Japan-Texas Economic Summit

Venue: All events held at Marriott Marquis Houston Hotel, unless otherwise noted.

Simultaneous interpretation: Please note that there will be simultaneous interpretation available during all plenary sessions on Tuesday and Wednesday.


  • Monday, May 7, 2018
    12:00 PM  -  8:00 PM
    Conference Registration/Check-in
    Texan Ballroom (Level 4) - Prefunction Area
    6:00 PM  -  8:00 PM
    Welcome Reception
    River Oaks (Level 3)
    Hosted by the State of Texas. Visiting officials and prefectural delegations from Japan will be honored.
    7:30 PM  -  9:30 PM
    Sponsors Dinner
    Offsite Location: Greater Houston Partnership

    (by invitation only)

    A private dinner for sponsors and VIP dignitaries. Emerald level sponsors are entitled to send two (2) people to the Sponsors Dinner. Diamond level and above sponsors are entitled to send three (3) people to the Sponsors Dinner. Registering for the Summit and selecting this Optional Agenda Item does not add you to the guest list. To be added to the guest list, representatives from sponsoring companies and organizations must contact Michael Berrios, Development & Membership Coordinator, at mberrios@usjapancouncil.org or 202-750-4030. When contacting Michael, please provide the full list of people who will be attending the Sponsors Dinner from your sponsoring company or organization.

  • Tuesday, May 8, 2018
    7:30 AM  -  9:00 AM
    Texan Ballroom (Level 4) - Salon D
    9:00 AM  -  10:30 AM
    Morning Plenary Session
    Texan Ballroom (Level 4) - Salons ABC
    Welcome, Special Remarks & Keynote Addresses
    Keynote Speakers:
    Plenary Panel Discussion - Open for Business: Opportunities for Japanese Companies in Texas
    Businesses are increasingly investing and moving to Texas, and Japanese companies create more jobs in Texas than any other country. What, in particular, makes Texas attractive to Japanese businesses, investors, and officials? What are the hurdles to overcome? What are the first steps to establishing a Japanese company or headquarters in Texas? In this session, Japanese business executives will share their experiences entering into and interacting with the Texas market. Gain real insights that can inform your business strategy from Japan to Texas.
    10:30 AM  -  11:00 AM
    11:00 AM  -  12:15 PM
    Breakout Sessions
    Meyerland, Briargrove, Kingwood, Montrose Rooms (Level 3)
    Security & Defense: National Security in the United States and Japan
    For more than half a century, security and defense have been central to the U.S.-Japan bilateral relationship. National security ties between the two countries continue to deepen in today’s global environment. Increasingly, new threats are arising in areas such as cybersecurity, and traditional security links are supplemented with the involvement of local governments and the private sector. This panel discussion will examine the security-related issues that both countries face, and explore the role of Texas, including Texas industries that support the bilateral security alliance and public-private partnerships that contribute to the mutual defense of our two nations.
    Energy & Environment Outlook: Japan and Texas
    In the wake of the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake, Japan—the world’s biggest LNG importer—is now dependent on natural gas. Simultaneously, the United States became the world’s biggest natural gas producer with Texas and Houston (the Energy Capital of the World) leading the way. With the use and development of renewable energy technologies continuing to expand across Texas and Japan, economic opportunities thrive between the two locales. Gain direct insight from industry movers and shakers regarding the business dynamics and what type of symbiotic opportunities exist for Japan and Texas in relation to energy and the environment.
    Healthcare & Medical: Medical Innovation Hubs Solving U.S.-Japan Health Issues
    Japan and the United States are key world players in the healthcare ecosystem impacting the industry with scientific discoveries and innovation. Faced with common medical and health issue challenges, they are utilizing multisector, cross-disciplinary partnerships to forge new technological developments, products, and services for Americans and Japanese alike. During this interactive forum, a diverse panel of medical and health professionals and leaders will offer their unique perspectives of how Japan-Texas collaboration between various institutions is driving the healthcare and medical industries to transform lives.
    Education & Workforce Development: Texas-Japan Partnerships Preparing the Workforce of the Future
    With the rising number of Japanese companies establishing offices in Texas, jobs that require specific skills are increasingly in need. Digital skills, technical fluency, flexibility, and continuous learning are but a few that have become high in demand. In this session, a panel of experts will discuss how the government and private sector are collaborating and setting the agenda for education to equip people with the skills and experience needed for the jobs of tomorrow, how to keep the workforce current, and what is needed to prepare for other major changes on the horizon.
    12:15 PM  -  12:30 PM
    12:30 PM  -  2:00 PM
    Luncheon Plenary Session
    Texan Ballroom (Level 4) - Salons ABC
    Special Remarks & Keynote Addresses
    Keynote Speakers:
    Remarks (by video):
    2:00 PM  -  2:30 PM
    2:30 PM  -  3:30 PM
    Insight Talks
    Texan Ballroom (Level 4) - Salons ABC
    3:30 PM  -  3:45 PM
    3:45 PM  -  4:45 PM
    Plenary Panel Discussion - Texas-Japan Technology Innovation: Crossing Borders to Create the Future
    Texan Ballroom (Level 4) - Salons ABC
    Innovation and effective adoption of new technology are key competitive factors for developing our regional economy and competing in the global marketplace. In this session, we explore business and technology collaboration between Japan and Texas with an in-depth look at how ambitious international collaborations come about, and what they seek to accomplish. Along the way, we will discover key insights into how international collaborations are effectively created and managed. Our panelists join us from IBM, The University of Texas at Austin, and NEC Corporation of America.
    4:45 PM  -  5:00 PM
    5:00 PM  -  6:00 PM
    Regional Economic Development Presentations
    Texan Ballroom (Level 4) - Salons ABC
    During this plenary-level session, we will hear from mayors, city councilmembers and other speakers representing chambers of commerce, economic development corporations and other organizations from select cities and regions across Texas and Japan. Each of them will share with Summit attendees about the economic development opportunities in their cities and regions, and those who are representing Regional Hospitality Room hosts will preview what to expect when attendees visit their room that evening. Learn about what each of these cities and regions has to offer and then network with them after the program to continue the conversation and explore partnership opportunities!
    6:00 PM  -  10:00 PM
    Regional Hospitality Rooms
    Meyerland A & B; Briargrove A & B; Kingwood A & B; River Oaks A, B & C, Montrose A & B (Level 3)

