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Savannah, GA: October 20-23, 2021

Bridging Cultures. Celebrating Success.

42nd Annual Joint Meeting of the Southeast U.S./Japan Association and the Japan-U.S. Southeast Association

This prestigious gathering of global business leaders celebrates longstanding economic and cultural ties and offers delegates from Japan and seven southeastern U.S. member states unparalleled opportunities to meet key contacts and leverage international connections.




The Southeast U.S.- Japan Association (SEUS-Japan) was established in 1976 to promote trade, investment, understanding and friendship between Japan and the southeastern United States. Member states include Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee, and SEUS-Japan has a Japanese counterpart, the Japan-U.S. Southeast Association. Both memberships include top business leaders and government officials. 

An annual conference between the two associations is held on a rotational basis in Japan and the southeastern U.S. Each of the seven states serves as “Host and Co-Host State” for a two-year term and assumes leadership of SEUS-Japan during that period. The state of Georgia hosted the first annual joint meeting in Atlanta in 1976, as well as the 1990 and 2004 joint meetings. 2019 marks the first time Georgia will host the conference in Savannah, Georgia. 



The Westin Savannah Harbor
1 Resort Drive
Savannah, Georgia 31421

Room Rate: $229 USD + $25 resort fee + taxes per night (rate not guaranteed after October 4 deadline)
Booking Deadline: October 4, 2019
Reserve Today: Click here or call (912) 201-2000 and mention the SEUS-Japan room block 


To attend the SEUS-Japan Annual Joint Meeting you must be selected as a delegate to the conference by one of the member jurisdictions in either the United States or Japan.

Georgia delegates register here.
Registration fee: $500 per person
Final registration deadline: October 4, 2019

For residents of other member states or Japan, contact your SEUS-Japan coordinator:

Hilda Lockhart
Director, International Trade Division
Alabama Department of Commerce
401 Adams Avenue
Montgomery, AL 36130-4106
Office: (334) 242-0442
Cell: (334) 328-2460
Dave Woodward
Executive Director
Florida Delegation, Southeast U.S./Japan
P.O. Box 226647
Miami, FL 33222-6647
Office: (305) 594-7745
Cell: (305) 962-9066
Karel Abboud
Protocol Officer, International Trade Division
Mississippi Development Authority
501 N. West Street
Jackson, MS 39201
Office: (601) 359-3849
Cell: (601) 209-7229
North Carolina
David Rhoades
Communications Director
North Carolina Department of Commerce
4301 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-4301
Office: (919) 814-4611
Cell: (919) 218-0542
South Carolina
Clarke Thompson
Chief Protocol Officer, International Strategy & Trade
South Carolina Department of Commerce
1201 Main Street, Capitol Center Tower Suite 1600
Columbia, SC 29201-3200
Office: (803) 737-0438
Cell: (803) 413-6792
Mr. Eiji Nakao
General Manager
The Americas Team
Regional Coordination & Administrative Department
Marubeni Corporation
Tokyo Nihombashi Tower
7-1, Nihonbashi 2-chome
Chuo-ku, Tokyo 103-6060, Japan
Donna Lee Siple
Chief Executive Officer
Japan-America Society of Tennessee
P.O. Box 330003
Nashville, TN 37203
Office: (615) 663-6060
Cell: (412) 400-9483

Masami Tyson
Global Director of FDI and Trade
Tennessee Department of Economic and
Community Development
Tennessee Tower, 27th Floor
312 Rosa L. Parks Ave.
Nashville, TN 37243
Cell: (615) 927-0781

Registration Link for Tennessee Attendees


Presented by:


Platinum Sponsors:


Gold Sponsors:


Community Partners:


Consulate General of Japan in Atlanta

Georgia Japan Legislative Caucus

Sponsorship opportunities available. Email



We're so excited to announce a massive success for our company: thanks to the 42nd Annual Joint Meeting of the Southeast U.S./Japan Association, we attracted many local companies to create fruitful collaborations and sponsorships.

This event was held in Raleigh, North Carolina, and the number of attendees was around 1,500 people from Japan and United States. We are proud that this conference attracted such great sponsors. Meet them here:

Springer Nature

Springer Nature advances discovery by publishing robust and insightful research, supporting the development of new areas of knowledge, making ideas and information accessible worldwide, and leading the way on open access.


