The stage is being set in Greenville, S.C. for the 40th Annual Joint Meeting of the Southeast U.S.-Japan Association (SEUS) and the Japan-U.S. Southeast Association (JUSSA Japan) October 21-24, 2017. 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 forge new ones.

Created in 1976, the Southeast U.S.-Japan Association (SEUS Japan) was established to promote trade, investment, understanding and friendship between Japan and U.S. member states. Today, member states include Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. A Japanese counterpart, the Japan-U.S. Southeast Association (JUSSA), has membership comprised of Japan's leading corporations.

An Annual Joint Meeting (AJM) between the two associations is held on a rotational basis in Japan and the southeastern U.S., alternating between the locations every other year. Also on a rotational basis, 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. South Carolina last hosted the meeting in Charleston in 2002.

The annual conference attracts governors, corporate presidents and CEOs and top economic development and business leaders from the seven southeastern states. Some 350-400 individuals participate in this annual event. Meetings include top business and political leadership, including Ambassadors and Consul Generals, all representing the most significant aspects of the strong economic relationship between Japan and the Southeast.

The 2017 conference features an outstanding lineup of speakers and an exciting series of special activities. This year’s conference theme “Success through Tradition, Innovation & Partnerships” will be reflected in conference sessions on timely and valuable topics such as labor force trends and challenges and where will the U.S.-Japan relationship be in the next few years especially as it relates to trade and investment. In this, the 40th Annual Joint Meeting perfectly reflects the tradition and the partnerships that have been created between Japan and the Southeast U.S. through the relationship of these two associations.

 Photos from the meeting 

Click here to view more photos from the event on our Flickr page!







  • American Services
  • Blue Ridge Electric Cooperative
  • Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd
  • Metglas, Inc.
  • Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough
  • Wyche Law Firm
  • Showa Denko Carbon


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.

For residents of member states interested in attending the conference, contact your state’s SEUS Japan coordinator:


Ms. Hilda Lockhart
Director, International Trade Division
Alabama Department of Commerce

401 Adams Avenue
Montgomery, AL 36130-4106
(334) 242-0442
(334) 328-2460
(334) 242-0415


Mr. Dave Woodward
Executive Director
Florida Delegation, Southeast U.S./Japan

P.O. Box 226647
Miami, FL 33222-6647
(786) 235-8289
(786) 235-8290


Ms. Mary Waters
Deputy Commissioner, International Trade
Georgia Department of Economic Development

75 Fifth Street, N.W. Suite 1200
Atlanta, GA 30308
(404) 962-4120
(404) 859-8299
(404) 962-4121


Mr. Gabriel Prado
Protocol Officer
Mississippi Development Authority

P.O. Box 849
Jackson, MS 39205
(601) 359-9406

North Carolina

Mr. David Rhoades
Communications Director
North Carolina Department of Commerce

4301 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-4301
(919) 814-4611
(919) 218-0542
(919) 733-9299

South Carolina

Mr. 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
(803) 737-0438
(803) 413-6792
(803) 737-0538


Ms. Leslee T. Alexander
International Director
Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development

Tennessee Tower, 27th Floor 312 Rosa L. Parks Ave.
Nashville, TN 37243
(615) 663-6060
Registration Link for TN Attendees


Japan - U.S. Southeast Association

c/o Mr. Kenichi Tsuta
Assistant General Manager
Regional Coordination & Administrative Department
Marubeni Corporation
Tokyo Nihombashi Tower
7-1, Nihonbashi 2-chome
Chuo-ku, Tokyo 103-6060, Japan

 Program / Agenda 

Delegates may pick up conference registration packets from Saturday, October 21st at 12:00 p.m. through Monday, October 23rd 5:00 p.m. in the Hyatt Regency, Lobby Level.

* All participants are required to register.

** All events Business Attire unless otherwise noted


Registration opens (Hyatt Regency) & Hotel Check-In
Hyatt Regency or Westin Poinsett

Chairman’s Dinner
The Poinsett Club (by special invitation only)


Conference Registration (Hyatt Regency) & Hotel Check-In
Hyatt Regency or Westin Poinsett

Invitational Golf Tournament (special invitation and additional fees apply)
The Cliffs at Glassy
* Contact your coordinator for golf club rental requests. Shoe rental is not available and soft spike shoes are recommended.

Delegate Tour #1 – Lake Jocassee Tour
Enjoy the splendor of South Carolina's natural beauty on a tour of Lake Jocassee, a lake known for its clean water fed from the Appalachian Mountain River. This three‐hour excursion is guided by 'Master Naturalists' who will illuminate the environment of South Carolina and Lake Jocassee. Buses leave for Lake Jocassee at 9:45 am.
* Lunch will be provided. This tour includes limited walking but comfortable shoes and clothing are recommended.

