Feb 17

Posted by Tom Baker (Chiba, 1989-91)

The Japan Writers Conference, a free annual event for English-language writers of all types, is looking for published writers to give presentations on the art and/or business of writing. Many JWC presenters in past years have been JETS. You can read about some of them in the JETwit archives.

If you have insights, wisdom or techniques to share, send them a proposal by June 1. Here’s the official announcement:

Jan 20
Japan PM Kishida gets Biden's "strong" commitment on Senkaku defense

In advance of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s Friday virtual meeting with President Joe Biden, the US-Japan community has issued a letter to the government of Japan urging it to relax its border restrictions in order to allow foreign students and scholars as well as family members abroad to enter Japan.

“Members of the US-Japan Network for the Future initiated this petition to call on the Japanese government to expand the range of foreign visitors allowed to enter Japan subject to vaccine, testing, and quarantine requirements. The petition will be delivered to representatives of the Japanese government in Washington, DC, and in Tokyo. We encourage Japan scholars, experts, and others involved in student exchange, regardless of nationality, to sign the petition.”


Over 100 scholars, educators, policy practitioners, and bridge builders of the US-Japan community have signed the letter, a number of whom are JET alumni:

Paige Cottingham-Streater | JUSFC
  • Paige Cottingham Streater, Executive Director, Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission (Also co-founder and Board Chair of US JETAA, and one of the original founders of the JET Alumni Association back in 1988!)
Jim Gannon (@JimGGannon) / Twitter
  • James Gannon, Senior Fellow, Japan Center for International Exchange (JCIE/USA) (Also Vice-Director of US JETAA and a member of the JETAA USA Board of Advisors)
The Asia Group | Michael Green - The Asia Group
  • Michael Green, Director of Asian Studies and Chair in Modern and Contemporary Japanese Politics and Foreign Policy, Georgetown University; Senior Vice President for Asia and Japan Chair, Center for Strategic and International Studies (Michael was a Monbusho English Fellow (MEF) which was like the beta version of the JET Program.)
Drake University on Twitter: "Associate Professor of Political Science Mary  McCarthy was in South Korea in June as part of the Bridging the Divide  program. Attendees met with Korean policymakers, politicians, academics,
  • Mary M. McCarthy, Professor of Politics and International Relations, Department of Political Science, Drake University
Anand Rao | SUNY Geneseo
  • Anand Rao, Assistant Professor of Political Science & International Relations, State University of New York at Geneseo
FSI | Shorenstein APARC - Benjamin Self
  • Benjamin Self, Vice President, The Maureen and Mike Mansfield Foundation
  • Note: There may be other JET alumni among the signatories. If you identify one, you can email jetwit@jetwit.com.
Leonard J. Schoppa, Jr. · Conference on Cultural and Educational  Interchange (CULCON)
  • Leonard Schoppa, Professor, Department of Politics, University of Virginia; Senior Advisor, US-Japan Network for the Future
  • Ryan Shaffer, President of Japan-America Society of Washington DC
GAVIN H. WHITELAW | Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies
  • Gavin Whitelaw, Executive Director of the Edwin O. Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies, Harvard University
Bahia Simons-Lane - Numata, Gunma (2005-2007)
  • Bahia Simons-Lane, Director, US JETAA and former President of JETAA Florida

Mar 11

Krewe of Japan Podcast Launch! New Episode 3/12 ft. JET Alumni Wesley Julian & Dan Martin

Posted by: Doug Tassin (Fukushima-Ken ALT, 2007-2010 & Krewe of Japan Podcast Co-Host)

