The stage is being set in Birmingham, Alabama for the 38th Annual Joint Meeting of the Southeast U.S./Japan and the Japan-U.S Southeast Associations (SEUS Japan) November 14-17, 2015. This prestigious gathering of global business leaders celebrates longstanding economic and cultural ties and offers delegates from Japan and seven Southeastern U.S. member states unparalleled opportunities to forge new ones. The stage is being set in Birmingham, Alabama for the 38th Annual Joint Meeting of the Southeast U.S./Japan and the Japan-U.S Southeast Associations (SEUS-Japan), November 14-17, 2015. This prestigious gathering of global business leaders celebrates longstanding economic and cultural ties between Japan and the Southeastern United States, and offers delegates unparalleled opportunities to forge new ones. Created in 1976, the Southeast U.S./Japan Association was established to promote trade, investment, understanding, and friendship between Japan and U.S. member states. Today, member states include Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. A Japanese counterpart, the Japan-U.S. Southeast Association, is composed of Japan's top business leaders and government officials. An annual conference between the two associations is held on a rotational basis in Japan and the Southeastern U.S. Also on a rotational basis, each of the seven states serves as "Host and Co-host State" for a two-year term and assumes leadership of SEUS/Japan during that period. Alabama last hosted the meeting in Mobile in 1998. The annual conference attracts governors, presidents and CEOs, and top economic development and business leaders from the seven southeastern states. Some 400-500 individuals participate in this annual event. Meetings include top business and political leadership, including Ambassadors and Consul Generals, all representing the most significant aspects of the economic relationship between Japan and the Southeast. The 2015 conference features an outstanding lineup of speakers and an exciting series of special activities. This year’s conference theme “Initiative for a Sustainable Future Through Continuous Innovation” will be reflected in conference sessions on timely and valuable topics including best practices, competitiveness in a global economy, and advanced manufacturing in aerospace and automotive industries, just to name a few.