November 2019

In this Issue

  • JAST Winter Mixer (忘年会)
  • Member Spotlight - Mitsui & Co. (USA), Inc. 
  • Former Consul-General Kobayashi named Ambassador to Mongolia
  • Volunteer Spotlight - Dr. David Rands 
  • Fifth Annual Women's Leadership Forum and Networking Luncheon Photos 
  • Keizai Koho Center Study Tour to Japan 
  • Upcoming Events 

Dec 12, 5pm - 7pm 

Bar Otaku 

Join JAST as we celebrate another wonderful year of Japan-Tennessee relations. JAST member Bar Otaku will have a happy hour menu, which will include a special JAST cocktail. 

Space is limited. Please register HERE 


Member Spotlight - Mitsui & Co. (USA), Inc. 

Mitsui & Co. (U.S.A.), Inc. (Mitsui USA), has been a major member and  supporter of JAST since its founding in 2000. Mitsui USA sponsors the Nashville Cherry Blossom Festival, the Women’s Leadership Forum and Networking Luncheon, and other regional programs in the Middle Tennessee area. Additionally, through The Mitsui U.S.A. Foundation, Mitsui USA is an ongoing supporter of JAST education initiatives such as the Japanese Speech Contest and JAST / Mitsui USA Scholars. Mike Fedele, VP, GM and RO, is an active board member and currently serves as the treasurer of JAST’s board of directors.

Mitsui USA, established in 1966, is the largest wholly-owned subsidiary of Tokyo’s Mitsui & Co., LTD, a diverse global trading, investment, and service enterprise. In addition to the traditional trading company business, Mitsui USA engages in business investment, project development and management, and capital goods leasing and technology transfer. The company utilizes its unique business engineering capabilities to develop new business models aimed at improving existing business process and generating new opportunities, and is committed to sustainable growth and corporate citizenship. Their operations are guided by its distinctive Corporate Social Responsibility policy, which emphasizes environmental and social accountability, and respect for stakeholders and the community.

JAST is thankful to Mitsui for their generous support! For more information about Mitsui please visit their website.

Former Consul-General Kobayashi Named Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to Mongolia


On November 11, former Consul-General Kobayashi was named Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to Mongolia. Ambassador Kobayashi was designated a Mongolian language expert by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan when he joined the Ministry in 1983. This will mark his third time serving in Mongolia. 

During his time in Nashville, Ambassador Kobayashi was a great friend of JAST. Along with being Honorary Co-chairman with Governor Bill Lee, he was heavily involved in major events such as the Nashville Cherry Blossom Festival and the Memphis Japan Festival. 

Volunteer Spotlight - Dr. David Rands 

Dr. Rands, Associate Professor and Director of Asian Studies at Austin Peay State University (APSU), volunteers with JAST to mobilize teams of college student volunteers who are essential to the success of the Memphis Japan Festival and Nashville Cherry Blossom Festival.

Dr. Rands began his journey with Japan when he took a two-year break from undergraduate studies to serve a religious mission in central Japan. Since then he has developed into an expert on Japan through his work for a Japanese company, participation in the JET program and completion of a PhD in History. 

Dr. Rands has recently facilitated a partnership between the Clarksville-Montgomery County School System and Austin Peay State University to incorporate Japanese and Korean languages into their offerings. This foreign language partnership enabled Clarksville to have the only secondary schools in the state to offer Korean and Japanese. Likewise, the partnership provided resources for the APSU's Asian language offerings. He is hopeful these connections open doors for more interactions between Japan and Tennessee. Dr. Rands appreciates JAST's efforts to build bridges between Japan and Tennessee and JAST appreciates him!

Thank you to our sponsors for your support of this event! To our attendees, we hoped you enjoyed the program. Please check out our Facebook page for more photos. 

           Keizai Koho Center Study Tour to Japan          

Tennessee Alumni includes teachers from: 

 2009  David Lipscomb Campus School
 2011 Hillsboro High School Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools
 2016  Sevier County Board of Education (Seymour Middle School)

For more information, click HERE 

Upcoming Community Events:

Japanese Innovation and Experiences Implementing New Technology in the U.S.

Memphis Grizzlies - Japan Heritage Night 

TAO Drum 2020

Dec. 04

Dec. 14 

Jan. 28