Sponsored by the Japan Society of New Orleans, the Krewe of Japan Podcast launched a new weekly episodic podcast in February 2021.  But what is a “krewe”? A krewe is an organization that stages a parade or event for the New Orleans Carnival season. Much like a Mardi Gras parade with diverse entertainment and an overarching theme, this Krewe is about to march right into the podcast library of those not only in New Orleans but those around the globe. Through insightful and entertaining conversations with a variety of experts and professionals (both foreign and native Japanese), Japan enthusiasts, and others in various fields involving Japan, the Krewe of Japan Podcast will highlight a broad spectrum of Japanese culture, travel, history, language and much more. Past and soon-to-be-aired guest interviews include (but not limited to):

  • Matt Alt, accomplished writer/translator/localizer based out of Tokyo who wrote the book Pure Invention
  • MattVsJapan, a popular YouTube language show host who has his own Japanese learning methodology called Refold
  • Shoko & Bon Koizumi, the great-grandson of the esteemed 19th century literary figure Lafcadio Hearn (Japanese name: Koizumi Yakumo)
  • Andrew Freund, director of USA Sumo
  • Dr. Samantha Perez, history professor at Southeastern Louisiana University and coordinator of the Matsue-New Orleans Sister City Exchange Program
  • Saeko Yatsuka-Jensen, a Japanese professor from Tulane University
  • A joint conversation on English teaching opportunities in Japan with John Loynes (former JET, privately-owned Eikaiwa entrepreneur) & Bradley Trenery (Private English Instructor)

This week’s episode (dropping tomorrow, March 12) will feature an interview with a couple JET Program alumni, Wesley Julian and Dan Martin. Wesley and Dan produced the fantastic documentary about the global community’s response to the Great East Japan Earthquake called Tohoku Tomo and its “follow-up” docuseries highlighting all that Tohoku has to offer called The 113 Project. They shared a behind-the-scenes look into the making of Tohoku Tomo and The 113 Project, their insights and experiences with Japan both before and after the tragic day of March 11, 2011, and how you can still help Tohoku with its recovery.

The Krewe of Japan Podcast can be found on Apple, Google, Spotify, Amazon, and Stitcher.  Missing your platform? Have ideas for episodes, feedback, comments, or questions? Let the Krewe know by e-mail at kreweofjapanpodcast@gmail.com or on social media (Twitter: @kreweofjapan, Instagram: @kreweofjapanpodcast, & the Krewe of Japan Youtube Channel).

Jul 18

JET-alum owned Chin Music Press opens in Seattle’s Pike Place Market

ChinMusicPressStoreThanks to JET alum David Jacobson, who works for Chin Music Press, for sharing this press release.  Chin Music Press is a Seattle-based publisher owned and run by Bruce Rutledge (Monbusho English Fellow, Chiba-ken, 1985-87) with a reputation for noteworthy cover art.

Indie Book Publisher Opens Office/Retail Space in Seattle’s Pike Place Market
Press Release
July 16, 2014

Local independent book publisher Chin Music Press today opened a new office and retail/exhibit space in Seattle’s famed Pike Place Market. The retail space, open from 11am to 5pm Tuesday through Saturday, will feature all Chin Music titles as well as related posters, zines, chapbooks, stationery, broadsides and other artwork.

“It’s a great privilege for a small publisher like us to be able to obtain space at Pike Place Market,” said Chin Music Press Publisher Bruce Rutledge. “We now have room to give all of our titles the shelf space and attention they deserve. But more importantly, we can add to the literary ecosystem in Seattle. We look forward to connecting with other presses, bookstores, artists and lovers of literature to make our space a vibrant part of the community.”

“The Pike Place Market is very pleased to have Chin Music Press join the market community,” said Kelly Lindsay, director of programs and marketing for the Pike Place Market Preservation and Development Authority. “We believe the Seattle community, as well as visitors from around the world, will enjoy Chin Music’s first retail store and the opportunity to directly engage with featured artists, writers and photographers. Now home to five independent bookstores, the Pike Place Market is a destination for people who love to read. ”

Chin Music Press is best known in Seattle for such titles asShiro: Wit, Wisdom and Recipes from a Sushi Pioneer,Yokohama Yankee and A Commonplace Book of Pie. It has won awards and accolades for its books, with one NPR reviewer saying the press provided “a triumphant kick in the pants for anyone who doubts the future of paper-and-ink books.” Read More

