Join widely recognized Japanese and U.S. experts as they lead a discussion about the U.S.-Japan bilateral relationship and geo-strategic issues in Asia and how they affect the U.S. and Japan.
The Tennessee-Japan Forum serves as JAST’s Annual Meeting. Representatives from a variety of businesses, government offices, non-profit organizations and other sectors come together to connect and strengthen the vibrant bilateral relationship between Japan and Tennessee.
1222 Demonbreun Street
Dr. Zack Cooper & Mr. Masashi Murano
Mr. Andrew Wylegala
This year's Tennessee-Japan Forum and Annual Meeting was hosted and sponsored by Womble Bond Dickinson and made possible by funding from The Sasakawa Peace Foundation and National Association of Japan-America Societies (NAJAS). The general theme and speakers were chosen by funding sponsors: “The implications of the Russian invasion of Ukraine on geostrategic challenges the U.S. and Japan face in Asia.”
The 2023 Tennessee-Japan Forum featured Dr. Zack Cooper and Mr. Masashi Murano, with remarks from The Honorable Yoichi Matsumoto, Consul-General of Japan in Nashville and Moderator Mr. Andrew Wylegala.
Dr. Zack Cooper is a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, where he studies U.S. strategy in Asia. He also teaches at Princeton University, is a partner with Armitage International, and co-hosts the Net Assessment podcast for War on the Rocks. He previously served on staff at the Pentagon and White House. Dr. Cooper received a B.A. from Stanford University and a M.P.A. and Ph.D. from Princeton University.
Mr. Masashi Murano is a Japan Chair Fellow at Hudson Institute. His research areas include U.S.-Japan defense cooperation and nuclear/conventional deterrence analysis. Prior to joining Hudson, he was a research fellow at the Okazaki Institute, a Tokyo-based think tank. He has more than ten years of experience in research, analysis, tabletop exercises and facilitation of numerous classified products related to strategic intelligence assessment and policy planning for the Japanese government. Mr. Murano holds an MA in Security Studies from Takushoku University. He is a member of several government grant research programs includes subcommittee on Security Issues in New Domains, Government Grant Research Program for Foreign Affairs and Security Studies hosted by the University of Tokyo-Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology.
Mr. Andrew Wylegala began as President of the National Association of Japan-America Societies (NAJAS) in March 2023. He brings a diverse background in Asia and a passion for the U.S.-Japan grassroots relationship. Beginning his Japan immersion as a high school exchange student in Saitama Prefecture and as a member of the Japan-America Student Conference, Andrew went on to a distinguished career as a senior foreign service commercial officer, including serving at the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo. As a Professor of Practice at the National Defense University, he taught economics and industry analysis to security policy practitioners. Most recently, Andrew served as the President of the American Chamber of Commerce in Taiwan, growing that organization through the challenges of the pandemic and Cross-Strait tension. An avid bike rider, “Andy” and his wife are excited to be settling back in Washington D.C. He looks forward to traveling from this home base as he gets to know and collaborate creatively with the nation-wide JAS community.