• » Blog » Milken Conference and Sedona Conference

Milken Conference and Sedona Conference


I recently attended the Global Conference hosted in Los Angeles by the Milken Institute and the Sedona Forum hosted in Arizona by the McCain Institute, where I had the opportunity to exchange views on topics such as digitization in Japan.

This was my first time attending either of these conferences.

The Milken Conference had a rich international atmosphere, while the Sedona Forum gave me valuable insight into the flow of political discussions within America.

May 3rd

5:00 PM Departure from Haneda on flight JL016

10:50 AM Arrival at Los Angeles

12:30 PM Meeting with the moderator for the Milken Conference at the Beverly Hilton Hotel


1:00 PM Milken Conference Dialogue with moderator Susan Lee (Fox Business News) on the topic of digitalizing the Japanese government

1:45 PM Fireside Chat

An off-record Q&A session with 20 anonymous Milken Conference participants. Tesla board member Mr. Hiromichi Mizuno served as the moderator.

4:00 PM Conference Attraction 

Diana Ross concert for the 200 or so attendees who remained until the end of the conference!

5:15 PM Situation briefing at the Consul General’s Residence

7:30 PM Discussion with Japanese-American leaders at the Consul General’s Residence

I had the opportunity to meet with LA-based Japanese-American leaders from various fields. 

May 4th

9:00 AM Plug&Play company visit, including a presentation from 2 startup companies

We visited the accommodations, offices, and networking spaces that Plug&Play provides for startup companies. We listened to presentations by two startup companies that utilized Plug&Play’s services, then discussed the topics presented.

In their early stages, Japanese startups tend to focus on succeeding exclusively in the Japanese market. Yet when these companies attempt to break into the global market, their services are rarely able to adapt to global market specifications, causing these startups to fail.

In our discussion, we discussed how Japanese startups should adopt an international perspective from the beginning when setting their development, fundraising, public relations, and marketing objectives. We observed that Japanese startups have a notable lack of proficiency in carrying out Investor Relations (IR) and presentation skills in English.

11:00 Hyperloop company visit

A 10 km long test track will be constructed in Venice, Italy within a few years. Plans to construct something similar around the Great Lakes region in North America are underway.

12:30 Conversation over lunch with the company managers of a Japanese-American startup company

There are still relatively few Japanese-American startup companies in the United States. Those that do exist struggle to raise funds because of Japanese regulations that make it difficult for Japanese venture capitalists to invest in Japanese-American startups in the United States. 

1:45 PM Visit to Cashi Cake Inc.

This company produces traditional Japanese confectionery in Los Angeles using raw seaweed from Japan. They are currently expanding into the U.S. market with high added value.

4:35 PM Depart from Los Angeles

6:01 PM Arrive in Phoenix

6:30 PM Dinner in Phoenix City

11:00 Arrive at the Sedona Enchantment Resort

May 5th

9:00 AM Presentation at the McCain Institute Board Meeting at Enchantment Resort.

White House Senators attended in person, and the former Defense Secretary, who was a counterpart during his tenure as Defense Minister, attended virtually.

Following our presentation, we hosted a Q&A session.

Former Congressman Malinowski joined midway, making way for discussion on fake news and disinformation.

1:30 PM Discussion with SpaceX regarding their spaceships and star links

3:00 PM Sedona Conference at Enchantment Resort

The attendees at this conference included Governor Hobbs of Arizona, Senators Sinema, Cassidy, White House Senator Romney, Senator Cornyn, Representative Boyle, Representative Crow, Representative Moulton, Representative Murphy, Representative Cicilline, Former Representative Marino, Former Representative Hurd, Deputy Chief of National Intelligence Dixon, Former Deputy Chief of National Intelligence Gordon, Indo-Pacific Command Commander Admiral Aquilino, Southern Command Commander Admiral Richardson, Pacific Army Commander General Flynn, Former Central Command Commander General Petraeus, and Arizona Cardinals player Kelvin Beachum, among others.

5:30 PM Reception

7:00 PM Dinner speech at the Sedona Forum

My speech touched on topics such as the digitization and elimination of outdated regulations by the Japanese government, the creation of datasets for non-English language AI, and the issue of fake news and disinformation from foreign sources.

8:00 PM  I exchanged views with Admiral Aquilino, the Commander of the Indo-Pacific Command, guided by questions asked by Washington Post journalist Josh Rogin. Held under the Chatham House Rule, it was a rather interesting session.

9:30 PM Dessert Reception

May 6th

6:15 AM Depart from Enchantment Resort

10:15 AM Depart from Phoenix

11:46 AM Arrive at Los Angeles

1:30 PM Depart from Los Angeles on flight JL015

May 7th

5:25 PM Arrive at Haneda Airport

email to Kono Taro