Press Releases

February 13, 2012

DC Non-Profit Leader with Family Ties to Fukushima Selected to Travel to Japan to Strengthen U.S.-Japan Relations

Contact: Laura Goldstein
Tel: (202) 223-6843

Contact: Katie Tran-Lam
Tel: (202) 747-7236

Washington, DC – Ten Japanese American leaders from across the country have been selected to travel to Japan March 3rd-10th to meet with top officials to further develop the U.S.-Japan relationship and establish a meaningful role for Japanese Americans. Neil Horikoshi, President & Executive Director of the Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund (APIASF) will represent the Washington, DC region in the 2012 Japanese American Leadership Delegation.

For the first time in 12-year program history, the delegation will visit the city of Sendai in the Tohoku region to show support for the region devastated by the Great East Japan Earthquake and learn from those living there. The earthquake struck the Horikoshi family personally.

"It took days before I was able to confirm that my relatives in Sendai and Fukushima survived. Relatives wrote very vivid e-mails about the trauma," he continued. "With a direct relationship to family who are a part of the Sendai community, I know there is much the Japanese American community can do in addition to financial support, that is why I applied for this program"

In Sendai, the delegates will participate in a March 5th symposium sponsored by the Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership and the U.S.-Japan Council focused on empowering civil society in Japan. The delegation will also visit Tokyo for a variety of exchanges with high level leaders, which in past years have included the Foreign Minister and the Prime Minister of Japan.

This year's delegation was chosen based on several key themes being developed by the U.S.-Japan Council including education. Horikoshi believes his work in higher education and knowledge of institutional best practices can help to strengthen and improve collaboration and lead to more successful educational exchanges between the U.S. and Japan.

The organization that Horikoshi leads, APIASF, is the country's largest non-profit organization dedicated to providing college scholarships to Asian and Pacific Islander Americans (APIAs). APIASF works to create opportunities for students to access, complete, and succeed after post-secondary education; thereby developing future leaders who will excel in their career, serve as role models in their communities, and will ultimately contribute to a vibrant America. Since 2003, APIASF has distributed more than $50 million in scholarships to deserving APIA students.

The Japanese American Leadership Delegation (JALD) program is sponsored by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan and organized by the U.S.-Japan Council. The U.S.-Japan Council maintains an active network of alumni of the JALD program who remain committed to deepening relationships between the U.S. and Japan in the business, government, non-profit, academic and media sectors.

Editor's Note: To arrange interviews with Horikoshi, please contact Katie Tran-Lam at or (202) 747-7236.