Delegate Tour #2 - Clemson University and SC Botanical Garden Tour
Tour Clemson University with guidance from Japanese Studies students via the campus’ electric bus system. View the Watt Family Innovation Center, a groundbreaking interdisciplinary research center for students partnered with local businesses and government. Then, tour Death Valley Stadium and the famous Howard’s Rock before venturing to South Carolina’s luxurious Botanical Gardens. Lunch will be provided at Sole on the Green, serving classic American meals with a view of the Clemson Golf Course. Bus leaves Hyatt at 9:30 am; tour begins at 10:30 am.
* Lunch will be provided. A significant portion of this tour is outside and provisions will be provided in the event of inclement weather. Comfortable walking shoes are recommended.

Delegate Tour #3 – Yeah THAT Greenville Tour
Experience the booming City of Greenville with a trolley tour. The tour concludes at Flour Field Stadium, home of the Greenville Drive, a minor league team affiliated with the Boston Red Socks. Join Greenville Mayor Knox White for refreshments provided at the stadium’s Champions Club, featuring classic baseball food favorites and beer from the city’s beloved local breweries. Trolley tours begin at 10:30 am.

South Carolina Host State Reception
Clemson ONE, 5th Floor

Welcome Reception and Gala Opening Dinner
Reception in Studio 220; Dinner in Hyatt Regency - Ballroom C
Business Attire


* All events are business attire except for Spouse/Guest Tour

Lobby – Hyatt Regency

Joint Networking Buffet Breakfast
Studio 220, Hyatt Regency

Charimen and Heads of Delegation Breakfast (Private)
Hyatt Regency

Opening Ceremony
Ballroom C, Hyatt Regency

  • Mrs. Minor Shaw, Chairman, Southeast U.S./Japan Association (SEUS-Japan), President, Micco, LLC
  • Mr. Teruo Asada, Chairman, Japan-U.S. Southeast Association, Chairman of the Board, Marubeni Corporation

Plenary Keynote Address
Ballroom C, Hyatt Regency
The Honorable Kenichiro Sasae, Ambassador Extraordinary & Plenipotentiary of Japan to the United States

State Leadership Presentations Panel
Ballroom C, Hyatt Regency

Spouse/Guest’s Tour #1 – Painting Fantasy Flowers & Lunch/Art Demo
Paint easy, free‐form flowers from your imagination using a reductive scratching technique guided by artist Melinda DeMent. Take home your cheerful 11x14 ready to frame or hang! Following lunch, there will be live artist demonstrations and time for guests to interact with the artist(s). Class will be from 10:00 am – 12 pm in a studio across from the Hyatt, then lunch/artist demos will be from 12 pm– 2:00 pm.

Ballroom C, Hyatt Regency
The Honorable Takashi Shinozuka, Consulate-General of Japan in Atlanta

Networking Break
Pre-function Area, Ballroom C, Hyatt Regency

Spouse/Guest’s Tour #2 – Cooking Demo/Lesson
With the guidance of local chefs, practice the art of Southern cooking. The class will include chef demonstrations and time for guests to try some of the cooking techniques shared, followed by lunch. This tour will be held at the Corporate Loft at Soby's in downtown Greenville, just a few blocks from the Hyatt.

Plenary Keynote Address
Ballroom C, Hyatt Regency
Mr. Hiroyuki Ishige, Chairman and CEO, JETRO

Luncheon and Special Keynote Address
Studio 220, Hyatt Regency
Mr. Jeffrey R. “Jeff” Immelt, Chairman of General Electric Corporation

Panel Session I: (Featured Speakers/Moderated Panel Discussions)
Ballroom C, Hyatt Regency

  • Mr. Rod Schrader, Chairman & CEO, Komatsu America Corp.
  • Mr. Dave Johnson, Chief Quality Officer, Bridgestone Americas, Inc.
  • Mr. Masaru Onishi, Director & Chairman, Japan Airlines Co., Ltd.
  • Mr. Seiichiro Akita, Executive Officer, The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Ltd.

Labor Force Trends and Challenges in Japan & the Southeast U.S.
Both Japan and the United States are facing a demographic shift in their work force as the “Baby Boomer” generation in the United States retires and Japan’s population decrease continues to cause labor shortages. How are these issues being addressed in each country? Additionally, how is each country ensuring that each respective labor force is better trained to face the newer, more innovative and technical jobs, especially as they relate to manufacturing? What can government do to help cultivate more entrepreneurs, inventors, technology and innovation start‐ups as another option of employment?