Since its foundation in 1992, GLOBIS has fostered management ecosystems of people, capital, and knowledge. Today, the company is involved in a range of activities, from higher education and corporate training to venture capital.

The company nurtures business leaders at GLOBIS University, Japan’s most prominent business school. As a result, over 1,400 leading companies have sharpened their management capabilities with GLOBIS Corporate Education.


WealthPark is a start-up that helps investors and real estate companies manage their assets. It's a global company with offices in Tokyo, Taipei, Hong Kong, and New York.

WealthPark's goal is to help all the personal investors in the world invest in alternative assets, focusing on real estate. Their online platform is built with this in mind and to help modernize the global real estate industry.


Stripe - this online payments company has had a few people in Japan for a while but recently established a proper office in Tokyo, where they're ramping up the hiring of engineers. We've heard nothing but positive things about them so far.


All events business attire unless otherwise noted. Transportation will be provided to all off-site events.

Times subject to change.

Sunday, October 20
1:00 – 6:00 pm Registration
2nd Floor Reception, Westin Savannah Hotel
5:00 – 8:30 pm Chairman’s Dinner (by invitation only)
Monday, October 21
7:00 am – 6:00 pm Registration
2nd Floor Reception, Westin Savannah Hotel
7:30 am – 2:00 pm Golf
The Club at Savannah Harbor
8:00 – 10:30 am TOUR IS FULL
Morning Tour: Mitsubishi-Hitachi Power Systems, Savannah Machinery
Works Manufacturing Facility Tour
9:00 am – 4:30 pm Tour 1: Georgia Ports Authority Tour – TOUR IS FULL
Tour 2: Savannah Taste Experience First Squares Food Tour – TOUR
Tour 3: History Buff Savannah Saunter Walking Tour
Tour 4: Historic Savannah Overview by Trolley Tour

*detailed descriptions below 
5:00 – 6:30 pm Georgia Host State Reception (by invitation only)
Westin Harbor Ballroom A, 1st Floor 
5:00 – 6:30 pm SEUS State Receptions
Westin Savannah Hotel
6:30 – 8:45 pm Reception and Welcome Gala Dinner
Westin Ballroom ABC, 2nd Floor
Tuesday, October 22
7:00 am – 6:00 pm Registration 
2nd Floor Reception, Westin Savannah Hotel
7:45 – 8:45 am Delegate Networking Breakfast 
Westin Ballroom CDEF, 2nd Floor
7:45 – 8:30 am VIP Breakfast (by invitation only)
Westin Harbor Ballroom A, 1st Floor
8:45 – 9:35 am Opening Ceremony
Westin Ballroom AB, 2nd Floor

Remarks by:
Mr. Virgil Miller, Chairman, Southeast U.S./Japan Association
Executive Vice President, COO Aflac
Mr. Teruo Asada, Chairman, Japan–U.S. Southeast Association
Former Chairman, Executive Advisor, Marubeni Corporation

The Honorable Brian P. Kemp, Governor of Georgia

His Excellency Shinsuke J. Sugiyama, Ambassador Extraordinary and
Plenipotentiary of Japan to the United States of America
9:35 – 10:15 am Official Remarks by Delegation Leaders
9:30 am – 3:00 pm Spouse/Guest Tour
Departing from Westin Lobby, 1st floor
10:30 – 11:05 am Networking Break
11:10 am – 12:25 pm Executive Leadership Roundtable Logistics & Supply Chain
Westin Ballroom AB, 2nd Floor

Moderator: Mr. Griff Lynch, Executive Director, Georgia Ports Authority

Mr. Keigo Inao, Deputy Regional CEO for the Americas,
Senior Executive VP & COO, Marubeni America Corporation
Mr. Derrick Johnson, President, South Atlantic District, UPS
Ms. Jessica Cork, Vice President – Public Relations & Communications,
YKK Corporation of America
Mr. Michiya Uchida, President & Chief Executive Officer, President, Kajima USA
12:30 – 1:50 pm Luncheon and Keynote Address
Westin Ballroom CDEF, 2nd Floor

