By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
On Monday, November 16 former Secretary of State Dr. Condoleezza Rice will be speaking at the 38th Annual SEUS Japan Association International Conference in Birmingham.
According to information provided by the Bentley Administration, the SEUS Japan Association was founded in 1975 and is closely linked to its Japanese counterpart, the Japan-U.S. Southeast Association, which is made up of top Japanese business leaders and government officials. The conference aims to strengthen cultural ties and expand commercial opportunities. Joining Alabama in SEUS Japan are Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.
Alabama Governor Robert Bentley (R) will join the group of business leaders and top government officials from Japan and seven Southeastern states.
Alabama illustrates the bond between the region and the country of Japan. Alabama companies last year exported nearly $600 million in products to Japan, making it a top trade partner for the state. Since Honda built its massive manufacturing plant in Lincoln in 1999, Japanese firms have invested more than $4.8 billion in the state, creating nearly 16,000 jobs.
Secretary of State Rice will address the opening ceremony at 9:00 a.m. at the Alabama Theater; 1817 3rd Avenue North, Birmingham, AL. The Japanese Ambassador to the U.S Kenichiro Sasae will deliver the keynote address at the luncheon, which begins at 12 noon at the Sheraton Hotel’s Birmingham Ballroom; 2101 Richard Arrington Junior Boulevard North; Birmingham, AL.
An annual conference between the two associations is held on a rotational basis in Japan and the southeastern U.S.
Condoleezza Rice, age 61, was the first Black Woman to be Secretary of State. Rice was born in Birmingham. Before joining the administration of President George W. Bush, she was a professor of political science at Stanford University where she was Provost from 1993 to 1999. Rice served in the administration of President George H. Bush on the National Security Council as the Soviet and Eastern Europe Affairs Advisor during the dissolution of the Soviet Union and German reunification.
Rice is now on the faculty of Stanford University as a faculty member where she is the director of its Global Center for Business and the Economy.