and Japanese language classes. We look forward to seeing our friends in person soon.

 Dec 3:
Virtual Tour of YKK's Passive Town - A Model for Sustainable Living

On December 3, Jessica Cork, Vice-President for Community Engagement and Corporate Communication at YKK Corporation of America, took us on a behind-the-scenes tour of Passive Town, the eco-friendly residential complex YKK is developing in Kurobe, Japan. The complex makes use of solar light and heat, underground water, seasonal winds and trees in an attempt to cut back on energy consumption by 50%-60% compared to regular Houses in the area. Passive Town was the first residential development in Japan to be named a winner of the LEED Homes Awards. To view the presentation, please see:

 Nov 10:
Webinar: Exploring Japanese Company Attraction in Georgia

With over 600 Japanese affiliated companies employing about 35,000 Georgians, Japan is the number one foreign investor in Georgia. This webinar discussed: Georgia’s engagement with Japanese companies in Japan and in Georgia; attributes focused on when engaging Japanese companies; attraction strategies and policies to consider when working with the Japanese ; concerns, key issues, considerations to support Japanese companies. Presenters (from left): Shelly Carmichael and Tom Croteau, Maxis Advisors; Yumiko Nakazono, Ga Dept of Economic Devt.; Charles Stallworth, Georgia Power. To view the webinar, please visit: 

 Nov 6:   Webinar: Economic Outlook after the 2020 Elections

The U.S. election underlines a variety of crucial issues including the fight against COVID-19, economic stimulus, U.S. foreign policy, andracial inequality, all of which are likely to have enormous impacts on the economy in 2021 and beyond. This webinar highlights the impact of the election on business operations and consumer spending; job retention, productivity and industrial output; 2021 economic outlook, and future fiscal policy; and effects of the election on GDP and financial markets. To view the webinar, please visit

 Oct 29: 

    Webinar: Impact of 2020 Elections on Immigration & Insurance Claims

    This webinar discusses how the insurance industry has ‘circled the wagons’ and is steadfastly opposing pandemic-related insurance claims. Businesses are struggling and need the insurance they paid for. It also discussed changes in immigration rules which may impact foreign national employees working in the U.S. To view, please visit:

       Sept 30

      Webinar: Cyber Attack Preparation & Prevention

      This webinar discussed the secrets to Cybersecurity preparation and prevention tips. No industry is safe and manufacturing cyber attacks are on the rise. Industry statistics show manufacturing saw a 156% increase in cyber security breaches in the first quarter of 2020. Topics included: what cyber hackers are looking for; how they attempt to breach operations; what to do to prepare and prevent attacks; what to do if your company has experienced a breach. 

       Sept 24

      Webinar: Exploring Japanese Company Retention in Georgia

      With over 600 Japanese affiliated companies employing about 35,000 Georgians, Japan is the number one foreign investor in Georgia. This JASG and Georgia-Japan Legislative Caucus webinar featured experts discussing what attributes to focus on when engaging Japanese companies; how to engage with Japanese companies already in your community; retention strategies and policies to consider when working with Japanese companies; concerns, key issues, considerations to support Japanese companies. Panelists were: Daraka Satcher, Taylor English Decisions (GA-JPN Legislative Caucus); Mamoru Fukunaga, Consulate General of Japan; Joseph Huntemann, Georgia Dept of Economic Development; Melinda Lemmon, Bartow County Dept of Economic Development; Takuya Takahashi, JETRO Atlanta. To view, please visit:

       Sept 16 
      Sustainability & Manufacturing

      This virtual discussion discussed the strategy and approach of international manufacturers toward implementing sustainability goals. The presenters were Sara Irvani, CEO of Okabashi Brands; Jim Reed, President of YKK Corporation of America; Nicolas Cudre-Mauroux, Group Manager for Research & Innovation of Solvay; and Andy Brehm, Site Director, Gainesville Bio Operations of Boehringer Ingelheim. To view, please visit:

       Sept 16

      JP Morgan Global Economic & Market Outlook Webinar

      The JASG was a promotional partner on this webinar series featuring Japanese economist Toru Sasaki from JP Morgan Tokyo.

       Sept 10

      International Women’s Series Entrepreneurship

      As part of the International Women’s Series, panelists discussed how to support female entrepreneurship, drive partnerships, and how to take your business global.