    Attendees are welcome to visit each of these rooms hosted by cities across the State of Texas and sometimes including their sister cities in Japan. Food and beverage will be provided, and there will be door prize drawings for attendees who fill up their "passport" booklet by visiting each room.

    - Austin, TX
    - Dallas, TX
    - El Paso, TX + The Borderplex Alliance
    - Golden Triangle (Beaumont, Port Arthur, Orange) + Rockport-Fulton Area, TX
    - Houston, TX + Chiba City, Japan + Greater Houston Partnership + Visit Houston
    - McAllen, TX
    - San Antonio, TX
    - Southeast Texas Economic Development Foundation - REDI
    State of Texas + Aichi Prefectural Government, Japan + Texas Forest Country Partnership

  • Wednesday, May 9, 2018
    7:30 AM  -  9:00 AM
    Breakfast & Business Networking
    Texan Ballroom (Level 4) - Salon A
    Subject Matter Expert & Regional Economic Development Council Tables

    Table Industry Topics include:

    - Attorney, Lobbying, Law, Immigration & Regulations
    - Business Consulting & Matchmaking
    - Business Logistics & Services 
    - CPA, Tax & Accounting
    - Finance & Banking
    - Human Resources
    - Insurance
    - Real Estate, Leasing & Investments

    9:00 AM  -  10:15 AM
    Morning Plenary Session
    Texan Ballroom (Level 4) - Salons ABC
    Special Remarks
    Plenary Panel Discussion - Japan-Texas F&B Exchanges: The Art of Culinary Business
    Both Japan and Texas are known for their fine delicacies and premium beverages, and recognized for their high quality products and superior customer care. This panel will explore business market entry strategies that enable food and beverage companies to share their coveted products and service with new customers, including market penetration and public relations, mergers and acquisitions, and supply and distribution. Hear from experienced industry experts about what it takes to succeed in this highly competitive sector, where the stakes are high and customer is king.
    10:15 AM  -  10:45 AM
    10:45 AM  -  12:00 PM
    Closing Plenary Session
    Texan Ballroom (Level 4) - Salons ABC
    Special Presentation - USJC Building the Future
    The U.S.-Japan Council’s (USJC) mission is to strengthen ties between the United States and Japan by promoting people-to-people relationships through its innovative programs in networking and leadership. USJC does this by bringing diverse leadership and developing the next generation of leaders – and Texas is home to many of USJC’s remarkable members, program participants and alumni. Learn how these distinguished individuals are using their experiences to shape successes across industries and communities in Texas and Japan, and beyond. This group will share their personal stories and how their experiences with USJC have impacted their lives and ability to impact others.
    Closing Remarks
    1:00 PM  -  5:00 PM
    Optional Offsite Tours
    Departure Location: Crawford Street exit of the hotel
    - Daikin Texas Technology Park
    - NASA/Johnson Space Center and Space Center Houston
    - Texas Medical Center
    - Minute Maid Park, Home of the 2017 MLB World Series Champion Houston Astros (Walking Tour)