Oct 10

The Font, a literary journal for language teachers, seeks JET submissions

The Font – A Literary Journal for Language Teachers
Submission Guidelines

The Font – A Literary Journal for Language Teachers welcomes submissions of short stories, articles, essays, anecdotes, poems, cartoons and other forms of creative writing which provide insight, reflection, humour, and
inspiration on the theme of language teaching or learning, at home or abroad. In other words, the theme must be in some way related to language teaching or learning, teaching abroad, or be of interest to those connected to this profession.

The Font welcomes the addition of a Visual Arts Editor in the form of Mr. Gareth Jones. And we are therefore happy to announce that The Font is now also accepting visual arts submissions.

Submissions may be sent to submissions@thefontjournal.com and should;

1. be original
2. be less than 5,000 words in length. (Poetry submissions should have no
more than 3 poems. Please include all poems in one document)
3. have pages numbered and have any subheadings in bold font
4. have a title, the author’s name, affiliation, contact details, and word
count at the top of the first page (These details don’t necessarily appear
in the journal.)
5. have any original photos or artwork attached as a separate file as well
as in the text
6. be in English and sent by email.

Previously published material will be considered as long as permission has been given by the original publisher.

Submissions are reviewed by members of The Font’s Editorial Committee and selected on relevance, and literary merit. Submissions may either be accepted or rejected as they are, or editors may make suggestions and ask
authors to rewrite and resubmit.

We strive to provide several readers for each manuscript in order to offer maximum exposure, but this takes time. We respectfully ask for your patience and forbearance in this matter. If you have not heard from us within three months, feel free to inquire about your manuscript.

The Font acquires first-time world rights. After publication, all rights revert to the author and the work may be reprinted as long as appropriate acknowledgement to The Font is made.

We will consider simultaneous submissions, but request that you inform us immediately if your work is accepted elsewhere.

Next Deadline: January 31st 2014
Publishing Spring Issue: March 2014.

Jul 11

USJBF selects JET alum Laurel Lukaszewski for new “Strengthening the JETAA USA Network” initiative


Laurel Lukaszewski (Kagoshima-ken, 1990-1992)

Remember the job listing for  the Part-time Project Director with the US-Japan Bridging Foundation (USJBF) to support JETAA USA growth?  The USJBF has announced that it has selected Laurel Lukaszewski (ALT Kagoshima-ken, 1990-92) for the position for its new initiative “Strengthening the JETAA Network and Connecting Next Generation Leaders.”

Shojiki ni itte, it’s hard to imagine anyone better suited for the role.  Laurel has maintained a strong connection with Japan and the Japan-US community since here time on the JET Program by previously serving on the Board of Directors for the National Association of Japan-America Societies (NAJAS), as the Executive Director for the Japan-America Society of Washington, D.C, and as a Program Director of the Japan-America Society in Seattle.  She currently lives in Washington, D.C. where she actively participates on the Board of the National Cherry Blossom Festival and JETAADC.  You can see her in this panel discussion with fellow JET alums Jim Gannon (Ehime-ken, 1992-94) and Anthony Bianchi (Aichi-ken, Inuyama-shi, 1988-89) from the 2011 JETAA National Conference in D.C.

Laurel (who is also a sculptor–see her work here) officially started working Tuesday, July 9.  Here is the official announcement from the USJBF:

July 11, 2013

The U.S.-Japan Bridging Foundation (USJBF), is pleased to announce that Laurel Lukaszewski has been hired as Project Director for its new initiative “Strengthening the JETAA Network and Connecting Next Generation Leaders.” Funded by the Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership (CGP), the purpose of the project is to build infrastructure in support of the Japan-Exchange and Teaching Program Alumni Association, United States of America (JETAA USA) and enhance its impact promoting U.S.-Japan relations.