Mr. John Murphy, Chief Financial Officer, The Coca-Cola Company
1:50 – 2:10 pm Coffee Break
2:15 – 2:35 pm Special Remarks
Westin Ballroom AB, 2nd Floor

Mr. Nobuhiko Sasaki, Chairman & CEO, JETRO
2:40 – 3:55 pm Executive Leadership Roundtable – Successful Workforce Partnerships
Westin Ballroom AB , 2nd Floor

Moderator: Mr. Richard Warner, CEO, Aware Force

Mr. James L. Hawk, Senior Advisor, Toyo Tire Corporation
Mr. Sam Suttle, Vice President, North America Manufacturing
& Repair Services, Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems Americas
Mr. Tetsuo Ogawa, Chief Operating Officer, North America Region,
Executive Vice President, Toyota Motor North America, Inc.
Mr. Bill Strang, President of Operations and eCommerce, TOTO USA
4:00 – 4:30 pm Coffee and Networking
5:45 pm Trolleys depart Westin lobby for Kehoe Iron Works
6:00 – 8:00 pm Reception and Networking Event
Kehoe Iron Works at Trustees’ Garden 
660 E Broughton Street, Savannah, GA 31401

Business Casual Attire
Wednesday, October 23
7:00 – 10:00 am Registration
2nd Floor Reception, Westin Savannah Hotel
7:45 – 8:45 am Joint Delegation Networking Breakfast
Westin Ballroom CDEF, 2nd Floor
9:00 – 9:30 am Keynote Address
Westin Ballroom AB, 2nd Floor
9:30 – 10:00 am Closing Ceremony
Westin Ballroom AB, 2nd Floor
10:00 am 42nd Annual Joint Meeting Adjourns

All tours included in conference registration fee. Tours 2 and 3 require significant walking so please wear comfortable shoes.

TOUR IS FULLMorning Only Tour Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems Savannah Machinery Works Manufacturing Facility Tour
Monday, October 21, 2019
8:00 – 10:30 am

Savannah Machinery Works is a world-class manufacturing facility providing the most fuel efficient Advanced Class Gas Turbines and Steam Turbines in the industry, and also providing power generation components and equipment to the power generation industry. The facility also provides after-market repair services and parts, and engineered service solutions to customers for the installed operating fleet of Gas Turbines, Steam Turbines, and Generators in the Americas.

During the facility tour you will have the opportunity to see power generation equipment being manufactured including a state-of-the-art testing facility.

TOUR IS FULLTour #1 – Georgia Ports Authority Tour
Monday, October 21, 2019
9:30 am – 2:00 pm

Tour the Port of Savannah Garden City Terminal. The tour will begin with a brief presentation at the Georgia Ports Authority main office followed by a bus tour of the terminal. Garden City Terminal is the fourth-busiest container port in the United States and provides access to 44% of U.S. consumers in 2-3 days. At 1,200 acres, it is North America’s busiest single-terminal container facility. This allows for maximum efficiency and flexibility, concentrating all manpower, technology and equipment in one massive container operation.

After the Ports tour, return to downtown Savannah for a southern buffet lunch at 45 Bistro, a local favorite restaurant located inside The Marshall House, a historic Savannah inn. Originally built in 1852, the entire building was completely renovated in 1999 reestablishing the facility to its former grandeur. After lunch return to the Westin via bus or choose to explore Broughton Street shopping on your own and return to the hotel at your leisure.

About the Georgia Ports Authority
Since 1945, Georgia’s ports have served as magnets for international trade and investment, enriching the state’s economy to benefit all Georgians. The Georgia Ports Authority is dedicated to providing customers with the most efficient, productive port facilities in the nation, and to creating jobs and business opportunities to benefit more than 9.7 million Georgians. The GPA is committed to maintaining its competitive edge through the development of leading-edge technology, marketing, and operations to move cargo faster. The Authority continually works hard to identify what must be done today to sustain growth, performance, and security for tomorrow.

Georgia’s deep-water ports in Savannah and Brunswick, together with inland barge operations in Bainbridge and Columbus, are Georgia’s gateways to the world. They are the critical conduits through which raw materials and finished products flow to and from destinations around the globe. 

