What is JLIC?
The Japan Local Innovators Committee (JLIC) was established in order to bring together non-Japanese professionals from a variety of disciplines
that are deeply invested both personally and professionally in the preservation and development of Japan's unique cultural resources.
Uniting the members of this committee with individuals, businesses, government, and key industries supporting Japan's countryside and local regions,
the project began in 2012 focusing on projects related to sharing local food cultures across a number of key regions throughout Japan,
laying the groundwork for deeper JLIC member collaboration and meaningful development in 2013.

Future Program Development
Moving forward, JLIC will not only expand operations to a greater number of local regions throughout Japan,
but also increase the amount of time and depth of exposure to each region's local people and resources,
hence providing the group with a clear understanding of pertinent issues,
as well as access to the local networks and communities needed in order to successfully collaborate and develop custom solutions for each area.
Incorporating elements of tourism, local branding, media expansion, and product development,
each project will be designed to address the specific needs of each region by creating unique solutions which take full advantage of local resources.
Collaborating with global business partners and embassies worldwide, the committee will continue to add members
and grow its partner-base over time in pursuit of meaningful,
targeted international development solutions that serve to mutually benefit Japan and its global partners.

Japan Local Innovators Committee

Projects & Partners

  • - Project 8 -

    JLIC Global Neighborhood Kitchen

    JLIC Global Neighborhood Kitchen
    Hosted in Ark Hills, the popular international business and entertainment district in the heart of Roppongi, the Global Neighborhood Kitchen brought together the most inspiring food, drink, and traditional crafts discovered throughout the year, personally selected by JLIC producers, and combined with Tokyo chefs, food educators, and regional food and craft producers. Preceded by a panel discussion outlining the the year's accomplishments and goals for JLIC in the coming year, this two-part annual event paints an entirely new, and very bright, picture of what's coming in Japan's world of food and community design.
    (Mar. 15, 2014)

    < PARTNERS >
    Kaoru Shibata, Naoko Tsunoda (Nippon GO!), Machiko Tateno (Chef, Fermented Food and Cuisine Specialist, Food Author), Ritsu Yamada (Gyokusendo Bronze Works), Tatsuaki Hirota (Hirota Glass), Masakazu Matsunaga (Coedo Beer), Fukushimaya Tasting Market
  • - Project 7 -

    Winter Sake-tion Niigata Travel Restaurant

    Winter Sake-tion Niigata Travel Restaurant
    While largely considered to be the Napa Valley of Japan's sake industry, Niigata is still working hard in order to increase the region's international recognition, while at the same time striving to create a unique model of tourism that makes use of the area's vast local resources. This one-time-only tour positioning sake at the forefront was developed in collaboration with JLIC advisors, test running its potential for regular operation with international visitors and guests.
    (Feb. 1-2, 2014)

    < PARTNERS >
    Toshiro Takatsuka (Takatsuka Farm), Murayu Sake Brewery, Yasue Morohashi (Morohashi Yajiro Farm), Tatsunori Ishimoto (Ishimoto Sake Brewery), Hirofumi Miyao (Miyao Farm), Heikichi Yamamoto (Imanotsukasa Sake Brewery), Atsushi Yokoyama (Marui Sushi), Masaru Tazawa (Taiyo Sake Brewery), Shoei Homma (Farmer)
  • - Project 6 -

    Yamanashi Wine Tourism Design

    Yamanashi Wine Tourism Design
    With awareness surrounding the Yamanashi region ever-growing throughout the wine world, Japan's wine country continues to struggle in developing a model of local tourism utilizing this unique brand and its related resources.

    Working together with wine and agricultural producers, as well as independent operators that have been instrumental in spearheading the wine tourism movement in the region, this two-day JLIC program examined how the region might go about developing a model of wine-related tourism incorporating local culture and resources in a way that might not only meet the demands of international wine lovers, but also create something unique which could turn Yamanashi into a must-visit wine destination that offers a Japan-unique experience that can't be duplicated.
    (Dec. 5-6, 2013)

    < PARTNERS >
    Takayuki Sasamoto (Sasamoto Kankyo Office Ltd.), Susumu Tanaka (Salad Bowl Company), Hiroshi Furuya (FT Yamanashi Inc.), Shinya Tsuruta (ST Company Ltd.)
  • - Project 5 -

