Japan-US Women Leaders Dialogue:Community Development and the Role of Women

In order to stimulate greater dialogue among women in United States and Japan, the Institute of International Education initiated the Japan-U.S. Women Leaders Dialogue in cooperation with the Japan Center for International Exchange and with support from the Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership.

The dialogue was created in order to provide opportunities for Japanese and US women leaders to exchange ideas on major social issues facing their communities and to discuss the role women play in addressing these issues through leadership in NGOs, citizens groups, and voluntary service activities. The program was designed to enhance mutual understanding between the two societies and to stimulate the development networks through which the participants in the Dialogue would be able to work together on issues of professional concern.

In the first phase of the project, a delegation of six women leaders from various regions of the U.S. traveled to Japan during the period January 23-February 5, 1993. The delegation visited Tokyo, Yokohama, Fukuoka, and Kanazawa to meet with their counterparts and learn directly about Japanese society and culture while sharing their experiences in the United States. During the second phase of the Dialogue, a reciprocal delegation of six Japanese women leaders visited the United States from June 6-19 of the same year. These leaders visited Los Angeles, Spokane, Chicago, and New York to meet with related counterparts in these locations. Throughout both parts of this exchange, the Japanese and US delegations were able to deepen their understanding of the host culture and society.