TOUR IS FULLTour #2 – Savannah Taste Experience First Squares Food Tour
Monday, October 21, 2019
Group 1: 10:45 am – 2:45 pm
Group 2: 11:15 am – 3:15 pm
Group 3: 12:30 pm – 4:30 pm

Expect good food and a great time! The Savannah Taste Experience “First Squares Food Tour” is a walking tour that allows guests to sample delicious foods from six unique foodie spots surrounding the initial iconic public squares built in Savannah. Guests will learn about the food, restaurants, history, and culture that help shape the tasty Hostess City’s palate. Tasting locations include a not-so-ordinary pub, an award-winning honey store, and a traditional Scottish restaurant highlighting dishes consumed by some of Savannah’s earliest settlers.

Food is one of the best ways to sample an area’s culture. On the First Squares Food Tour guests will get a feel for what Savannah and the state of Georgia are all about. The tour guides are knowledgeable about the area’s history, and will connect that history to the food sampled as guests visit each of the chosen tasting locations.

Delegates will be divided into three groups for the optimal taste experience. Transportation from the Westin to downtown Savannah will be provided via bus. At the conclusion of the tour, return to the Westin via bus, or stay to explore downtown Savannah and return on your own at your leisure.

Tour #3 – History Buff Savannah Saunter Walking Tour
Monday, October 21, 2019
9:00 am – 1:00 pm

The private historic “Savannah Saunter” walking tour covers the history of the city from its founding in 1733 through the next 280 years of its history. The tour discusses the reasons and means by which Savannah was established and its survival, growth, and revitalization through several American wars. Notable figures and important landmarks will be discussed at length, and guests are encouraged to ask questions during and after the tour!

Guests will board a bus at the Westin to meet experienced guides at Reynolds Square in downtown Savannah. Guides will distribute audio receivers to preserve the quality of the sound for the two-hour walking tour through the beautiful city. Guests will be guided through the historic downtown district progressing through the city’s squares, with special attention given to those aspects of Savannah, Georgia that have impacted and been impacted by global trade.

The walking tour ends at 45 Bistro where guests will enjoy a southern buffet lunch. A local favorite, 45 Bistro is located in The Marshall House, a historic Savannah inn. Originally built in 1852, the entire building was completely renovated in 1999 reestablishing the facility to its former grandeur. After lunch return to the Westin via bus or choose to explore Broughton Street shopping on your own and return to the hotel at your leisure.

Tour #4 – Historic Savannah Overview by Trolley Tour
Monday, October 21, 2019
11:30 am – 3:30 pm

Delegates will board the trolley at the Westin Hotel and head to 45 Bistro in downtown Savannah for a southern buffet lunch. A local favorite, 45 Bistro is located in The Marshall House, a historic Savannah inn. Originally built in 1852, the entire building was completely renovated in 1999 reestablishing the facility to its former grandeur.

Following lunch, guests will board the trolley for a comprehensive overview tour of historic downtown Savannah. Guests will take in the moss-draped oaks, stately mansions, beautiful squares, expansive riverfront and over 270 years of history from the comfort of the trolley seat. Minimal to no walking is required for this tour.

After the tour guests may return to the Westin via the trolley or hop off and continue to explore downtown Savannah.  

Spouse/Guest Tour
Tuesday, October 22, 2019
9:30 am – 3:00 pm

Discover the best of Savannah’s Historic District. Begin the day with a private guided tour of Davenport House, a historic home that marked the beginning of Savannah’s historic preservation movement. Learn about the “Seven Ladies” of the Historic Savannah Foundation. In the spring of 1955, downtown Savannah was in deplorable condition before seven civic-minded women raised $22,500 to purchase Davenport House and save it from the wrecking ball. This was the first act of the Historic Savannah Foundation, which has gone on to save hundreds of buildings in the city through its renowned revolving loan fund.

After the tour of Davenport House, enjoy shopping on Whitaker Street and lunch at B. Matthews Eatery. The afternoon consists of a workshop at Salacia Salts, where you will design and hand mix your own scrub. You will get a glimpse of every part of the product life cycle from raw ingredients to packaging, and learn about the Southern botanicals and fragrances that make up the products. You will walk away with a handmade jar of body scrub.

Return on the bus to the Westin hotel following the Salacia Salts workshop.



Georgia Department of Economic Development