Our History with KIF

The first Subnational Global Young Professionals Forum was held between San Jose and Okayama City Junior Chamber of Commerce on November 12, 2020.

This new designation and series of forums was the brainchild of Shin Koyamada as the founder of the Koyamada International Foundation, KIFUSA and KIFJapan. Shin is originally from Okayama, Japan although he has now been in the United States for over 20 years and is now a citizen of the USA. You may recognize him for his work with Disney (“Wendy Wu: Homecoming Warrior”) or his work as Ken Watanabe’s son in the movie, ” The Last Samurai.” Since then, he has become involved in national and global issues, eventually forming Koyamada International to address concerns and help in disaster relief, education, and health as well as producing and publishing movies, show, comics and video games with his company SHINCA Entertainment.

There are six forums planned across the United States paired with various Junior Chamber of Commerce International, Japan chapters. Each forum will consist of five panelists 18yrs-40yrs of age from each city who will alternately answer five questions from each city that have been previewed beforehand. Each set of panelists also select the topic that will be addressed in the questions.

Reports from the forums will be presented to the Office of the Prime Minister of Japan through CULCON Japan and to the Office of the President of the United States of American through CULCON USA.

City of San Jose Introduction by Councilmember, D3, Raul Peralez

Moderated by Michael Sera
Interpreters: Atsuko Yube (Japanese to English), Hiroko Ishikawa (English to Japanese)

San Jose Panelists: Mitchell Tamotsu Beutler, Elanor Sakamoto, Ray Furuta, Irma Garcia, Be’Anka Ashaolu.
JCI Okayama Panelists: Koichi Takayama, Yuusuke Takabatake, Yukihiro Nigaki, Kiyonari Ishii, Takaaki Kato.

Guests: Mr. Keisuke Shimoyamada, JCI-Japan President, Mr.Yoshiyuki Kamei, Director General Citizens Cooperative Bureau for the City of Okayama.

Hosted by KIF Japan. Co-sponsored by JCI Japan.
Subnational partner: San Jose-Okayama Sister Cities

” It is crucial to provide our youth with the support, resources and access to forums such as these, where they are able to learn and grow as they are the future leaders of both of our cities”

San Jose City Councilmember representing District 3, Raul Peralez