Welcome to Japan Minnesota Association(JMA) !

 Japan Minnesota Association(JMA) was initially founded in 1984 for Japanese alumni of the Unversity of Minnesota. Now, this JMA was opened to everyone who is interested in Minnesota. 

Please contact(or E-mail) us  and become mailing list JMA member. Then you can get an updated JMA event information.

2021 Events


Japan Minnesota Associatio  

On-Line Christmas Party in 2021  

JMA held Christmas Party 2021 online, on Dec. 4 (CTS) and Dec. 5 (JST).


Thanks to the internet, twenty-nine alumni, students and friends from Minnesota and Japan were able to join the party. This year we have a special guest speaker from Minnesota, Mr. Mark Ritchie, Minnesota’s former Secretary of State and now serves as President of the Minnesota International Center. Mr. Ritchie had worked globally to support family firms over the past 20 years, and is currently playing a main role to bring the 2027 EXPO to Minnesota. 


Dr. Kamata was a moderator of the event as same as last year, and JMA President Ms. Iwanami delivered an opening address with words of thanks, “JMA has continued for 37 years due to event participants”.


In the speech, Mr. Ritchie introduced to us the objectives, missions, and processes to bring the 2027 EXPO to Minnesota, under the theme “Healthy People, Healthy Planet.” The relationship between his girlfriend and Osaka EXPO1970 was a fascinating story, and we understand how Mr. Ritchie has devoted the energy to invite the 2027 EXPO to Minnesota with high motivation. Bloomington has been chosen as the site of the World Fair, where Mall of America and Twin Cities airport are located. Minnesota can prepare for EXPO both in person and digital tools.


In the question-and -answer session, there was a question asking about the success in attracting the EXPO. According to Mr. Ritchie, we will get to know the result in the coming January. There is no city to compete in its bid to host EXPO 2027 due to the pandemic. Our expectations are rising for the World EXPO 2027 in Minnesota by his speech. 


Then, JMA Vice President, Mr. Nakamura (Board of Director, UMAA) expressed our thanks and gratitude to Mr. Ritchie and proposed a toast “Merry Christmas! Cheers!”. After the screen shot, all participants introduced themselves with (1) name, (2) current living city, and (3) next travel destination. Thanks to Takehito, as a good moderator, we learned all participants had valuable and unique life and work experiences through their short-speeches, such as Rio, current Executive Director, and Ben, former Executive Director of Japan America Society of Minnesota, Dr. Zaidi, Distinguished International Emeritus Professor, Dr. Thomas, former Director, International Student and Scholar Services, Kim, Assistant Director of Curriculum & Career Integration, Learning Abroad Center, and her husband, Shuji, Audra, Director of International Alumni and Travel, UMAA, Tim, Director of International Development, and Edith, Leader of the Las Vegas Chapter, Mr. Yonehara who had worked for Pan Am, David who had lived in Fujisawa, Ellen, Ph.D student in Japan from U of M, and Kae, Ph.D student to U of M from Japan. Our active members, such as Mr. and Mrs. Kaneko, Mr. Hirao, Mr. Fujii, Mr. Morita, Mr. Ijiri, Mr. Yuihama, Mr. Nemoto, Dr. Fukuda, Mr. Muramatsu, also joined in the party from Japan.


Time flew when we were having a good time. JMA Vice President Mr. Yamaguchi gave a closing remark and said “we want to hold our next event in person, if possible”. 


We wish you a happy New Year.   

Connecting in Minnesota, Engaging the world

BIG TEN Golf (2021)


  【BIG TEN Golf competition】


The 15th BIG TEN Golf Competition  was held as scheduled on Saturday, October 16th 2021. The weather was cloudy but it was cool and comfortable. It was a lively competition with 9 participating schools and 38 participants.


The Minnesota team, consisted of four members: Ijiri, Komiyama, Brian, and Negishi won the runner-up in the team competition.


Ohio State won by a narrow margin.


The Minnesota team also performed well in individual competitions with Ijiri 7th, Brian 15th, Negishi 22nd, and Komiyama 29th.


In addition, Ijiri and Komiyama won the Longest Driving Contest Award and Negishi won the Nearest the Pin Contest Award.

I think we were able to greatly enhance Minnesota’s position as one of the leaders in the BIGTEN Golf .


BIG TEN Golf Competition will be held next year as well. Please join us!


Japan Minnesota Association Golf (2021)



The 3rd Japan Minnesota Association Golf Competition was held on Saturday, September 25th 2021 at Showa no Mori Golf Course Tokyo in a cool and windless condition.


6 Participants were Brian, Yamaguchi, Akira Nakamura, Hiromi Nakamura, Yuihama, and Negishi (from the left in the photo).


Negishi won (gross 85, net 73) and runner-up was Brian (gross 91, net 75).

The longest drive award went to Hiromi Nakamura and Brian.

Brian and Negishi won the nearest to the pin award.


We are supposed to have next competition in autumn  2022.


Look forward to seeing you there!

Tokyo Olympic & Paralympic athletes from Univ. of Minn.

Current or former/alumni UMN student-athletes went to Tokyo for the Tokyo Olympic & Paralympic games.  

[Click here]

Summer party 2021

This year's Summer Party of Japan Minnesota Association was held through Zoom on June 27. In this session, Honorary Consul General of Japan Ron Leonhardt will share his experience and considerations between Japan and Minnesota.  

For more infomation [Click here]

Renku and Photo of cherry blossoms Zoom gathering           ~ Bread is better than the songs of birds ~

Japan Minnesota Association held Renku and photo of cherry blossoms Zoom gathering in place of real Ohanami party.

