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Finding strength and unity within our uncertain ‘socially distant’ future

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NEW YORK – Change is frightening. Working together, we can strengthen and help each other to survive and flourish. It happened to the Japan Society before, in December 1941. Then, it was an act of war between Japan and the United States that shuttered the group’s doors and vanquished its board, staff, finances and friendships. Now we are faced with a pandemic affecting every nation in the world.

In this uncertain future we must become the stewards of our own legacy and agents of healing — through the Japan-U.S. relationship. We are the standard bearers of the original relationships — both business and social — forged between the two countries 113 years ago with the founding of the Japan Society in 1907.

After the end of the postwar U.S.-led Occupation of Japan in 1952, the dynamic leadership of John D. Rockefeller III brought about the astonishing rebirth of the Japan Society, followed some 12 years later by the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, an international celebration of Japan’s postwar recovery.

Japanese are pessimistic by nature and always prepare for the worst. The spectacle of sumo matches made for TV only, with no fans in the stands, presaged the fears of a postponed Summer Olympics that have now become a reality. However, just as the cherry blossoms begin to bloom, it is worth reflecting on the importance of global cooperation and leadership in these........

© The Japan Times