Following the March 1990 Katsuura meeting, the call went out from those who had attended to lawyers who had an interest in the Region to join the Steering Committee. The IPBA Steering Committee held its second meeting in Tokyo in May 1990, and a third meeting in January 1991 in Honolulu, and intermittently held unofficial task force meetings in Tokyo, Los Angeles, Bangkok, and in other cities throughout the Asia-Pacific Region. Active participation on the Steering Committee steadily grew: at the first meeting, 9 members from 5 jurisdictions attended; at the second meeting, 17 members from 8 jurisdictions; at the third meeting, 23 members from 11 jurisdictions.
Chairmanship of the Steering Committee rotated by host city and participation was active and vocal. The author of this article served as Secretary to the Steering Committee meetings, keeping and distributing minutes after each session. Joining the Steering Committee at this early stage were many who would assume leadership roles in the new bar association: Carl Anduri, C.T. Lee, Ian Awford, Kunio Hamada, Chris Lau, Tae Hee Lee, M.S. Lin, Gordon Jaynes, Paul Tsai, Dr. Mana Pitayaporn, Rivers Black, Nigel Li, David Liou, and David Sandborg. Many others who have continued to be active within IPBA were also involved in these proceedings.
Monetary offers of support were also received. Steering Committee members first funded operations with their own voluntary contributions. By May 12, 1990, over US$10,000.00 had been paid into the Steering Committee bank account to pay expenses of an association that did not yet exist. By January 1991, US$22,000.000 in private contributions from individuals had been received.
At the same time, moral support had been received from the American Bar Association and the International Bar Association. Soon, Bar Associations from Japan, Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand and Indonesia would offer friendship. In order to maintain its independence, the Steering Committee had decided against soliciting monetary support from any other organization.
However, in addition to personal donations, and with a full understanding of our founding principles and independent position, the American Bar Association's International Law Section, through the efforts of its then Chairman, Gerold Libby, offered a "no strings attached" US$10,000.00 loan to be used for anticipated start-up expenses. This loan was gratefully accepted and promptly re-paid, without demand being made, after IPBA's Tokyo Conference.
In establishing the new organization, the Steering Committee considered it of tantamount importance to gain the support and consensus of attorneys across the Asia-Pacific Region. Therefore, membership of the Steering Committee was open to all who shared the same hopes and vision. Members were asked to actively participate and contribute and to use their local influence and their experience in international organizations to help develop the new organization. The response to the Steering Committee's invitations were overwhelming. By January 1991, the membership of the Steering Committee exceeded 50 members.
Shared commitment and dedication fueled the efforts of the Steering Committee. By the third Steering Committee meeting in Honolulu in January 1991, approximately 400 potential IPBA members had paid dues of approximately US$50,000.00 and registered with the Steering Committee. Due to the efforts of the Steering Committee and its representatives in each country, the Steering Committee was able to collect dues from hundreds of lawyers for an organization which had not held its first formal meeting.
The members of the Steering Committee worked as a team, spending substantial time away from their personal and professional lives, determined in their belief in the need and potential of the IPBA. The Steering Committee's primary goal was to hold the inaugural general meeting and the first IPBA conference in Tokyo approximately one year from the date of the gathering in Katsuura. Therefore, the Steering Committee needed to perform a number of wide-ranging tasks in a short period of time. Nosei Miyake acted as a liaison among Steering Committee members and was responsible for organizing the Tokyo Conference at the Tokyo Bay Hilton. Mr. Miyake reserved 350 rooms at the hotel for the conference on his personal guaranty. Other members of the Steering Committee were designated as task leaders to be in charge of various items, such as solicitation of members, drafting of the charter, arranging for speakers at the Tokyo conference, operations, publicity, and a budget of the Tokyo conference, and contacting other international bodies and bar associations for promotional support.