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Japan America Society of Minnesota

Japan America Society of Minnesota
The Tsūshin is a membership publication of the Japan America Society of Minnesota
April 2014 VOL. 23, No. 04
Corporate Roundtable Gives Inside View
Miyako Yoshida and Hiroki Kaga, Japanese lawyers currently
on a short-term assignment with Dorsey and Whitney LLP,
were the guest presenters at the JASM Corporate Roundtable
on Wednesday, March 5th. Together, they gave the audience
an inside view of the legal aspects of current Japanese
business issues. They discussed the continuing globalization
of Japanese companies, the merging and acquisition of large
companies, as well as the impact of Japan’s new legal
structure on U.S. business in Japan.
Mr. Kaga and Ms. Yoshida first addressed the
massive globalization process that many Japanese companies
have turned to in recent years. They mentioned how the
Japanese population has continually declined since 2007, as
well as the issue of weak consumer spending within Japan.
This has led Japanese companies to hire more foreign
employees domestically and overseas. With the global
prevalence of English being the primary language spoken,
some Japanese companies have also decided to employ
English as the official language within the company—
meaning all official documents and meetings are conducted in
English. Mr. Kaga briefly reviewed the decision-making
processes in Japanese companies and how they differ with
Western decision-making, and the conflicts that arise from
this .differences.
This globalization then led to the discussion of
increasing mergers and acquisitions in Japanese companies.
Continued on page 4
J-Quiz Winners Go to Washington D.C.
Competition was stiff at the 2014 J-Quiz. Over 70 students
from nine different Upper Midwest high schools competed,
hoping to win a chance to compete in the National Japan
Bowl in Washington D.C. this April. Only one team from
each division could win, though, which meant that only the
students who knew the most about Japanese language and
culture could take the prize.
Three different teams, along with their teachers
and, as the JASM representative, Ben van Lierop, will
make the journey to Washington D.C. on April 10th, 2014.
From the Level II division, Ms. Leora Eisenberg and Mr.
Simon Fink from Noval Classical Academy will be
competing in the National Japan Bowl. The winners of the
Level III division are Ms. Helen Risser, Ms. Kate
Erickson, and Ms. Laura Morris from Edina High School.
From the Level IV division, the winners are Ms. Jazmin
Mangra, Ms. Kjerstin Nelson, and Ms. Kailey Kraus from
Apple Valley High School. Everybody is now hard at work
preparing for the competition at the National Japan Bowl.
Students will be tested on their Japanese language
grammar, vocabulary, comprehension, and speaking in this
competition, as well as questions about Japanese history
and culture. Students from all over the country will be
competing, so we wish them the best of luck!
Their trip does not end with the competition,
though. Students will have time to enjoy the Sakura
Festival in Washington D.C. as well. This is one of the
biggest Japan related festivals in the country, so it is sure to
be exciting. At the Sakura Festival, students can enjoy
Japanese food, pop culture, activities, and various shops
while viewing the blooming Cherry Blossom trees. There
will also be opportunities for students to view historical
and famous sites in D.C., such as the National Mall and
museums. All too soon, the group will then proceed to the
airport on Sunday, April 13th to return to Minnesota.
We would like to recognize the generosity of our
sponsors for making this trip and the J-Quiz program
possible. We would like to thank Andersen Corporation,
Delta Air Lines, Dorsey &
Whitney LLP, Hamre,
Schumann, Mueller &
Larson. P.C., the Mall of
America and Taiyo
International, Inc.
A previous group of
J-Quiz winners in
Washington D.C.
Mondale Scholarship for 2014-2015
The Japan America Society of Minnesota (JASM) will award the Mondale
Scholarship to Minnesota undergraduate students enrolled in Minnesota
colleges and universities who want to study and travel. JASM will offer
up to $4,500 in scholarships for the 2014-2015 academic year. The
selection committee has the discretion to award up to three $1,000
scholarships or two $1,500 scholarships. Due to the generous donations
received at the Mondale Gala in 2013, the fund for the scholarships has
been increased to three scholarships for the next academic year. The
awards are specifically to be used for travel to or within Japan before,
during, or after the student’s specified terms of study. To read the
guidelines for application and to download an application form, please
visit our website and look under the link titled “Programs”.
Since 1998, the Mondale Scholarship has made many learning
opportunities available to students. These students have been able to stay
with host families, travel, research, and learn in ways that they may have
not been able to without the scholarship.