Pre-function Area, Ballroom C, Hyatt Regency

Panel Session II: (Featured Speakers/Moderated Panel Discussions)
Ballroom C, Hyatt Regency

  • Dr. Mark E. Manyin, Ph.D, Congressional Research Service, Washington, DC
  • Dr. Douglas Trelfa, Ph.D, Director, Japan Center & Japan Linkages Institute, University of West Florida
  • Mr. Keisuke Yokoo, Vice Chairman & President, DOYUKAI (Japan Association of Corporate Executives)
  • Mr. Tetsuo Ogawa, Managing Officer, Toyota Motor Corporation
  • Mr. Tetsuhide Mikamo, Director, Marubeni Research Institute

U.S.-Japan Bilateral Relations – Where Are We Headed?
Where will Japan and the United States’ relationship go in the future, especially as it relates to trade and investment? Free trade agreements are not always exclusive to international trade, but are often used to bolster relationships in other areas such as security and defense. How will those important issues be addressed between the two countries in the short term, within the context of a dynamic Asia‐Pacific region?


Buses begin rotation to Peace Center

Evening Reception/Dinner and Networking Event
The Peace Center


Lobby – Hyatt Regency

Joint Delegation Breakfast
Studio 220, Hyatt Regency

Plenary Keynote Address
Ballroom C, Hyatt Regency
Ambassador James Zumwalt, Chief Executive Officer of the Sasakawa Peace Foundation USA

Closing Ceremony
Adoption of Joint Statement, Exchange of Gifts, and Announcement of 41st Annual Joint Meeting
Studio 220, Hyatt Regency

  • The Honorable Masami Kinefuchi, Consul General of Japan in Nashville
  • The Honorable Ken Okaniwa, Consul General of Japan in Miami
  • Mr. Teruo Asada, Chairman, Japan-U.S. Southeast Association, Chairman of the Board, Marubeni Corporation
  • Mrs. Minor Shaw, Chairman, Southeast U.S./Japan Association (SEUS-Japan), President, Micco, LLC

Joint Meeting Adjourns



Westin Poinsett – Rooms available for Sunday through Tuesday

Contact Information

Westin Poinsett

120 South Main Street, Greenville, SC 29601
(864) 421-9700

Room Rates


Premium and Suite Upgrades may be available for an additional fee, based on availability.

Room rates are subject to applicable tax that is currently 10% per room, per night and is subject to change without notice. Hotel check-in begins at 3 p.m.


Reserve Online:


Reserve By Phone:

(888) 421-9700

For questions regarding hotel reservations and information, please contact Westin Poinsett, Greenville.

If you make your hotel reservation by phone, please mention the “SEUS-Japan Conference” to receive the special conference room rate.

Rates are subject to change.

Contact Information

Hyatt Regency

220 N Main Street, Greenville, SC 29601
(864) 235-1234

Room Rates


Premium and Suite Upgrades may be available for an additional fee, based on availability.

Room rates are subject to applicable tax that is currently 10% per room, per night and is subject to change without notice. Hotel check-in begins at 3 p.m.


Reserve By Phone:

(402) 592-6464

For questions regarding hotel reservations and information, please contact Hyatt Regency Greenville.

The Hyatt Regency Greenville does offer valet parking ($20 per night) and overnight self-parking ($7.50 per night). Rates are subject to change.


  Venue Information  


Find your sophisticated home in the heart of the downtown area at the Westin Poinsett Greenville - one of the only AAA four-diamond hotels in Greenville, SC.

Visit Westin Poinsett Greenville Website


Hyatt Regency Greenville offers guests the perfect balance of Southern hospitality and modern amenities. Located in the trendy downtown area of Greenville, the Hyatt Regency is near the area’s best dining, shopping and entertainment. Whether you are visiting for business or leisure, there is a welcoming room waiting for you in South Carolina.

Visit Hyatt Regency Greenville Website


With a 2,100-seat concert hall, a 400-seat theatre, an amphitheater, a sophisticated patrons’ lounge and a variety of indoor and outdoor meeting, rehearsal and event spaces, the Peace Center has become the hub of cultural life in Upstate South Carolina. Built on a six-acre campus, with an energetic mix of leading-edge architecture and historic preservation, the campus is at the hub of Greenville’s nationally recognized downtown.

Of course, what makes the Peace Center special are the performance venues. Each space is architecturally and acoustically remarkable—as you would expect, considering the quality and variety of performances presented here. Classical, dance, jazz, country, bluegrass, folk, pop and comedy performers, as well as a full calendar of top Broadway shows are equally spectacular on the Peace Center’s stages.

Several of Greenville’s excellent performing arts organizations are resident companies. These include Carolina Ballet Theatre, Greenville Chorale, Greenville County Youth Orchestras, Greenville Symphony Orchestra, International Ballet and South Carolina Children’s Theater.

In every case, the Peace Center – both the people and the place – provides the right setting for an exceptional experience.

Visit Peace Center Website

  About South Carolina  

Welcome to a place where opportunity isn’t just about an industry or even a category, it’s about an attitude and a way of life. We have created an environment that’s just right. Where people can build a good life while building products and services, and businesses great and small can prosper.