Announcing JAST's
Third Annual Women's Leadership Forum and Networking Luncheon
Thursday, January 12th, 2017

in collaboration with
The Frist Center for Visual Arts, Nashville



"Intrepid Women on the Global Stage: An (Unexpected) Samurai Legacy" will be the focus of JAST's Third Annual Women's Leadership Forum and Networking Luncheon, on Thursday, January 12th at The Frist Center for Visual Arts in Nashville. 

Luncheon guests will gain all-day access to The Frist Center for Visual Arts, with the opportunity to join docent-led tours of the exhibition Samurai: The Way of the Warrior

Keynote remarks by Daughters of the Samurai author Janice P. Nimura will deepen appreciation for and understanding of women's contributions to the modernization of Japan and illuminate the transformative power of cultural immersion. 

Additional highlights of this year's networking forum will include book signings with author Janice P. Nimura, displays focused on travel to Japan, a special discount on purchases at The Frist Center Gift Shop and a unique memento of the occasion for each guest.

Please join us for this exciting program and networking opportunity! Additional details to come. Register now through December 23rd to reserve your spot at early bird rates! 

Preliminary Agenda 

10:30 am 
Registration Opens
             Guided Tours of Samurai:The Way of the Warrior

              (allow 45 - 50 minutes for the guided tour)

11:00 am
Meet the Author & Book Signing
              Informal Networking & Refreshments
              Travel Displays

Seated Luncheon Begins
               Welcome and Opening Remarks
               Table Hosts facilitate introductions

12:25 pm
Keynote Remarks by Janice P. Nimura
                Closing Remarks and Wrap-Up 

1:30 p.m. 
Informal Networking, Visits to Exhibition, Displays & Gift Shop 

         *Ticket purchase includes all-day access to The Frist Center

2:00 p.m
Forum and Exhibits Conclude

The Japan-America Society of Tennessee is a 501-c-3 not-for-profit corporation funded by corporate and individual membership dues, event sponsorships and foundation grants. Proceeds from the Women's Forum and Networking Luncheon further support JAST's educational, economic development and community outreach programs.

Tennessee-Japan Update 2016
JAST Annual Membership Meeting and Reception

Monday, June 27, 2016
2:00 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.

Baker Donelson Conference Center

Governor Bill Haslam, Consul General of Japan Masami Kinefuchi and Economic and Community Development Commissioner Randy Boyd will join members and guests at the Baker Donelson Conference Center in Nashville for the Annual Meeting of the Japan-America Society of Tennessee (JAST). 

The afternoon program will include panel discussions on  issues of economic consequence, including CyberSecurity and the future of Japanese investment in the state, followed by a business networking reception with the best sushi in town!

Registration is now open to JAST members and guests. For more details and to register online, go to:

Special thanks to our sponsors for their support of the 2016 JAST Annual Membership Meeting and Reception.














2015 Community Service Awards

The Japan-America Society of Tennessee invites nominations for its eleventh annual Community Service Awards.  These awards recognize the accomplishments of outstanding industry and community leaders whose efforts have made substantial and enduring contributions to Japan-Tennessee relations, effectively improving public life and the well being of our mutual society. 

Nominations are accepted this year in three award categories: Chrysanthemum, Iris and Sakura

Any person or group may make a nomination.  A $25 nomination fee (waived for JAST corporate and community members), payable by check to Japan-America Society of Tennessee, should accompany each completed nomination.  Nominations and fees are due May 31, 2016.

Please complete one of the attached forms:


Thank you for supporting the JAST Community Service Awards!

The 2015 Mitsui Scholarships In Tennessee Program

05/06/2015 -

Announcing the 2016 Mitsui Scholarships In Tennessee Program

Each year at this time, we notify principals and guidance counselors at high schools statewide 
about the Mitsui USA Scholarships in Tennessee Program. Now in it's 13th year, the 
Mitsui USA Scholarships Program supports the aspirations of globally-minded high school 
seniors from all across Tennessee. 

