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

Institute for International Education (IIE) and Japan Center for International Exchange

In the last several decades, women in Japan and the United States have assumed increasingly important roles in the transformation of their societies. In both countries, women have become leaders in their communities, promoting voluntarism and seeking to address problems in the areas of community development, childcare, education, public health, the environment, are for the aged, and other issues. However, in spite of the many common concerns faced by women in these two countries, there have been relatively few opportunities for Japanese and American women leaders at the local and national levels to meet, discuss issues, or join forces in addressing common problems.

To stimulate greater dialogue among women in these countries, the Institute of International Education (IIE) and JCIE jointly initiated the Japan-US Women Leaders Dialogue with support from the Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership (CGP) and other donors. The Dialogue was created 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 nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), citizens groups, and voluntary service activities. The program was designed to enhance mutual understanding and to stimulate the development of networks through which the participants in the Dialogue would be able to work together on issues of professional concern. 

A delegation of six women leaders from various regions of the United States traveled to Japan in January–February 1993, and six Japanese women leaders visited the United States in June of the same year. This publication is a report on their findings.


1. Foreword

Richard M. Krasno, President, Institute of International Education
Tadashi Yamamoto, President, Japan Center for International Exchange

2. Overview of Project History and Activities 

Peggy Blumenthal, Vice President for Educational Services, IIE
Shaun Martin, Manager of Asia/Pacific Programs, IIE 

    • Detailed Summary of the US Women Leaders Japan Study Tour Activities
    • Summary of Major Findings of the US Women Leaders Japan Study Tour 

5. Individual US Delegates’ Reports

    • Ronne Hartfield, Director of Museum Education, Art Institute of Chicago
    • Ruth Hinerfeld, Former President, The League of Women Voters of the United States
    • Elizabeth Humstone, Director for Community Stewardship, The Countryside Institute, Burlington, Vermont
    • Irene Redondo-Churchward, Executive Director, Project Info Community Services, Whittier, California
    • Susan Virnig, Founder and Senior Consultant, Northwest Regional Facilitators, Spokane, Washington
    • Bernarda Wong, Executive Director, Chinese American Service League, Chicago, Illinois

6. Summary of Major Findings of the Japan Women Leaders’ US Study Tour

Hideko Katsumata, Executive Secretary, Japan Center for International Exchange

7. Individual Japanese Delegates’ Reports

    • Yoriko Imasato, Editor-in-Chief, Living Fukuoka, Nissei Shimbun, Inc., Fukuoka
    • Yaeko Suzuki, Chair, We Love Asia 21, Yokohama
    • Haruko Numata, Coordinator, Suginami Association for Better Lives in an Aging Society, Association to Provide Friendship Lights, Tokyo
    • Yoshiko Hayakawa, Editor-in-Chief, Ishikawa no Tamago, Fukuoka
    • Mitsuhiko Yamaguchi, Executive Director, Fusae Ichikawa Memorial Association/Women’s Suffrage Institute, Tokyo
    • Kimie Yokoyama, Director, Des Femmes Workers Collective, Yokohama

8. Keynote Address: The Role of NGOs and Women in Meeting the Challenges of a New Era

Susan Berresford, Vice President, Ford Foundation

9. Profiles of Delegation Members

10. US Delegations’ Study Tour Itinerary

11. Japan Delegations’ Study Tour Itinerary

Copyright © 1994 Institute of International Education, New York. All Rights Reserved.
ISBN 87206-218-X; 145 pages