Campus Life

UWF to host panel discussion on Japan

The University of West Florida will host an international outreach event titled, “Walk in America, Talk on Japan: We Are Tomodachi,” on Thursday, Nov. 6 from 2:30 to 5 p.m. in the UWF Conference Center.

The event, which is free and open to the public, is part of a grassroots relationship-building project sponsored by the Cabinet Office of the Government of Japan, the Consulate General of Japan in Miami, and UWF Japanese government. The word “tomodachi” in the event’s theme means “friendship” in Japanese. Several cities in the U.S. have already been visited, and Pensacola and Gainesville were selected as venues in Florida.

A five-person delegation will visit UWF to speak on Japanese society, economy, politics, business and culture in English. Small group discussions and a reception will allow the delegation to have conversations with attendees. The delegation is led by the Honorable Ken Shimanouchi, former Japanese ambassador, and includes: Takao “Tak” Kawasaki, former president of NSG Group’s Asian Business Unit; Keijiro Hata, retired Air Force lieutenant general; Yoko Chivers, vice president at Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation; and Yohei Komatsuzaki, Japanese executive committee chair of the 66th Japan-America Student Conference.

The opening panel discussion will be moderated by Dr. Douglas Trelfa, director of the UWF Japan Center, Japan House and Florida-Japan Linkage Institute.

On Friday, Nov. 7, the delegation will meet with various local groups, including the Japan America Society of Northwest Florida, Pensacola North Rotary and Gulf Coast Diplomacy Council, as well as area military bases.

The mission of the UWF Japan Center is to foster stronger ties between the U.S. and Japan through educational, cultural and business programs. To learn more about the UWF Japan Center, Japan House and Florida-Japan Linkage Institute, visit