Deadline: Applications must be postmarked by Tuesday, June
10th, 2014
Photo of Cherry Blossoms near Hiroshima
Castle taken by a past Mondale Scholarship
Membership Renewal Process Change
JASM will Move to Annual Membership Renewal
Process in June
In a new initiative to become more efficient in
handling the renewal process for JASM individual
members, JASM will begin an annual renewal
process in June, 2014.
We believe this renewal process for individual
members will be more efficient by standardizing the
time when all members renew their membership.
Letters of request for renewals will be sent in June for
a 12-month membership through May, 2015. For those
who have already renewed for 2014, credit will be
made to accommodate their renewal through this new
renewing process.
More information about how this system will
be implemented with be sent in the next Tsushin and
in other announcements before June, 2014. We believe
that this change will reduce administrative tasks and
enable us to focus more time and effort on JASM
events and programs. Please note that this change will
only be implemented for individual memberships. The
Corporate Membership process will not be affected
with this change.
We want to thank you for the financial
support you give to JASM through your membership
dues. We appreciate your generous support that helps
JASM to do events that build cultural understanding
and international cooperation in the Upper Midwest.
Ben van Lierop
Executive Director
Photo from one of
the past Sake
Tasting events. This
event will be coming
up soon, so watch
for more details in
upcoming editions of
the Tsushin.
Membership News
Thanks to the following
new JASM Members:
Katsushi Schmitz, Mimi & Ben Berhe
Thanks to the following
renewing JASM Members:
Jonathon Wiese, Alex Detrick, Yoko Breckenridge, Richard Kushino, Daryll & Yukiko Magree, Tadako Pratt, Jean Umezu, Kyoko
Haines, Jennifer Kocs
Thanks to the following
Renewing Corporate Members:
Aveda Corporation, Saint Paul Saints,
Tomodachi, Wilson Learning Worldwide
JASM Professional Group
The JASM Professional Group , formally known
as the JASM Young Professionals Group,
provides networking opportunities primarily for
business professionals at social events. Here
fellow professionals can tell stories about their
experiences in Japan and share interests in the
culture and society both from a personal, as well
as professional, perspective. Meetings are
currently scheduled to take place every other
month at a Japanese restaurant. This also provides
an opportunity to try different Japanese
restaurants in the Twin Cities area and for interested members to find out more about
the JASM mission and activities in the community.
The JASM Professional Group will be having their first meeting of the new
year in late April.
Date: Wednesday, April 30th
Time: 5:30pm - 7:30pm
Place: Fuji-Ya (Uptown Minneapolis location)
600 W Lake St.
Minneapolis, MN 55408
Cost: Free for JASM members, $5 for nonmembers. Attendees are encouraged to purchase
their own food and drink at the restaurant.
For reservations, please visit our website in the near future.
Membership Spotlight:
Hamre, Schumann, Mueller & Larson, PC
This month we would like to feature one of our Corporate
Members, HSML. This law firm has been a JASM member since
2010. Yuhgo Maruta, one of our new JASM board members, is a
lawyer for this firm and shared with us the following comments on
how his firm is connected to Japan.
“In general, HSML is a law firm that provides intellectual
property services to international and domestic clients. Many of
our international clients are Japanese, and a bulk of our work for
our Japanese clients involves prosecuting patent applications
before the United States and Patent Trademark Office (USPTO)
to secure patent protection in the US. Some of our domestic clients
are interested in securing patent protection in Japan, and we
facilitate this process by taking advantage of our strong
relationships with our counterparts in Japan. As the Japanese
economy revives, we are hoping that more domestic companies,
especially our local Minnesota companies, become interested in
entering the Japanese market. In the process, we hope to grow our
domestic work and thereby strengthen the business ties between
Minnesota and Japan.”
JASM is happy to have HSML as a member and we are
looking forward to their involvement with the Japanese
community in Minnesota.
Image from the Hamre, Schumann,
Mueller & Larson, PC website.
Please thank our members with
your support!
Corporate Benefactor Members
Daikin Applied, Inc.
Delta Airlines, Inc.
Corporate Sustaining Members
3M Company
American Medical Systems, Inc.
Andersen Corporation
Boston Scientific Corporation
Design Ready Control, Inc.
