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Geostrategy in the Grassroots: Powering to Sustainability

Wednesday, March 1, 2023
Registration: 4:30PM
Panel Discussion: 5:00PM
Networking Reception: 6:15PM
Prince Waikiki
Pi'inaio Ballroom 2
100 Holomoana St, Honolulu, HI 96815
JASH Members: $30/person
Non-Members: $50/person

Includes 1 drink and pupus

DEADLINE TO REGISTER:  February 24, 2023

Purchases using the links above will be handled via PayPal. To pay via check, please contact the office at 808-524-4450 or and ask for Ryan.

JOIN US to learn about energy security and how we can apply this information in Hawaii's quest to lessen our reliance on unsustainable imported energy sources. Electricity and gas prices are at a record high, on top of the already high cost of living in Hawaii. In Japan, more than 80% of energy sources are imported. Our esteemed panelists will tackle these topics and more, including:

  • What is the global perspective on energy security and the climate crisis?

  • Where are Hawaii and Japan in reducing their reliance on imported energy?

  • What alternative energy sourcing methods are proving to be successful and why?

  • Where are Hawaii and Japan with respect to climate action?

We are honored to have experts from both Japan and Hawaii/US to share about energy security.

Our panelists from Washington, D.C. and Hawaii are:

  • Ms. Jane Nakano, Senior Fellow, Energy Security and Climate Change Program Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS), Washington, D.C.

  • Ms. Connie Lau, Former President and CEO, Hawaiian Electric Industries, Hawaii


Our panelist from Japan:

  • Mr. Takahiro Ueno, Senior Researcher, Central Research Institute of Electric Power Industry (CRIEPI), Socio-Economic Research Center, Japan

The Moderator will be Ms. Karen Knudsen, Former Director, Office of External Affairs, East-West Center & JASH Board Director.

This program is brought to you by the Japan-America Society of Hawaii; the Sasakawa Peace Foundation; and the National Association of Japan-America Societies.

Space is limited and registration will be taken in the order received.

Cancellations made after February 20, 2023, or no-shows will be charged.

Parking: Self-parking in the Prince Waikiki Parking Garage is managed by an automated system.  Validation will need to be obtained prior to leaving the event.  Machine to process payment for self-parking is located at the Mezzanine level and is $8 per vehicle.  Valet parking is also available for $11.

Questions? Contact Lila Frisbie at or 808-524-4450.

U.S. Panelists

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JANE NAKANO is a senior fellow in the Energy Security and Climate Change Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). Her research interests include U.S. energy policy; global market and policy developments concerning natural gas, nuclear energy, and critical minerals; and energy security and climate issues in the Asia-Pacific region. She frequently writes and speaks on these issues at domestic and international conferences and to media around the world. She has also testified before Congress on China's competitiveness in energy technology manufacturing and exports as well as U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports and before the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission on U.S.-China nuclear energy cooperation. Prior to joining CSIS in 2010, Nakano worked in the Office of International Affairs in the U.S. Department of Energy, where she covered a host of energy, economic, and political issues in Asia. From 2001 to 2002, she served at the U.S. embassy in Tokyo as a special assistant to the energy attaché. Nakano graduated from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and holds a master’s degree from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs.


CONNIE LAU is the former President, Chief Executive Officer and Director of Hawaiian Electric Industries, Inc., parent company of Hawaiian Electric Company which provides electricity to 95% of the state of Hawaii, American Savings Bank, Hawaii’s third largest bank, and Pacific Current, which invests in sustainable infrastructure. Since 2012, Connie has been a member of the National Infrastructure Advisory Council, chairing the NIAC from 2014 to 2022. The NIAC advises the U.S. President on the security of the 16 critical infrastructure sectors, including energy, and their information systems. She has also been a Clean Energy Ambassador for the U.S. Department of Energy from 2014 to 2022, and has served on the Electricity Subsector Coordinating Council which represents the U.S. electric utility industry with the U.S. federal government. Connie and the HEI companies have been leaders in Hawaii’s quest for clean energy and decarbonization, signing Hawaii’s 2008 Clean Energy Initiative, which helped Hawaii become the first state in the U.S. to adopt a 100% renewable energy mandate and carbon neutrality by 2045. In addition, Hawaii has led the U.S. in regulatory reform, becoming one of six states to adopt performance-based utility regulation which allows the alignment of public policy objectives like clean energy, reliability and resilience, cost control and affordability with financial rewards for the utility.

Japan Panelist

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TAKAHIRO UENO is a Senior Researcher and a R&D Manager (Sustainability) at Central Research Institute of Electric Power Industry (CRIEPI). At CRIEPI, he oversees research activities on climate change and sustainability policies and he himself researches international and global policy issues on climate change. Since 2012, he has been a member of Japanese delegation to UNFCCC negotiations and assisted governmental officials to conclude the Paris Agreement at COP21 in 2015 and its rule book at COP24 in 2018. Recently, he also serves as a member of several governmental advisory groups, including on carbon pricing, carbon credits, green finance, transition finance and green competition policy. He joined CRIEPI in 2004 soon after he received his Master degree from the University of Tokyo. From 2006 to 2007, he was a Visiting Scholar at Resources for the Future (RFF) in the United States. From 2010 to 2017, he was also a Visiting Researcher at the Graduate School of Public Policies, the University of Tokyo.


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KAREN KNUDSEN is the former Director of External Affairs for the East-West Center. Currently, she serves as an Adjunct Senior Fellow at the Center, co-President of the East-West Center Association Executive Committee, and member of the East-West Center Foundation Board.  She has an extensive background in the Asia Pacific region in public diplomacy, public affairs, and public relations; strategic outreach and communications; international conference/seminar/dialogue, and event coordination. Ms. Knudsen served 20 years setting statewide K-12 education policy as an elected member of the Hawaii State Board of Education. She is a member of the Japan-America Society of Hawaii Board of Directors, Chaminade University’s Board of Regents, the American Red Cross - Pacific Region, Pacific Islands Region Board of Directors (covering Hawaii, Guam, American Samoa, and Northern Mariana Islands), and is an associate member of the Consular Corps of Hawaii and the Public Diplomacy Council of America. Ms. Knudsen is a former Peace Corps Volunteer in the Federated States of Micronesia and holds a University of Hawaii master’s degree in Pacific Islands Studies and a University of Nebraska at Omaha bachelor’s degree in Communications.

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