Established in 2000 to promote friendly relations and cultural understanding between the people of the state of Tennessee and Japan, the Japan-America Society of Tennessee, Inc. (JAST) is a non-profit 501(c)3 corporation, funded by individual and corporate membership fees and grants from government institutions and private foundations. Serving as Honorary Co-Chairs of the Society are The Honorable Bill Haslam, Governor of Tennessee, The Honorable Howard H. Baker, Jr., former U.S. Senator and U.S. Ambassador to Japan, and The Honorable Motohiko Kato Consul General of Japan in Nashville.
Headquartered in Nashville, with a Regional Center at the University of Memphis, JAST is overseen by a 25-member volunteer Board of Directors from leading businesses, institutions and orgMotohiko Katoanizations from across the state.
Providing to the citizens of Tennessee accurate information about the people of Japan and their culture;
Promoting social, cultural, scientific and educational interchange between Tennessee and Japan; and
Encouraging appreciation and respect for the differences and similarities of the cultures of the peoples of Japan and Tennessee.
Annual networking receptions and support for Tennessee’s business delegations to the Southeast-U.S. Japan Association Conferences each year are highlights of the organization’s activities. JAST-supported programs also include the Mitsui USA Scholarships in Tennessee Program, Tennessee-Area Japanese Speech Contest, and a variety of regional cultural festivals – including the Nashville Cherry Blossom Festival – as well as occasional gatherings that focus on specific aspects of business, culture and society, including lectures, seminars, exhibitions, music performances, round-table discussions and other social and networking events.
JAST members gain access to business, educational, cultural and social programs, with members of both the Japanese and American communities. Additionally, membership allows Japanese firms a way to contribute to the cultural fabric of the state, to show community interest, involvement and concern outside of Japanese circles, and to meet American business people who are doing business or are interested in Japan. Non-Japanese firms also gain opportunities to make friends and do business with Japanese residents across the state.