Community leaders Walter McCarthy, chairman of the Detroit Edison Company, Peter Stroh of the Stroh Brewery Company and Detroit Mayor Coleman Young introduced the Japan America Society in 1989 in an effort to support Japan-American relations by encouraging the development of a common understanding. 

The Japan America Society was established as a non-profit 501 c (3) corporation in 1989. Lee Iacocca of Chrysler Corporation was the Society's first officer, he was joined by Roger Smith of General Motors and Harold Poling of Ford and Mr. Nabuto of Mazda. Ninety leaders of American and Japanese companies then formed the Board of Directors. 

The Society's members represent local American, Japanese and Canadian manufacturers, R&D operations, trading companies, transportation companies, major banks, utilities, accounting and law firms. 

This Japan America Society of Michigan and Southwestern Ontario is part of a network of 38 Japan-America Societies across the country. Taken together, these Societies represent more than 25,000 people. 

The JAS is dedicated to strengthening friendly relations between Americans, Canadians and Japanese nationals doing business in this area.

The Governor of Michigan serves as the Society's Honorary Chairperson along with the Consul General of Japan and the Consul General of Canada.

The Society is closely aligned with the Japan Business Society of Detroit an organization of Japanese corporations and families here in Michigan. 

 Dr.  Michael Fetters is the Society's Chairman and Liseann Gouin is its President.