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Japan-US Innovation Awards Announces 2023 Guest Speakers: Japanese Diet Member Akira Amari & Shixiang Shane Gu of OpenAI

2023 Japan – U.S. Innovation Awards Symposium.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA, USA, July 19, 2023/ -- The Japan – U.S. Innovation Awards Program proudly announces Akira Amari, Member of the Japanese House of Representatives, as the keynote speaker and Shixiang Shane Gu, researcher on the ChatGPT team at OpenAI, as the special guest speaker at the Japan – U.S. Innovation Awards Symposium on July 20, 2023. Amari will be featured in a fireside chat about Japan’s efforts to adopt green energy technologies, while Gu will give a talk about generative AI and its future in Japan.

For decades, Akira Amari has been a principal figure in Japan’s policy developments in key areas including innovation, taxation and international trade, while exercising his power to bring electoral victories to the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) as Secretary General (2021) and Chair of Election Strategy Committee (2018-19). He served as the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) from 2006-2008 and as the Minister of State for Economic Revitalization in the Cabinet of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. As Chair of LDP Headquarters for the Promotion of Economic Security, Amari leads developments of Japan’s national economic security policies at the intersection of economic prosperity and national security. Also, as Chair of the LDP Caucus of Semiconductor Strategy, Amari successfully upgraded Japan’s technology policy initiatives. Amari envisions a future where Japan’s industrial prowess in semiconductors will become indispensable to its allies’ and friends’ economic security through Japan’s significant technological contributions.

Shixiang Shane Gu is a researcher on the ChatGPT team at OpenAI. His research spans deep learning, reinforcement learning, natural language processing, probabilistic machine learning and robotics. Previously, Shane was a Research Scientist at Google Brain and a Visiting Associate Professor at the University of Tokyo. Shane holds a PhD from the University of Cambridge and the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, and BASc in Engineering Science from the University of Toronto. Shane previously was a visiting scholar at the Department of Computer Science at Stanford University. Shane’s academic work received Best Paper Award at CoRL 2019, Google Focused Research Award, Cambridge-Tübingen PhD Fellowship, and NSERC Scholarship, and was featured in Google Research Blogpost and MIT Technology Review. Shane is a Japan-born Chinese Canadian, and he speaks, reads and writes in three languages.

The 13th annual Japan – U.S. Innovation Awards Symposium will take place at Stanford University’s Arrillaga Alumni Center. It will include the SunBridge Emerging Leader Awards presentation to two late-stage growth companies that are transforming an industry or value chain, and the Innovation Showcase featuring five Japanese startup companies of interest to Silicon Valley and world audiences. The U.S. Emerging Leader is Figma (, a web-based platform for teams that brainstorm, design and build digital products together, and the Japan Emerging Leader is Treasure Data (, a data cloud with powerful and user-friendly tools that unite data, analytics, and business users to improve efficiency and drive growth. The Showcase awardees are: Elephantech, Final Aim, LegalOn Technologies, RECOTECH, and SkyDrive.

The Japan – U.S. Innovation Awards Program, the longest running annual Bay Area program celebrating the links between Silicon Valley and Japan innovation, is produced by the Japan Society of Northern California in cooperation with the Stanford University US-Asia Technology Management Center.

The organizers:

Japan Society of Northern California (
Since its founding in 1905, the Japan Society of Northern California (JSNC) has advanced U.S. – Japan mutual understanding in a global context. The Society offers an array of programs and networking opportunities for people and organizations in the Bay Area with a strong interest in Japan. It is the go-to place for U.S. – Japan insights, opportunities, collaboration, and networking. The Society is a dynamic link connecting the world-renowned innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystem of San Francisco/Silicon Valley to a resurgent Japan.

Stanford University US-Asia Technology Management Center (
The US-Asia Technology Management Center (US-ATMC) is an industry-funded center in Stanford University under the Stanford Global Studies initiative. Established in 1992, the US-ATMC conducts education and research into innovation and emerging business trends in technology-intensive industries. Its courses and public programs provide Stanford students and the Silicon Valley community with knowledge and analytical capabilities that are important to global success in high-tech fields in the 21st century.

Registration and additional information are available at

Miho Greenberg
Japan Society of Northern California
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