Ben van Lierop grew up in South Korea, but spent a crucial four years of his childhood in Japan. He later returned to live and work in Tokyo for a total of 17 years.
During his years in Japan, Ben worked for a U.S. travel company in their Tokyo operations and later worked for MANIA, Inc., a German electronics manufacturer, in sales of testing equipment for the printed circuit board industry in Japan. Ben also worked for Duskin Co. Ltd. in the Japanese healthcare industry in the sales of hospital management services.
In 1992, Ben and his family relocated to Minnesota where he operated a Japan-related travel business and later worked for Northwest Airlines. In 2006, Ben joined the Japan America Society of Minnesota as its Executive Director. Ben thinks of himself as a bridge between cultures, bringing the peoples of Japan and the United States closer together in mutual understanding, respect and cooperation.