       Aug 25

      Air Travel: Today and Tomorrow

      Since the global outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, domestic air travel has slumped, international passenger traffic has decreased by 95% in some markets, and losses amount in the billion of dollars. As the airline industry grapples with uncertain revenue streams and government stimulus packages, it must also adopt new measures to ensure health and safety on aircraft and in airports. Leaders from international airlines and one of the busiest airports in the world discussed the short-term impact and long-term implications for air travel. To view the webinar, please visit:


       December 8  International Women’s Series: Giving Back with the Atlanta Food Bank

      International women celebrated Giving Tuesday at the Community Food Bank. The Food Bank's Education and Outreach Team shared their new Digital Community Food Experience. The program brought to life major barriers to food security, the relationship between poverty and hunger, and the impact food insecurity has on health. There was also an overview of the Food Bank and explanation of how COVID-19 has impacted the Food Bank and the communities they serve.

      December 4

      November 19

      Art in the US-Japan Relationship: A Curator’s Perspective with Monika  Bincsik 

      Through the Richard J. Wood Art Curator Series offered by the The National Association of Japan-America Societies (NAJAS) and the Japan-United States Friendship Commission (JUSF), the Japan-America Society of Georgia (JASG) presented this special lecture event. This event highlighted the unique aspects of Japanese art and its role in the grassroots relationship between the United States and Japan. Monika Bincsik, Associate Curator of Japanese Decorative Arts at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, presented the intricacies of the renowned Bamboo Art from The Abbey Collection. To enjoy the presentation, see:

      November 28 October 31 August 29 Nihongo Eigo Kai: Virtual Meet-Up 

      The Nihongo-Eigo Kai is a friendly social gathering for anyone looking for an opportunity to chat in, practice, and improve their English and Japanese conversation skills– speaking, listening, pronunciation, accent reduction, etc. These were virtual meet-ups practicing social distancing in accordance with healthcare recommendations.

      November 10 October 13 September 8

      Kayobi-Kai Virtual Dinner

      Kayobi-Kai dinners meet the 2nd Tuesday of each month at restaurants in the metro Atlanta area to promote friendship and social networking. All are welcome. As we practiced social distancing in accordance with recommendations by healthcare professionals, the fall Kayobi-kai were virtual. Participants ordered take-out or delivery and joined a Zoom meeting to promote friendship and social exchange.

       October 8

       Virtual US-Japan Networking Night

      JASG members met for a casual networking event to mingle with others interested in Japanese culture and the U..S.-Japan relationship. The program connected participants n the Grassroots Exchange Network Japan (GEN-J) Program from Atlanta, Chicago, Cincinnati, Dallas/Fort Worth, Detroit, Lexington, Houston, and Indianapolis. Break-out sessions allowed all to participate in a relaxed environment.

       September 30 Dinner & A Movie: Shoplifters
      Participants enjoyed dinner at home while Professor Hoadley introduced the film Shoplifters, a 2018 Japanese drama directed, written and edited by Hirokazu Kore-eda. Starring Lily Franky and Sakura Ando, it is about a ‘family’ that relies on shoplifting to cope with a life of poverty. Kore-eda wrote the screenplay contemplating what makes a family, and inspired by reports on poverty and shoplifting in Japan. The film premiered on May 13, 2018 at the Cannes Film Festival and released in Japan on June 8, 2018. It has received many awards internationally. The movie was followed by a lively discussion.
       September 9 Virtual Tsukimi Moon Viewing Zoom Gala

      Participants wined and dined from the safety and comfort of their homes while enjoying music and cultural performances by Yoshi, Junko, Miyabiya, Bachido, and Madoka. There were special messages from the Consul General Japan and representatives from the state of Georgia and city of Atlanta. There were also virtual networking breakouts.

       September 5

       Webinar:Inside Pop Music with Dr. Capital

      The Japanese music industry, the second largest in the world, has hundreds of groundbreaking Japanese artists putting out thousands of songs that move the hearts of millions of listeners. Dr. Capital, at the University of North Texas College of Music, introduced popular artists, explained the unique features of J-Pop, and uncovered the masterful musical devices that make these hits so catchy. To enjoy this webinar, please see:

      August 25

      Dinner and a Movie

      After the StormJASG members ordered in their favorite Japanese food while they watched the movie ‘After the Storm.’ After the movie there was a lively discussion.