    Forest Resource Design: Okutama, Tokyo

    Forest Resource Design: Okutama, Tokyo
    As the forestry industry struggles, local producers are working to develop new ways of utilizing this valuable natural resource. Okutama, uniquely positioned as 'Tokyo's Forest,' means that it's relatively accessible, while at the same time provides a desireable resource severely lacking in Japan's thriving metropolis. This particular program brought a team of individuals involved in branding and promoting Japan's local resources and rural appeal to non-Japanese audiences and overseas markets. For this one-day session, the JLIC team worked together with local players involved in maintaining and developing this precious local resource, examining the potential for re-designing Tokyo's forest in ways that would allow the region to delve into new forms of tourism, product design, and regional development with non-Japanese communities and visitors in mind.
    (Oct. 14, 2013)

    < PARTNERS >
    Hiroto Abe, Keishi Nishihara, Shiho Kanai, Kazutoshi Sugawara (Tokyo Forest & Ichiba Inc.); Yasuo Kimura (Forestry Specialist); Yasuyo Yamazaki (Mountain and Forest Property Owner)
  • - Project 4 -

    Social Excursions Japan (Part of the Iine! JAPAN Project)

    いいね!JAPAN Social Excursion
    A social media venture developed in collaboration with the Iine! JAPAN Project designed to raise international awareness of the largely undiscovered and underutilized community-centric destinations throughout Japan, utilizing the platform as a key tool for generating interest in the potential for "social excursions" as a unique model for developing tourism and related business.

    Website :
    Facebook :
  • - Project 3 -

    Global Neighborhood Kitchen

    Global Neighborhood Kitchen
    Designed to present Japan's local food culture to a diverse population in the heart of Tokyo as interpreted and reinterpreted through the eyes of non-Japanese food producers in collaboration with Japan's local growers and creators, the event brought together an eclectic and passionate group of professionals from various countries and regions throughout Japan seeking new ideas for sharing Japan's local food culture and opportunities for collaboration and further develop- ment of the JLIC program in 2013.
    (Mar. 9, 2013)

    < PARTNERS >
    Kamo-kiritansu (Ishimoku Co., Ltd.), Kiso Lacquerware (Ito Kanji Shoten Ltd.), Edo Kiriko (Horiguchi Kiriko Co., Ltd.), Inden (Inden no Yamamoto Ltd.), Tsukuba Ham Ltd., Koshu Wine (Marufuji Winery, Lumiere Co., Ltd.), Snow Peak Inc.
  • - Project 2 -

    Japan Travel Restaurant in Niigata Presented by JLIC

    Japan Travel Restaurant in Niigata Presented by JLIC
    An excursion emphasizing the unique elements of Niigata's food culture, this particular Travel Restaurant tour brought five non-Japanese JLIC members to Niigata in order to spend time interacting with local farmers, sake brewers, and the local community in a variety of settings with food and related culture making up the center of the experience. Each new encounter sparked lively discussions brimming with unique insight into the region's untapped potential.
    (Feb. 2-3, 2013)

    < PARTNERS >
    Hirofumi Miyao (Miyao Nouen ‒ Farmer), Haruki Ikegami (Restaurant La Cachette d'ike ‒ Chef), Heikichi Yamamoto (Imayotsukasa Shuzo Co., Ltd. ‒ 9th Generation Sake Brewer), Masaru Tazawa (Taiyo Syuzo Co., Ltd. ‒ Head Brewmaster), Goushi Iijima (Fujimien ‒ Tea Specialist)
  • - Project 1 -

    Launch Meeting
    Exploring Japan's Regional Potential with Local Leaders and International Producers

    Launch Meeting - Exploring Japan's Regional Potential with Local Leaders and International Producers
    Hosted in cooperation with Shinnichiya in the heart of Tokyo, this initial gathering brought together a group of non-Japanese professionals involved in producing Japan's cultural resources. Providing the attendees with a chance to go hands-on with traditional instruments while donning iconic Japanese kimono, the group dove into a deep discussion on Japan's potential for compet- ing on a global stage by utilizing cultural resources unique to rural areas in order to develop and support struggling countryside regions.
    (Dec. 15, 2012)

    < PARTNERS >
    Shinnichiya Ltd.