The Mitsui USA Scholarships in Tennessee Program was established by Mitsui & Co. (U.S.A.), Inc. 
through its office in Nashville and The Mitsui USA Foundation in New York to provide educational 
opportunities to college-bound high school seniors and promote cross-cultural understanding 
between Japan and Tennessee. The Scholarships Program is administered by the Japan-America 
Society of Tennessee.
Four $5,000 freshman-year scholarships are funded and awarded to successful applicants who plan 
to enroll in a four-year public college or university within the State of Tennessee's Board of Regents 
or University of Tennessee systems.

Applications will be due by May 31, 2016. All applicants will be notified in June of final 
award decisions.

Please click HERE for application materials, eligibility guidelines and selection criteria.

Many thanks to Mitsui USA for another year of the Scholarships In Tennessee Program!


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Bridgestone Americas Celebrates Groundbreaking in Downtown Nashville

01/08/2015 -

Bridgestone Americas Celebrates Groundbreaking for Headquarters in SoBro Area of Downtown Nashville
New Tower to Bring More than 1,700 Jobs and Broaden City Skyline

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Jan. 7, 2015) ― Bridgestone Americas, Inc., a subsidiary of Bridgestone Corporation, the world's largest tire and rubber company, celebrated the groundbreaking for its new 30-story, more than $200 million headquarters to be located in the SoBro area of downtown Nashville. When completed in mid-to-late 2017, the new facility will house more than 1,700 employees - 1,100 currently in Nashville and 600 new jobs from three out-of-state business units being relocated to the city.

"Today is an historic day for our company, for Nashville and for Tennessee," said Gary Garfield, CEO and President of Bridgestone Americas. "We proudly call Nashville home and are very eager to welcome our teammates from out-of-state as soon as possible. The leadership and support of the State and City are to be applauded for reaching this groundbreaking milestone - it marks the next step in our journey to shape tomorrow together."

Garfield was joined at the groundbreaking event by Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam; Tennessee Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bill Hagerty; Nashville Mayor Karl Dean; Highwoods Properties President and CEO Ed Fritsch and Bridgestone executives and team representatives from the employee units to be relocated to Nashville.

"Today is an exciting day for the continued partnership we share with Bridgestone," Haslam said. "This is a company that could choose to do business anywhere in the world, and they chose Tennessee. We want to congratulate Bridgestone on its latest achievement, and I look forward to continuing to work together to make Tennessee the No. 1 location in the Southeast for high quality jobs."

The business units moving to the new headquarters represent world-leading tire brands; the world's largest automotive retail and service operations; a worldwide leader in commercial roofing and building products; and a global leader in vehicle and equipment air spring technology.

"Earlier this week, Tennessee became the first state in the nation to be awarded back-to-back honors for 'State of the Year' for economic development. A feat of this magnitude is achieved and further solidified with the help of globally renowned companies like Bridgestone that do business and flourish in our state," Hagerty said. "I applaud Bridgestone for breaking ground on its corporate headquarters today and for its continued investment in our state. I wish the company much success and look forward to growing our partnership in the future."

Dean said, "We're very fortunate to have companies like Bridgestone Americas doing business here in our city. We couldn't ask for a better corporate citizen than Bridgestone, which is an important partner in so many of the causes we believe in as a community."

The planned 514,000-square-foot headquarters building will be located at 4th Avenue South and Demonbreun Street. Bridgestone Americas selected Highwoods Properties (NYSE:HIW), to develop the Company's new headquarters. Global architecture firm Perkins + Will has been retained by Highwoods and Bridgestone to design the new facility, including the interior. These design elements are expected to be LEED-certified at the Gold level and reflect best practices in workplace space design. Brasfield & Gorrie is the building contractor and has already begun site preparations. The facility is intended to be primarily single-tenant office occupied. Upon completion it will stand among the largest and tallest corporate headquarters buildings in Nashville.

"We are excited to begin development of this signature high-rise headquarters which will become a defining element of downtown Nashville's skyline," said Fritsch. "The Highwoods investment of $200 million in this project underscores our continuing commitment to Nashville and our strong belief in its long-term growth and prosperity. We are also appreciative to have the opportunity to work with the great people at Bridgestone Americas who have been extremely collaborative with Highwoods and the entire design and construction team."