Dorsey & Whitney, LLP
Fredrikson & Byron, PA
Gray Plant Mooty
Hamre, Schumann, Mueller & Larson, PC
Hubbard Broadcasting
Lion Precision
Mall of America
Medtronic, Inc
Nagai Industries U.S.A. Inc.
St. Jude Medical
Taiyo International, Inc.
The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Ltd.
Corporate Contributing Members
Aveda Corporation
Bloomington Sister City Organization
Briggs and Morgan, P.A.
Compart Family Farms
Devicix, LLC
Japan Lifeline Co. Ltd.
Leonard, Street and Deinard
Minnesota Orchestra Musicians
Professional Instruments Company
Proto Labs, Inc.
Satellite Industries
Sysco Asian Foods
Wilson Learning Worldwide
Partners in Service
Fuji-Ya Restaurant
Kiku Enterprises
Origami Restaurant
St. Paul Saints
Sakura Restaurant & Sushi Bar
Saint Paul Convention & Visitors Authority
Saint Paul Saints Baseball Club
Suishin Restaurant
The Voyager Group
Tiger Sushi
Nonprofit Members
Aikido of Minnesota
Anime Twin Cities, Inc.
BioBusiness Alliance of Minnesota
Concordia Language Villages
JETAA Minnesota
JETRO Chicago
KCC–Japan Education Exchange
Macalester College Asian Language &
Culture Department
Minneapolis Japanese School
Minnesota International Center
Minnesota Trade Office
Mu Performing Arts
N-Dimensional Japan
US-China Business Connections
Winona State Univ. Global Studies Dept.
A Tale for the Time Being / Tom Haeg
Corporate Roundtable
-Continued from Page 1-
A Tale for the Time
Being; Ozeki, Ruth;
Viking Press, $29.95
Ruth Ozeki, 58, was
born in Connecticut to
an American father and
Japanese mother. Fluent
in Japanese, she
graduated from college
and immediately earned
a fellowship to study
Japanese Literature at
Nara University. She
later became a bar
hostess in Kyoto and an
acclaimed flower
arranger. As an outsider
inside Japan, she was
particularly attracted to
Japanese customs and norms. She uses this perspicuous
advantage in her writing.
A Tale is a chirpy, diary-style novel format of a
young Japanese girl. The diary is discovered by a woman on
a beach in the northwest Pacific (‘flotsam’ or ‘jetsam’).
Although the setting seems unlikely, it is not. Ozeki began
writing the novel in 2006. Just as it was ready to be
published, she pulled it and started all over after the March
2011 earthquake, tsunami, and Fukushima disaster. The
reedited version weaves a contemplative, somewhat
existential narrative focused on memory, uncertainty, and Zen
philosophy. Some critics find her process scatterbrain; that
is, the reader may ask the relevancy of selected text. She
even begs the reader to hang in there (“…wondering if you
should keep on reading…”). Yet she does allow inertia to
draw it in by musing on quantum mechanics, tidal patterns,
Japanese school-bullying, etc. See, I told you.
Although I enjoyed reading A Tale, I was
disappointed with a lack of sustained imagery and an
undisciplined writing style (“…it’s kind of like…”). Ozeki
just seemed a little too preoccupied to force feed her
philosophy. A good editor should have told her to be more
subtle (“...important to have clearly defined goals…”) and
avoid needless clichés (“You can’t tell a book by its cover.”)
Ozeki has a rich film history to her credits. She now spends
most of her time raising ducks, knitting, studying Zen
Buddhism, and in Vancouver, British Columbia as well as
New York. She is an ordained Buddhist priest.
A Tale won the National Book Critics Circle Award
for fiction and was short listed for the Man Booker Prize in
Tom Haeg, JASM Executive Secretary
Continued from page 1
Ms. Yoshida pointed out the increase in M&A volume,
as well as an increased presence in Asia—more so
within Southeast Asia rather than China. She predicted,
according to her data, that Japanese M&A volumes are
likely to increase in 2014, particularly in the
pharmaceutical, telecom, electronics, and machinery
business realms.
Mr. Kaga later discussed various changes in
law regarding business processes. He briefly discussed
the Companies Act, Financial Instruments and
Exchange Act, as well as changes in the Japanese Law
School system. The new law school system was
introduced in 2004, after the U.S. system. The new
system is intended to 1) increase the number of lawyers
to meet the growing legal demand and 2) create lawyers
who do not rely on Bar preparation schools. The
systems is placed as a master degree—3 years if student
is not a law undergraduate, or 2 years if student is a law
undergraduate. It also allows three chances to pass the
Bar exam.