Date: April 18 (Sun) 11 am ~ 12:30 pm


「Renku」is a linked series of Japanese poems composed by two or more people


 [Click here]

2020 event

The 14th Big Ten Alumni Golf Tournament 2020 - Japan

The BIG 10 Golf Japan was held at Ohtone Country Club on December 12th. The Champion cup went to ・・and longest drive, near pin prize?  

[Click here]

Virtual Christmas Party on Dec.6

The Japan Minnesota Association (JMA) had the Virtual Christmas Party on Dec. 6 12:00-13:00 (Japan Time) and Dec. 5(CST),2020. 

Many friends from all over Japan and Minnesota gathered.

[Click here for detail]

U of M Day of Service , September 19th, 2020

U of M Day of Service has done on Saturday, September 19th, 2020. 

Japan Minnesota Association has decided to coordinate/promote a number of food and or supply drives for alumni and friends of the U of M to be able to donate to  local charity organizations. 

[Click here for detail]

JMA(Japan Minnesota Association)@Zoom  Aug.30








JMA(Japan Minnesota Association) held a Zoom event on Aug.30.

This is the first JMA trial of Zoom gathering.  So it was a kind of exciting.

Please [click here for detail]  


12th Minnesota Youth Seminar (Minnesota Career Month)

On June 20(Sat), Minnesota youth online seminar was held using Zoom video.

The lecture this time was Mr. Mitazono of Nihon Keizai Shinbunsha. He talked about his carrier and variety work of past and his currently related job. It was very helpful information for our career consideration. 

The attendee of this time seminar is 15.  

Jun. 28 (sun) : Summer party(Canceled as below)

Dear Japan Minnesota Association Members,


Thank you for supporting the Japan Minnesota Association all the time.  We hope this message finds you well during this unprecedented time and staying inside due to the restrictions under the global pandemic of the Coronavirus (COVID-19).


The Japan Minnesota Association Board members held the online Executive Board Meeting and decided to cancel the Summer Party (originally scheduled on Sunday, June 28th), and we truly regret to inform you about this decision.


We confirmed that Mr. Charles E. McJilton who is the Founder and CEO of Second Harvest Japan would be the guest speaker at the Summer Party.  While Mr. McJilton was at the University of Minnesota, he jointed a study abroad program to Sophia University in Japan.  During the study aboard program at Sophia University, he started getting involved in supporting homeless people in Sanya, Tokyo.  After experiencing homelessness near the Sumida River for 15 months, he started food bank activities, supported homeless people, and established a Non Profit Organization (NPO) Food Bank Japan in 2002.  We will invite Mr. McJilton as a guest speaker at our upcoming events.  If you are interested in the activities of the Second Harvest Japan, please check the following website.



As we have previously organized, we will have the Christmas Party at the Stockholm Restaurant on December 6, 2020.  We might postpone or cancel the Christmas Party, and please understand that we will prepare and change our plans by observing the influences of the global pandemic of COVID-19 in upcoming fall and winter.


While we are expected to stay at home, the number of online streaming events has increased.  We expect some of you have already experienced or participated in the online events.  The Japan Minnesota Association also starts preparing for possible online streaming events.  The online streaming service enables our friends and colleagues to participate in the online meeting from various residence locations in Japan and around the world.

This year is unprecedented in history, and the Japan Minnesota Association has reached its 36th Anniversary.  We have written details of our history on our website, and please take a look at our history from the following website.



In order to look back on the history of the activities of the Japan Minnesota Association and pass on to the next generation, we welcome new wisdom and hope to work together in refining our mission, direction, and event plans.  We look forward to your continued guidance, support, and encouragement.


We all are looking forward to the upcoming opportunity to see with you soon all again.

May 2020

Japan Minnesota Association Board Members

11th Minnesota Youth Seminar               ( Minnesota Career Month Seminar )

On the morning of February 15, 2020 (Saturday), the 11th Minnesota Youth Seminar was held at the satellite campus of Hiroshima University.
Mr. Minoru Nakamura of Shiseido's CPO (Chief People Officier) who he has shared his global career so far to attendees. With the cooperation of Mr. Minoru Nakamura, he explained his career and the circumstances of Shiseido. Many questions were raised from the participants even during the session, and they shared what Shiseido is aiming for in Japanese companies and what Mr. Nakamura is aiming for.
He shared his career in detail, including the events which were turning point (even though he wanted to be a police officer when he was a student).
As a message to the young professionals who participated, he summarized three things that he would have been particularly conscious of among his experiences.
Those were, "Choose where to play", "Think, Act and Win Globally", and "Be Agile / Constantly Evolve" In addition to these messages, "work can be challenging and stressful, but all your experience will be for professionalism".
After the session, Both Mr. Nakamura and participants had time to interact with each other while eating light meals, which was useful for thinking about future careers.

U of Minnesota Alumni Association CEO visit Japan

June 5~7, 2019 University of Minnesota Alumni Association CEO Lisa Lewis visited Japan. ・・・(Here)

Mar/31(Sun) Cherry blossom viewing party (OHANAMI 2019)「here」


Feb.15(Fri) UMAA (U of M Alumni Association) Career Month Event「here」




If you are just interested in Minnesota, please
join JMA events and become an E-mail member !


Everyone who visited, studies, worked or just interested in Minnesota can join our events and talk about Minnesota buautiful spots, fan places, famous companies, colleges and universities. People who wants or paln to visit Minnesota, you might as well contact us. You might get some information from us and tell us your Mineesota visit stories. We all wanted to know and talk about Minnesota during cold winter life, beautiful spring, a little hot summer and yellow leaves fall.

This JMA(Japan Minnesota Association) is supported by all volunteer staff.

If you are interested in JMA, please contact us from "Here".