Bridgestone has outgrown its current leased headquarters facility on Marriott Drive near Nashville International Airport. With its lease expiring in late 2017, the Company launched an extensive search for a new headquarters location to support future growth. Nashville and the new property were selected after a nationwide search by a Bridgestone team that included leaders from multiple business units and functional areas, as well as the retained support of commercial real estate services and investment firm CBRE Group, Inc.

"Bridgestone combining its operations to downtown Nashville is one of the largest relocations to a city center from the suburbs in the United States and is a testament to the dynamic environment of the City of Nashville," said Todd Lippman, Vice Chairman of CBRE, who represented the company along with Ken Leiser, Senior Vice President of CBRE.

The new headquarters will be home to Bridgestone Americas' corporate staff and supporting functions, as well as Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations, LLC; Bridgestone Retail Operations, LLC; Firestone Building Products Company, LLC; and Firestone Industrial Products Company, LLC.

About Bridgestone Americas, Inc.:
Nashville, Tenn.-based Bridgestone Americas, Inc. (BSAM) is the U.S. subsidiary of Bridgestone Corporation, the world's largest tire and rubber company. BSAM and its subsidiaries develop, manufacture and market a wide range of Bridgestone, Firestone and associate brand tires to address the needs of a broad range of customers, including consumers, automotive and commercial vehicle original equipment manufacturers, and those in the agricultural, forestry and mining industries. The companies are also engaged in retreading operations throughout the Western Hemisphere and produce air springs, roofing materials, and industrial fibers and textiles. The BSAM family of companies also operates the world's largest chain of automotive tire and service centers. Guided by its One Team, One Planet message, the company is dedicated to achieving a positive environmental impact in all of the communities it calls home.

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38th Annual Joint Meeting Dates Announced for 2015

09/25/2014 -

The State of Alabama will host the 38th Annual Joint Meeting of the Southeast U.S./Japan and the Japan-U.S. Southeast Associations in Birmingham at the Sheraton Hotel November 14-17, 2015.  Details of the meeting may now be viewed on the event website  Registration will again be handled by JAST and is expected to begin in late June.

Thanks to everyone who participated in the strong 40-member Tennessee delegation to Tokyo in 2014.  Invitations to prospective Tennessee delegates for this year's meeting will soon be issued by Governor Bill Haslam.  Don't delay renewing your JAST membership to ensure that you receive a personal invitation.  Your support of the State of Tennessee continues to build upon the longstanding economic and friendly ties between Japan and our state.

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In Memoriam: Howard H. Baker, Jr. 1925-2014

07/11/2014 -

The Japan-America Society of Tennessee joins the many friends and admirers of The Honorable Howard H. Baker, Jr,, in expressing condolences to his family.  Honorary Co-chair of JAST since its formative years, Senator Baker's affiliation and willingness to lend his generous support cannot be underestimated in helping to establish the credibility of the fledgling organization among its future membership base.  JAST recognized Senator Baker's significant contributions to Japan-Tennessee relations by awarding to him in 2010 its prestigious Iris Award for Exceptional Leadership.  We are deeply saddened by his passing and will continue to strive to uphold the principles of integrity and fairness for which he was widely recognized and lauded in our work to promote goodwill and friendship between Japan and Tennessee.

We refer our visitors to view the Baker Donelson Law Firm's website for additional detailed information about Senator Baker's distinguished career. 

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Mitsui USA Scholarship Recipients 2014-2015

09/25/2014 -

JAST is pleased to announce that four winners of the 2014-2015 Mitsui USA Scholarships in Tennessee Program have been selected to receive $5000 scholarships to help defray costs for their freshman year tuition.  The winners are Kayleah Bradley of Brentwood, a graduate of Cane Ridge High School, who will attend Middle Tennessee State University; Austin Jenkins of Knoxville, a graduate of South-Doyle High School, who will attend the University of Tennessee in Knoxville; Vipsa Patel of Lexington and a graduate of Lexington High School will attend the University of Tennessee in Knoxville; and Brianna Taylor of Crossville, a graduate of Cumberland County High School who will attend East Tennessee State University

We would like to thank all applicants for their participation in the process and wish all much success in their future academic pursuits and careers.

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