      The Tomodachi Club  is a daytime women’s cultural exchange group established in 1981 to promote friendship, cultural exchange and understanding among Japanese and American women. General meetings and small group meetings alternate monthly from September to May. Often general events include a luncheon together with an interesting field trip or a special event. Small group meetings, usually at members’ homes, include a coffee or luncheon with an activity of interest to the group, a program, demonstration or discussion. To join, go to:

       November 18

       Virtual Tomodachi Cub Luncheon

      Tomodachi Club member Utako Tanigawa presented a classical music program on the piano via Zoom for a virtual meeting and concrete.

       September 9  Virtual Tomodachi Club Luncheon

      The JASG’s Tomodachi Club gathered virtually via Zoom for "Orchids: Divas of the Design World", by orchid specialist Terry Furuta.  

      • The JASG Young Professionals (YP) was established in 1996. YP is dedicated to creating a friendly, stimulating environment in which young professionals with an interest in international business and U.S.-Japan relations can gather and learn from local experts and from one another. Informal, informative and interactive YP programs enhance member knowledge of Japan and U.S.-Japan relations. The YP meetings are also about having fun. Members are encouraged to get to know one another socially. Young Professionals are friendly, supportive, and excellent sources of information on a variety of subjects. Please consider joining them in the New Year. To join, go to:

         November  14

         YP Koyo Autumn Leaf Viewing and Hiking
        Following the Japanese and American traditions of viewing the changing colors of the autumn leaves, the YP group embarked on a friends and family hiking trip to Georgia’s Arabia Mountain near Lithonia. The event was limited to 10 participants. Other health guideline requirements: masks, social distancing, clean hygiene and sanitation practices, and liability waiver.

        October 30  Halloween Dinner & A Movie
        YPers ordered in their favorite Japanese food and enjoyed “Ghostroads” together. ”Ghostroads” is a Hard Day’s Night in Japan with a Faustian twist. The Screamin’ Telstars are a Japanese retro rock band with Tony as lead vocalist and lead guitar. They have struggled toether for years but have never met with any real commercial success. One day, Tony’s amp burns up and he goes to buy a new one at a guitar shop with a curious owner. Tony winds up with an amp that has a history.  From the amp comes a ghost who promises Tony fame and immortality in return for a favor: disbanding his band, forever. The ghost also promises Tony greater fame than his old rival from his student days, but . . . The YPers discussed the movie, bringing the evening to an end.

         October 10  Mixology & Networking Night
        The YPers met virtually for a fun evening of virtual networking while learning the versatility of Shiso Juice as a great cocktail mix or its delicious flavor on its own. After a brief Mixology Demo by Nakato Japanese Restaurant, participants received a free bottle of shiso cocktail mix to enjoy at home with any online restaurant purchase of $20 or more.

      Farewell from Mariko

      Konnichiwa, everyone. My name is Mariko Shimoda. I joined the JASG in October 2018. I was a member of the first cohort of the Japan Foundation’s GEN-J Program dedicated to deepening the understanding of Japanese culture and language in the Midwest and South. The main purpose of this program is to strengthen the collaboration between Japanese companies operating in the U.S. and local communities. My two years have come to an end, so it is with a heavy heart that I have returned to Japan. I’d like to thank all of you for having supported my work here. 

      In these two years, I visited many schools and companies to promote Japanese culture, business, and language. Also, I taught Japanese to many learners. From those experiences, I could meet many wonderful people here. 

      Before I arrived, we were told that we were going to regions with limited opportunities for cultural exchange with Japan. However, Georgia was different. Many Japanese companies, a thriving Japanese community, Japanese organizations, and of course, JASG have been committed to strengthening the Japan-US relationship for many years. As a result I was kept busy doing much and meeting many. I was able to serve 4600 people in my first year and 2600 people in my second year. During the pandemic, Iit has been difficult doing outreach since March, but I tried to make up for that with virtual programs. That was a great experience as well.