Laurel is an alumna of the JET Programme (Kagoshima-ken, 1990-1992) and has a solid understanding of U.S.-Japan relations, the U.S.-Japan community and how nonprofit and membership organizations are governed and run. After completing the JET Programme and receiving an M.A. in Asian Studies, Laurel embarked on a nine-year career with the Japan-America Societies in Seattle and Washington, D.C.. In 2005, Laurel left her position as ED of the JASW to pursue a career as an artist. She has maintained her ties to the JET Programme and U.S.-Japan community by serving as an active member of the JET Application Review and Interview committees for over thirteen years. Laurel served on the Board of Directors of the National Association of Japan America Societies (NAJAS), and has been on the National Cherry Blossom Festival Board of Directors since 2002. Paige Cottingham-Streater, Executive Director of the U.S.-Japan Bridging Foundation said, “Laurel is a valuable addition to our team and will bring a unique understanding about the JET community and its potential to promote a strong U.S.-Japan relationship.”

The U.S.-Japan Bridging Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, awards scholarships to U.S. undergraduate students to study for one semester or academic year in Japan. The Foundation grows global leaders to help prepare America’s young people to assume future leadership roles in business, education, international and public affairs and other professions.

URL:  http://www.bridgingfoundation.org/news/new-project-director-to-facilitate-jetaa-capacity-building

Nov 14

Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Nippon Club Start Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund

Visit www.jcciny.org for more information or to make a donation.


Info courtesy of Heather Tomoyasu (Ibaraki-ken, 2004-06), who currently works for the JCCI NY. Posted by JQ magazine editor Justin Tedaldi (Kobe-shi, 2001-02).

The tragedy and devastation that Hurricane Sandy brought to the New York Tri-State Area has affected us all deeply. The Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of New York, Inc., in cooperation with The Nippon Club, has decided to establish the Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund to aid the victims of the disaster.

Hurricane Sandy forced the cancellation of JCCI’s 28th Annual Dinner, originally for October 30th, with 1,000 guests scheduled to be in attendance honoring the 100th Anniversary of Japan’s gift of cherry trees to America, JCCI’s 80th Anniversary, and awardees Professor Gerald L. Curtis and recording artist Cyndi Lauper. Through Dinner Sponsorship, JCCI was able to contribute a total of $500,000 to the hurricane relief effort: $250,000 to both the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City (supporting relief in the 5 boroughs) and AmeriCares (supporting relief in New Jersey and Long Island).

JCCI and The Nippon Club are now accepting additional donations through their Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund, for which the receiving organization will be decided at a later time. All donations will be 100% tax-deductible. Checks should be made payable to “J.C.C. Fund” (please note “Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund” on the memo line), and mailed by December 31, 2012 to the attention of Mr. Shigeo Kimura, The Nippon Club, 145 West 57th Street, New York, NY 10019.

Send inquiries to: Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of New York, Inc. (JCCI)  TEL (212) 246-8001 / E-Mail: info[at]jcciny.org / Web: www.jcciny.org.

Dec 14

Latest Japan Relief Grants Support Child Welfare, Mental Healthcare, Economic Revitalization

Via Shannon Jowett, Director of Communications at Japan Society.

The third round of disbursals from Japan Society’s Japan Earthquake Relief Fund support projects ranging from mental healthcare and child welfare (especially orphan care), to local economic revitalization and regional entrepreneurship.

With New Grants Towards Economic Revitalization, Mental Healthcare and Child Welfare, Japan Society Earthquake Relief Fund Allocation Reaches $5.6 Million

New York, NY — Japan Society today announced it has earmarked an additional $2.5 million from its Japan Earthquake Relief Fund to seven Japanese, American and international NGOs working on economic revitalization, mental healthcare and child welfare. This latest announcement brings total allocations from the $12.1 million fund to $5.6 million distributed to 13 organizations representing 17 projects. Read More

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