CULCON is a binational advisory group to the U.S. and Japanese governments and is composed of two panels. For information and news about the Japan CULCON Panel, please visit:


Private Sector Members


Dr. Sheila A. Smith
Senior Fellow for Japan Studies
Council on Foreign Relations (CFR)


Dr. Trevor Dawes
Vice Provost for Libraries and Museums and May Morris University Librarian
University of Delaware

Dr. Patricia Maclachlan
Professor of Government and Asian Studies and the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Professor of Japanese Studies
University of Texas

Dr. Samuel Morse
Howard and Martha Mitchel Professor of the History of Art and Asian Languages and Civilizations
Amherst College

Dr. M. Diana Helweg Newton
Director of the Tower Scholars Program and Senior Fellow, John Goodwin Tower Center for Political Studies
Southern Methodist University (SMU)

Dr. Leonard J. Schoppa, Jr.
Director, Woodrow Wilson Department of Politics
The University of Virginia

Mr. David Sneider
Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

Dr. William Tsutsui
President and CEO
Ottawa University

Ms. Shay Youngblood


Public Sector Members

Michelle Asha Cooper
Acting Assistant Secretary of Education for Post-Secondary Education
U.S. Department of Education

Matthew Lussenhop
Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs
U.S. Department of State

Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs
U.S. Department of State

Honorary Member

Hon. Caroline Kennedy
Former U.S. Ambassador to Japan


Japanese Panelists include:

For bios of all Japanese panelists in English and Japanese, please click here



Ambassador Ryozo Kato
Former Ambassador to the United States

Vice Chair

Dr. Fumiaki Kubo
Professor, Graduate Schools for Law and Politics, University of Tokyo;
President,  Japanese Association for American Studies


Mr. Naoyuki Agawa
Distinguished Visiting Professor, Doshisha University

Mr. Hiroyuki Akita
Commentator, Nikkei Inc. Nikkei (“Japan Economic Journal”)

Ms. Hiroko Tsuka
Executive Director, Center for Global Partnership / Managing Director The Japan Foundation

Dr. Masako Egawa
Professor, Graduate School of Commerce and Management, Hitotsubashi University

Mr. Akio Okawara
President/CEO, Japan Center for International Exchange

Mr. Akio Mimura
Chairman, the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry Senior Advisor/Honorary Chairman, Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corporation

Dr. Hiroyuki Shimatani
Executive Director, Kyushu National Museum

Ex-Officio Panelists include:

Mr. Keiichi Ichikawa, Director-General, the North American Affairs Bureau, Ministry of Foreign Affairs;

Ms. Mitsuko Shino Director-General for Cultural Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Ms. Yasushi Taguchi, Director-General for International Affairs, Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology.


Mr. Yutaka Aso, President & CEO, Aso Corporation and Aso Cement Co., Ltd.

Mr. Minoru Makihara, Senior Corporate Advisor and Former Chairman, Mitsubishi Corporation;

Mr. Teiichi Sato, Former Ambassador to United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)


Japan-United States Friendship Commission (JUSFC)

For more information on JUSFC please go to our website here.

U.S.-Japan Bridging Foundation (USJBF)

For more information on USJBF please go to our website here.

The U.S. CULCON Secretariat and related organizations shares offices and a great deal of organizational history. This is a helpful comparison of CULCON, the Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission (JUSFC) and the U.S.-Japan Bridging Foundation (USJBF):

For a PDF of the the mission statements, membership, contact information, etc., please click here.