      After I moved here, I missed only one thing about Japan. It was ‘onsen,’ Japaenese hot spring resorts. Apparently, in the US, there are over 1600 hot springs. I tried one, but it was totally different from onsenin Japan. A trip to an onsenis top on my list of things to do in Japan. There were so many good Japanese restaurants I enjoyed at Kayoubi-kai or YP events. On the other hand, I will miss BBQ, Southern food, Mexican food, and eggnog! Authentic tastes are not in Japan. I should have learned how to make them…

      Anyway, when I go back to Japan, I’ll share my experiences there. I plan to continue as a Japanese language instructor somewhere in the world. I will build on these two years as I pursue my career. Thank you so much for everything. I wish you all continued success and health. Arigatou gozaimashita.

      2021 Asia-Pacific Children’s Program in Fukuoka

      by Debra Owen

      We have some great news to report! The Asian-Pacific Children's Convention is moving forward with an in-person event in July 2021. And even better yet, the 2020 Junior Ambassadors have been invited to represent Atlanta in 2021! All four 2020 JAs have committed to going to Fukuoka next year.  Although we do not yet know precisely how the convention will look, we know that the APCC takes the participants' health very seriously. The APCC will follow the most stringent COVID-19 protocols, such as prior PCR testing and quarantine.  We held a Zoom meeting to let the kids know that they can go to Japan next year. Their excitement was precious—what a lovely way to end such a challenging year! As I've mentioned before, this is an excellent group of Junior Ambassadors. There are many advantages to having this group go next year, including the fact that they have already bonded as a group. Going to Japan together will make them even closer. In addition to the four JAs and one chaperone, we have the opportunity to submit two applications for Peace Ambassadors in February. We have an engaged group of Bridge Club members, and I'm sure that the APCC will accept one of their applications. 

      Bridge Club Atlanta News

      Our Bridge Club activities continue to be remote because of the global pandemic. In August, we participated in an activity called "Pass the Mask," where global Bridge Club participants caught and threw their face masks to make a world-wide chain video. In September, we had another Zoom based "Friendship Circle" meeting, with well over 200 participants from around the Asia-Pacific Rim. The most recent Bridge Club International movement is the APCC Smile Streaming Concert. This virtual concert will feature world-class musicians from the APCC network. It can be viewed via a YouTube live stream on December 26, 2020, at 8 pm JST. All proceeds from the event will support the APCC Smile Support project. Subscribe to the APCC Office YouTube Channel at If you watch closely, you may get a glimpse of a couple of Atlanta participants! 

      JASG-Obirin Virtual Study Abroad Programs

      2020 and 2021 has a new look and feel for Obirin students from Japan as they join JASG faculty, staff, and business/community speakers representing a variety of industries in Atlanta/Georgia for a wide range of fascinating online courses, presentations, and company tours. Learn what makes global companies successful while working in groups with American students on a final project of launching a start-up company of their own! The JASG thanks Aflac, American Yazai, Coca-Cola, Delta Sir Lines, Dexerials, Ga Council for Economic Education, Honda Precision Parts, JP Morgan, Kubota, Marsh USA, Pasona, Taylor English, TOTO, YKK and everyone who made this program possible.

      Member Spotlights

      Meet Kubota: one of the largest Japanese companies in Georgia!

      Former JASG intern, Tsehay Wright, now Human Resources Recruiter at Kubota Manufacturing of America, burtualy presented to a group of students from Japan what makes Kubota so unique. Here are some fun facts -

      • Founded in 1890, marking 2020 as its 130-year annivrsary
      • Employs 40,202+ people worldwide. It has 18 production sites outside of Japan 27 overseas affiliates, and presence in 110 countries
      • In 2020, Forbes ranked Kubota as #89 most innovative Global Company and #72 Top Regarded Company
      • High Quality products manufactured in Georgia include: Residential & Commercial Lawn Mowers, Tractors, Rough Terrain Vehicles (RTV's), Skid Steer Loaders, and much more
      • Kubota has career opportunities for all levels through work based learning program, technical college apprenticeship program, internship program, Co-op program and direct hire positions, more at

      • Culinary Corner

      • Culinary Corner: Chawanmushi Recipe from the Nakato Family


        280 g (9.46 oz) 'dashi' stock   14 g (.493 oz) light soy sauce

        2 eggs 14 g (.493 oz) miring

        pinch of salt

        choose among the following depending on your palate - as many as you want:

        chicken crabstick ginko nuts shiitake mushrooms  shrimp yuzu edamame kanikama

        mitsuba leaf as topping


        Start by gently beating the eggs in a medium bowl; do not aerate the eggs too much