Everett Kennedy Brown

Traditonal Culture

Everett Kennedy Brown
(European Pressphoto Agency Japan Chief Correspondent, Brown's Field Founder)

Born in Washington D.C. in 1959, Everett has been delivering some of the most captivating photos of Japan to an array of major international media outlets throughout North America and Europe, including Time, Newsweek, The New York Times, Le Monde, for over 20 years. He is the author of Oretachi no Nippon (Shogakukan), and co-author of, Nihonjinryoku (Parco Publishing) together with Seigo Matsuoka, as well as the founder and owner of Brown's Field, a rural Japan lifestyle retreat located in Isumi, Chiba Prefecture.
Tom Vincent

Creativity & Art

Tom Vincent
(President of Tonoloops Network, Inc.)

Born in London, Tom has been a permanent resident of Japan since 1996. After leaving his creative director role at IMG SRC Inc., he went on to create and run the bilingual web magazinePingMag until 2008, later re-launching the ambitious media initiative in 2013. In 2009 he formed Tonoloop Networks, pulling together over 15 years of experience in online branding and advertising, assisting Japanese corporations, regional bodies and businesses large and small communicate to the world.
Nancy Singleton-Hachisu

Food Culture

Nancy Singleton-Hachisu
(Food Author and Researcher)

A California native, Nancy came to Japan in 1988, soon settling into life on the farm in Saitama Prefecture together with her husband. She has since founded Sunny-Side Up, a childcare and education program emphasizing natural food and living, and in 2012 published the critically acclaimed Japanese Farm Food (Andrews McMeel Publishing), garnering wild acclaim from food authors and critics across the globe.
Justin Potts


Justin Potts
(International Business Development at Umari Inc.)

Justin has worked in a variety of fields during his sojourn in Japan, including editorial, media production, education, marketing, and event planning. He currently develops programs connecting the people and local cultural resources of rural Japan with Tokyoites and international visitors at Roppongi Nouen and the International TERAKOYA.
Tony McNicol


Tony McNicol
(Director WeDoJapan Ltd, journalist, photographer)

A UK native, Tony spent over 15 years in Japan traveling widely and freelancing for a variety of domestic and oversea media such as Wired Magazine, National Geographic News, Newsweek Japan and the ANA and JAL inflight magazines. In 2013 he returned to his UK hometown of Bath and launched a content creation and media services company WeDoJapan. With a special interest in tourism promotion and regional revitalization, he works with Japanese companies and organizations to publicize Japan's many hidden treasures.
Ian Chun

Global Sales

Ian Chun
(CEO of Matcha Latte Media KK)

Born in Honolulu, Hawaii, Ian first moved to Japan in 1999 as a student of Japanese literature. He established MATCHA LATTE MEDIA in 2012 to help Japanese businesses selling cultural products expand overseas through e-commerce, thereby putting Japanese culture into the hands of consumers around the world. The company currently operates the online tea marketplace,, and is working to spread the culture of Japanese tea to tea enthusiasts worldwide.
D.H. Rosen D.H.

Art & Event Production

D.H. Rosen
(CEO of Tokyo DEX)

Originally from Philadelphia, Daniel Harris Rosen has spent the past two decades in Japan working as a visual artist, writer, curator and creative director of events, films and multimedia projects. In 2010 he graduated with a PhD in fine arts from Tama Art University and in 2012 he founded TokyoDex, a multifaceted artist cooperative that encompasses all of his creative endeavors to date. The name "Dex" is derived from the word "dexterous," which means ingenious, clever or skilled with the hands. This is a concept all TokyoDex staff and affiliate artists strive to live up to through a wide-range of services that include curation, creative consulting, event design and video production.
Sebastien Lemoine

Sake & Culture

Sebastien Lemoine
(Independent Advisor)

Born in Normandy (France), Sebastien first came to Japan in 1987, as a summer intern. Eclectic culture buff, he travelled extensively throughout the country over the years, while pursuing an international banking career in major financial centers, until 2012. A long term resident in Tokyo, certified sake professional, he has since been focusing on playing his part in staging nihonshu and its cultural heritage for the benefit of a wide audience.



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