The Japan-United States Economic Relations Group (the “Wisemen’s Group”) was established pursuant to a joint communiqué of May 1979 by Prime Minister Masayoshi Ohira and President Jimmy Carter. Jointly chaired by Nobuhiko Ushiba, former State Minister for External Economic Affairs, and Robert S. Ingersoll, former Deputy Secretary of State, the group of eight leading private citizens was charged with the task of examining the factors affecting long-term bilateral economic relations between the United States and Japan. JCIE was asked to serve as the Japanese secretariat, with JCIE Director Tadashi Yamamoto as an executive director of the group.

After a series of intensive consultations and various commissioned studies, the group presented a report with policy recommendations to the heads of government of the two countries in January 1981. A supplemental report was issued in early October 1981. The two reports provided a comprehensive description of major economic issues and contained policy recommendations for the public and private sectors of both countries. Also, in April 1981, the group published a 465-page appendix to the January report. The appendix contains the texts of the commissioned background studies that the “Wisemen” relied on for their consultations.

A major follow-up effort was made by JCIE to further disseminate the reports and continue the in-depth dialogue on bilateral economic relations on February 24–25, 1982, in collaboration with the Japan Society in Washington DC and New York and with the participation of former members of the Wisemen’s Group.




NOBUHIKO USHIBA, Former State Minister for External Economic Affairs

United States

ROBERT S. INGERSOLL, Chairman, Japan Society, Inc.



AKIO MORITA, Chairman, Sony Corporation

SHUZO MURAMOTO, President, Dai-Ichi Kangyo Bank, Ltd. (retired from group in Jan. 1981)

KIICHI SAEKI, Chairman, Nomura Research Institute

ISAMU YAMASHITA, Chairman, Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding Co., Ltd.; Vice-Chairman Federation of Economic Organizations (Keidanren)

United States

A.W. CLAUSEN, President, Bank of America (retired from group in Jan. 1981)

HUGH T. PATRICK, Professor, Economics, Yale University

EDSON W. SPENCER, Chairman, Honeywell, Inc. 



TADASHI YAMAMOTO, Director, Japan Center for International Exchange

United States

JACK B. BUTTON, Former Minister-Counselor, American Embassy, Tokyo