        Add ‘dashi’ stock, light soy sauce, mirin, salt

        Use a strainer and strain the egg mixture to achieve a silky texture

        Get 3-4 ramekins with a lid and fill up each ramekin up to ¼ height with ingredients. If you do nota ramekin, use small mug cups or small bowl with a thicker wall

        Slowly add the egg mixture to cover ¾ of the cup without air bubbles. If air bubbles appear, pop them with a toothpick or gently scoop out with a small spoon

        Cover the ramekin (bowl or mug) with a lid or aluminum fol; put in a steamer to steam at high heat. We recommend about an inch and a half of water.

        Steam for 10-16 minutes. Check for readiness by poking the egg mixture. If clear broth seeps through, it is ready.

          To make ‘dashi’ stock:

          •  clean a 2 in piece of ‘konbu’ dried kelp by gently wiping it with a damp cloth
          • warm 2 cups of water and konbu over medium heat
          • remove the konbu right before the water comes to a full boil to prevent stock from becoming bitter
          • remove pan from heat and add bonito to steep in broth for 5 minutes
          • strain the bonito flakes from the broth; add additional water, pouring thru strained bonito to make 2 cups
          • use or store borth 0 broth can be used immediately, refrigerated for up to a week, or frozen for up to 3 months

        For ingredients, the Nakato family suggests the Buford Highway Farmers Market at 5600 Buford Hwy NE, Atlanta. You should be able to find Japanese ingredients on Isle 24.

      Japan America Society of Georgia

      Newsletter Contributors:

           Maria Domoto

           Yoshi Domoto

           Albert Hodge

           Maki Murahashi

           Nakato Family

           Debra Owen

           Mariko Shimoda

      To advertise in future newsletters,


      The Japan-America
      Society of Georgia

      1900 Century Place NE
      Suite 112

      Atlanta, GA 30345

      Tel: (404) 842-1400
      Fax: (404) 842-1415


      New Corporate Members

        FLUIDDA   School Mitchell
        HAIRCLUB   Takeuchi USA
        International Charter Academy of Georgia  

      New Individual Members

       Gallau Bristol  Frank Banich  Albert Chang
       Kimberly Clark
       Harrison Davis
       Charles Driskell
       Alex Gregory
       Jennifer Gutierrez
       Michael Hearn
       Frank Hunt
       Robert Knapp
       Zach Layman
       Tyler Mulling
       Mark Pierson
       Random Porter
       Kimberly Premoli
       Eri Saikawa
       Hiroyasu Sato
       Michelle Sewell  Jessica Shelton
       Roy Wilkinson
       Mio Yanagisawa
       Shoko Yoshida

           End-of-the-Year Donations

      As we near the close of a challenging 2020, we can look back with pride upon the significant accomplishments of the Japan-America Society of Georgia even through difficult times. We have held a record-number of programs this year and hope that you share our view that the activities of the Society have helped to (virtually) foster mutual respect and understanding between the Japanese and Americans and have benefited the Atlanta and Georgia communities significantly.

      In order to enable the Society to continue to accomplish its mission, we ask that, in the holiday spirit of peace, joy and charity, you please consider making a year-end contribution to the Society. No contribution is too small, and we can assure you that your tax-deductible donation will be put to good use in the coming year and beyond. You may wish to check to see if your employer matches your contributions to charitable organizations such as the Society.  

       Further, if you would like to designate a gift in honor of a friend, client or family member, we would be happy to acknowledge your gift in our Society’s newsletter and, if you like, advise the person honored of your kindness. 

       For all donations made over $50, the Society will present a JASG T-shirt, water bottle, beanie hat, and/or other Japan-related accessories as special thank you gift. 

      Please make checks payable to the Japan-America Society of Georgia. Should you wish to make a pledge via credit card, please contact the Japan-America Society at (404) 842-1400 or visit the donation page on the Society’s website at

       On behalf of the Society, please accept our sincere thanks for your friendship and support.   We wish you and your family a safe, peaceful, joyous, healthy and happy holiday season and a prosperous new year.

      Yoshi Domoto

      The Japan-America Society of Georgia, Inc.

      is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization located

       in Atlanta, Georgia with the mission

       to promote the mutual understanding 

      between the people of Japan and

      the State of Georgia


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