Message From Consul General Shinozuka
January 12, 2017
Greetings, and Happy New Year!
One year has already passed since my arrival in the Southeast United States last January, and I would like to express my sincerest gratitude for the kind assistance extended to me during this time.
The most unforgettable event during this first year was the message of His Majesty the Emperor on his role and his duties as the symbol of the state, which I watched on TV. At the Emperor’s Birthday reception in December, I was so happy to celebrate His Majesty’s good health together with many friends including the leaders of the states and the communities in this great region.
I had the privilege of meeting the governors, mayors, local leaders, legislators, as well as the business leaders in the four States in our jurisdiction, and on each of these occasions, I was happy to hear about the outstanding contributions made by Japanese-related companies to the new communities these companies have chosen to call home. During the many events held by these companies—ground-breaking, openings or anniversary celebrations—that I attended, I had the pleasure to witness the strong bonds of partnership which grew between the local communities and the Japanese firms thriving there.
Many cultural events were held in the four States, and the most impressive one was the 2016 Japan America Grassroots Summit in Greater Atlanta. Many families from 15 communities hosted homestays, opening their hearts and homes, and the birth of many new friendships was so touching. We also had Japan Fest, which attracted nearly 24,000 attendees; various festivals including cherry blossom festivals or bon-odori summer festivals; and field days in Japanese language schools. Attending these festivities, where I saw so many fellow Japanese citizens actively participating, was so encouraging for me. I felt, among others, the strength and the outpouring goodwill of the Japanese communities when they contributed large donations to the relief effort in the aftermath of the Kumamoto earthquake.
2016 had a special meaning in Japan-America relations with the visits of our two leaders to Hiroshima and Pearl Harbor. In 2017, the United States will have a new President, and we are confident that the relationship between our two countries will continue to strengthen even more.
As for our Consulate, we look forward to continuing to do our best to strengthen ties with the four great states in our jurisdiction: North Carolina where a new Governor has been sworn in, Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina. The 40th SEUS-Japan Conference, which is to be held in South Carolina this fall, promises us a particularly fruitful year 2017.
Once again, thank you for your ongoing kind support. I wish you all the best for this new year!
Consul General of Japan in Atlanta
- Message From Consul General Shinozuka (September 2016)
- Message From Consul General Shinozuka (June 2016)
- Message From Consul General Shinozuka (March 2016)
- Welcome from New Consul General Takashi Shinozuka