The U.S.-Japan Council (USJC) was founded by Japanese Americans in 2008 as a nonprofit organization whose mission is to ”develop and connect diverse leaders to create a stronger U.S.-Japan relationship.”  We extend our congratulations to Brent Sabati, Mirai Generations Leadership Program alumnus, who has been selected by USJC as a member of their 2021 Emerging Leaders Program (ELP).  Brent joins ELP alumni Tim Higashide (Director of Business Operations for Sakura Square LLC), Courtney Ozaki and Alyssa Nilemo (both alumni of the MGLP Class of 2017), and Niki Robins, all representing Colorado.  Each year just 10-12 participants are chosen from across the US and Japan to participate in this competitive and prestigious program for young professionals.

The ELP “identifies, cultivates, and empowers a new generation of Japanese American leaders. Emerging Leaders participate in leadership education, design and implement original USJC programming, and establish powerful professional connections and lifelong personal friendships. By providing access to members and education on relevant topics, the program aims to motivate participants to promote strong and positive U.S.-Japan relations in their personal and professional lives.”

Brent reflects:  “My involvement in business and my experiences in Hawaii, Japan, and with the Japanese American community in Colorado is what first piqued my curiosity in USJC and the ELP.  Having lived in both Japan and a few different states, I realized that there are so many nuances to business etiquette, cultural norms, and leadership styles across our cultures.  I was drawn to apply to the ELP because it provides an opportunity to see leadership and business through the unique lens of cultural and generational differences.

I think U.S.–Japan relations plays a vital role in global economic health, innovation, and sustainability.  By building interpersonal relationships and organizational partnerships between these two nations, leaders can pave the way and set an example on how to tackle some of our biggest current issues like climate change, aging populations, global supply chains, and social justice.  Collaboration is made even stronger due to the cultural polarity of these two groups – each having a unique perspective and finding solutions from different angles.

In this program, I hope to help develop the skills necessary to build partnerships in both the public and private sectors to further my community impact goals.  On a professional level, I also want to develop my leadership ability so that I can help my organizations to improve processes, develop talent, and be more of a disruptor in our industry and market.”