The Japan Society of Northern California (JSNC) believes strongly that innovation and entrepreneurship are critical to the long term viability of both Japan and the U.S. The Society also believes the San Francisco/Silicon Valley ecosystem of innovation and entrepreneurship affords innumerable opportunities for constructive interaction with Japan.

The Society’s vision is to energize the creativity, imagination and actions of individuals, businesses and academics – in both the U.S. and Japan – through creating distinctive dialogues and programs that broadly publicize and encourage “best in class” Japan – U.S. innovation and entrepreneurship.


The Innovation Initiative, begun in 2011, highlights an increasingly important area of cooperation between Japan and the U.S. – in particular with Northern California. Through this effort JSNC seeks to encourage productive Japan – U.S. innovation and entrepreneurship, to provide role models for future innovators and to spotlight Japanese creativity and vitality often overlooked by U.S. media. This Initiative complements U.S. – Japan government–to–government dialogue and other efforts that promote innovation, entrepreneurship and job creation.

In cooperation with the Stanford University US–Asia Technology Management Center, JSNC organizes timely and interesting programs that focus on Japan – U.S. innovation and entrepreneurship. The signature activity is an intensive year–long process to identify companies with a Japan – U.S. connection that have achieved highly noteworthy innovations in business or technology. The Awards are presented each year at the public “Japan – U.S. Innovation Awards Symposium” held at Stanford University and publicized widely through the media.

Further, the Innovation Initiative offers interim programs that focus on Japan – U.S innovation and entrepreneurship. These programs, named “Innovation Salons”, are held both in San Francisco and in Silicon Valley.