Through their own experiences and research,
Mr. Kaga and Ms. Yoshida enabled the audience to
better understand the cultural influences of recent
changes and the impact of new legal reforms on
Japanese businesses.
JASM would like to thank Dorsey & Whitney LLP for
hosting this Corporate Roundtable.
Kizuna - Commemorating 3 Years Since the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami
Tuesday March 11th, 2014 marked the third commemoration of the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami. JASM,
along with the Saint Paul – Nagasaki Sister City Committee and JET Alumni Association Minnesota, put on the Kizuna
3 event on Tuesday, March 11th with the objectives of paying tribute to the lives lost on that day as well as providing an
opportunity to raise money for the on-going cleanup efforts for those affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake and
Tsunami. Over thirty people gathered for this event, in which pictures of the wreckage and clean-up efforts were
provided by the Japanese Consulate in Chicago for viewing. In addition, everyone enjoyed poetry readings, a moment of
silence, and a performance by the Mu-Min Choir Group of “Hana wa Saku”, which was originally composed in response
to the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami. Although our hearts were saddened over that fateful day, the Kizuna 3
event allowed people to gather together and provided a positive step in the recovery effort for all those involved.
The Mu-Min Choir Group performing
“Hana wa Saku”.
Photos showing both the destruction
and rebuilding.
The Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival is Coming up!
The Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival, hosted by The Film Society of Minneapolis St. Paul, is just around
the corner. This event, which is one of the largest annual arts events in Minnesota, will showcase more than 250 of the
best and new international films from over 60 different countries. Several of these scheduled films are from Japan.
 “Flashback Memories 3D”, directed by Matsue Tetsuaki, is documentary about a
Japanese didgeridoo player named Goma. The film follows him from his car
accident in 2009, though his rehabilitation, and into his recovery.
 “Land of Hope”, is a dramatic film directed by Sion Sono. This film is based on
the true events following the 2011 earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear disaster and
tells the story of a family who must make a decision between leaving their farm
and staying near the evacuation zone.
 “Letter to Momo”, is a family-friendly animated film directed by Hiroyuki
Okiura. Momo, the main character, is a young girl who moves to Tokyo with her
mother after her father dies. After exploring her new attic, she finds herself
accompanied by three goblins who watch over her, make trouble for her, and also
help her decipher the unfinished letter that her father left her in his death.
 “R100”, directed by Hitoshi Matsumoto, is a mysterious and thrilling dark
comedy about a man who, looking for a way to escape the pressures of his daily
life, turns to an S&M club. Although initially enjoyable, he realizes he has made a
mistake but, being unable to quit this club, finds himself being pursued by the
women of this club who each have a unique talent.
 “Why Don’t You Play in Hell?”, is an action film directed by Shion Sono, about a
conflict between the Kitagawa yakuza clan and the Muto yakuza clan. In this film,
past conflicts between the two clans boil over in an over-the-top ending.
When: April 3rd to the 19th.
Where: St. Anthony Main Theatre area: 115 SE Main St., Minneapolis, MN 55414
Cost: The cost for a regular screening is $12 for general admission, $10 for a Film Society member, and $6 for students
with an ID.
If any of these films interest you, more specific details about the showtimes will be announced soon.
For more information, visit:
“The Wind Rises”/“風立ちぬ”in Theaters
Hayao Miyazaki’s most recent animated film, “The Wind
Rises”, has come to theaters here in the United States. Several
theaters in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area are showing the film
in both English audio and English subtitled Japanese audio.
The film is a
fictionalized biography of Jiro
Horikoshi, who designed
aircraft for Mitsubishi that
were used in World War II.
“The Wind Rises” is about
much more than his
accomplishments, however.
Jiro falls in love with a frail
woman named Naoko and
struggles to come to terms
with his aircraft engineering
dreams and their relationship
to the war. Every scene is, as
we would expect from a
Miyazaki film, detailed and
stunningly beautiful.
This movie came out in theaters in the U.S. in late
February, so hurry and see it in on the big screen before it’s
gone. Be sure to check the language, times, and locations of
showings online or in your local newspaper.
