The mission of Future Japan! MENTOR Network is to connect and widen the network of young professionals and businesses who all share a common “Japan-U.S.” bond. As an experienced professional, I endorse this program that offers mentorship and support to these young members of the U.S. society.
The U.S. is a nation built by immigrants and continues to live up to this spirit today as it welcomes multitudes of immigrants each year. The percentage of immigrants to the U.S., especially the Hispanics and Asians, has reportedly been on the rise. However, the majority of the Japanese people who live in the U.S. are only “temporary visitors” who have been issued non-immigrant visas for the sole purpose of entering the country. The Japanese community in the U.S. is comprised mainly of expatriates of Japanese-affiliated enterprises who are here temporarily for a few years and quickly replaced by a new group of expatriates. Because of the temporary nature of their stay, this group is less likely to develop peer connections, and tend to have limited contact with the permanent residents and Japanese-American citizens within the community.
When compared to the other growing Asian communities, the harsh reality is that the Japanese community has not yet reached the level of providing meaningful support to young professionals who have come abroad to chase their dreams and pursue opportunities. I believe we can come together to assist these youngsters who share a common birthplace, background, and culture with those in the community.
I personally have yet to decipher a clear solution to these challenges. But, I hope the concept of building a network and creating a “platform” with other corporate executives will become the key to breaking the status quo. Future Japan! MENTOR Network is a wonderful grassroots organization that aims to support young professionals to succeed in the U.S. My hope is that companies, organizations, and professionals will join hands in collaboration to expand the support circle that can help foster and develop this program. I am just one person, but I would like to continue to do my part in supporting this effort as a business mentor.