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Member Highlight: Peter Kelley

[Peter Kelley. He is a dedicated JSB Member, previous head of the National Association of Japan-America Societies, and recipient of a 勲章; Kunshō, The Order of the Rising Sun. Peter received this award for his contribution to promoting friendship and mutual understanding between Japan and the United States.]

How long have you been a member of the Japan Society of Boston?

I became a member in the early 1980’s and have stayed in touch when in Boston ever


What drew you to JSB?

Pat Givens and Peter Grilli, two terrific and inspiring leaders.

How would you describe yourself and what you're passionate about?

I’ve had a long Japan-related career, in the private sector with many years at Teradyne,

in education at the Harvard-Yenching Institute and the last fourteen years as President

of the National Association of Japan-America Societies in Washington DC. I’ve enjoyed

every part of my association with Japan, but my favorite is the grassroots relationship

between the U.S. and Japan. It’s deep, varied and unique; I can’t think of another

bilateral relationship with such strong people-to-people ties.

Do you have a favorite event or program that you have participated in with JSB?

Last year I joined the book discussion of the Tale of Genji. I had never read it start to

finish, although I may have pretended to. Now I can say honestly that I have. It was a

good, thoughtful discussion and I enjoyed it very much.

What about JSB makes it special from other groups within the Boston area?

I think it is the accessibility and the breadth of Japan-related offerings. There is

something for every area of interest.

What would you say to somebody who is considering joining JSB?

It is important to have local participation in bilateral relationships. In addition to the vital

diplomatic, security and economic ties at the national level, local participation injects

vitality into the relationship and helps internationalize the city of Boston. Joining JSB

helps you be part of that. And you can finally read the Tale of Genji.

Interested in becoming a JSB Member? Click here or reach out to for more details.

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