る只今の建物購入した$125,000. 電工事務所
4217 Bloomington Ave S. Minneapolis, Minnesota 55407
「にいがた医者の夜話」蒲原宏著 P158に見つけた
一 わが生のよって来たるところを思うべし
一 よろずのこと常なきものと知るべし
一 人の恩に報ゆることを心がくべし
一 よきことは急ぎ赴くべし
一 日日新しくいたずらに空しく老ゆることなかる
重なってYoko Breckenridgeの使命を指摘された。心臓
手術を2ヶ月後の夫に訊いた ”Can I use all my savings?”
全財産かけて大谷牧師への恩返しに建物をMultiple Purpose のミネソタ日本人センターに創立してミネソタ在
Upcoming Mother’s Day Bonsai Show
Don’t miss this upcoming
show at The Ordway
Gardens at the Como Zoo
Conservatory! At this
Mother’s Day event, you will
get a chance to enjoy
beautiful privately owned
bonsai presented by the
Minnesota Bonsai Society.
When: May 10th - May 11th
Image from
Time: 10:00am to 6:00pm
Where: The Ordway Gardens at Como Zoo Conservatory
Cost: Attendance is free
Yoko Breckenridge
For latest JASM updates, visit our website at, find us on our Facebook
(Japan America Society of Minnesota),
or follow us on Twitter (@MNJAPAN).
[email protected]
Advertise in the Tsushin!
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毎月日本語図書館で日本人会の昼食会(Monthly Nihonjinkai )を行っています。電話などでお誘い合わせの上、お
(4231 Bloomington Ave S., Minneapolis, MN 55407)
1/4 page
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5 x 3.5 in $50.00
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80 character line $10/ line
(min. 2 lines)
Ad production and design available in both
Japanese and English for an additional charge.
Deadline for completed ads and classifieds is the
20th of every month.
Questions? Contact
the JASM Office
Tel: 612-627-9357
[email protected]
Japan America Society Calendar
J-Quiz Winner’s Travel To Washington
D.C. - April 10th
JASM Professional Group Meeting - April
*If you would like to let JASM know about an
upcoming event, e-mail us at
[email protected]*
Japanese Speaking Club
The Japanese
Speaking Club is
an informal meeting place for
those wishing to
practice Japanese.
We encourage
those just beginning the language
as well as
native speakers to gather at the Espresso Royale Café
in Downtown
Minneapolis to meet new people, discuss experiences
in Japan, or simply to speak Japanese. Come when you
can, leave when you must.
Date/Time: Ever y Satur day,
any time after 3:00 p.m.
Place: Espr esso Royale Cafe
1229 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis, MN 55403
Yoko Breckenridge
Cell phone: (612) 839-0008 E-mail: [email protected]
Nihonjin-kai monthly meeting on 2nd Monday noon
at 4231 Bloomington Ave S Minneapolis, MN 55407
Become a JASM Member online!
Support our mission and become a
Go to
Click on ‘Membership’ at the top
Select your membership type and read the
benefits and instructions.
Japan America Society of Minnesota
O Membership Application O Change of Address
O Tax-deductible Donation
Name (2nd adult of a household membership)
I would like to make an additional taxdeductable donation of
Individual Membership
Sustaining……………… $500+
Contributing……………. $100+
Individual ………………. $30
Student/Senior ………… $20
Household ……………... $50
(2 adults plus children under 18)
Amount Enclosed:____________
(Please make checks payable to JASM)
Japan America Society of Minnesota
43 Main Street SE Suite EH—131
Minneapolis, MN 55414
Japan America
Society of Minnesota
Riverplace EH-131
43 Main Street SE
Minneapolis, MN 55414-1031
Tel: 612-627-9357
Fax: 612-379-2393
[email protected]
April 2014
The Japan America Society of Minnesota is a
non-profit, non-political association engaged
in bringing the peoples of Japan and the
United States closer together in mutual
understanding, respect, and cooperation.
Through programs and interchange, it
endeavors to promote an appreciation of
cultural, educational, economic, public, and
other affairs of interest to both peoples.
Membership in the society is open to
organizations interested in furthering its
The Japan America Society of Minnesota is a
member of the National Association of
Japan-America Societies.
(Please report any inaccuracies you find in
this publication to [email protected])
Photos from the Corporate Roundtable, Kizuna 3 event, the 2014 J-Quiz,
and, in the spirit of spring, from the 2013 Sakura Centennial
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