Japan in Virginia
Virginia has established its Economic Development Partnership Far East Office in Tokyo in 1981 as a government agency for promoting economic ties between Virginia and Japan; thus political ties have followed on the heels of economic development. The state government actively pursues further economic development of Virginia via the attraction of international investment, including that from Japan. Every year Virginia participates vigorously in the Annual Joint Meeting of the Japan-U.S. Southeast Association. The visit of the Emperor and Empress to the home of Thomas Jefferson in Charlottesville in June 1994 highlighted Japan's political ties with the Commonwealth. The Japan-Virginia Society also has branch in Tokyo, and has established a working relationship with at least one Japanese Diet member.
Virginia has attracted Japanese industry for years. This is indicated by the fact that Japanese-affiliated companies have invested $2.1 billion in Virginia, where currently 229 Japanese-affiliated companies operate. These companies in total employ 12,231 workers (as of January 2012). Some major Japanese firms in Virginia are Canon Virginia, Inc., Vie de France Yamazaki, Inc., and Yokohama Tire Corp. Virginia's exports to Japan in 2011 amounted to $487 million, making Japan its 8th largest export market.
Cultural and Educational Organizations
- Japan Virginia Society: The Japan-Virginia Society (JVS) was founded in 1988 with the sponsoring leadership of Governor Gerald L. Baliles (1986-1990) and Ambassador Nobuo Matsunaga from Japan. The Society is a non-profit, non-political, educational membership organization. The mission of The Japan-Virginia Society is dedicated to developing international cooperation, cultural understanding and sensitivity, and trade and investment between the citizens and businesses of the country of Japan and Virginia.
- Newport News Japanese School: Newport News Japanese School was established in February 1988 and is open on Saturdays, once a week. The school is organized by the parents of the students for the purpose of providing an opportunity to develop Japanese language skills (speaking, writing, and reading) to learn and expand their knowledge of Japanese culture and traditions. The school has a Preschool class (2 years before elementary school), Elementary classes (1st through 6th grade), Middle classes (7th through 9th grade) and International classes (2 classes depending on Japanese language fluency).
- Richmond Japanese Language Supplementary School: Richmond Japanese School was established in 1988 and is open on Saturdays, once a week. The school was established for the purpose of providing an opportunity to retain and develop Japanese language skills and expand their knowledge of Japanese culture. The school has a Kindergarten class, Elementary classes (1st through 6th grade), Middle classes (7th through 9th grade).
- Asian American Society of Central Virginia (Richmond): a non-profit charitable organization [501(c)(3)] established in 1998 to represent the concerns of over 30,000 Asian Americans who live in Central Virginia.
- Central Virginia Bonsai Society: The Central Virginia Bonsai Society was founded in 1986 to promote the appreciation and enjoyment of bonsai in Central Virginia through education, participation, and mutual support of its members.
- Ikebana of Richmond: Ikebana of Richmond, Virginia is a cultural, non–profit organization whose purpose is to stimulate, cultivate, and perpetuate the study of Ikebana, related arts, and Japanese culture. It was organized in 1967 and is currently comprised of over 150 members.
- Virginia Bonsai Society: Through meetings, demonstrations, lectures, discussions, and one-on-one tutoring, the members of the Society learn and pursue techniques of cultivating beautiful small trees and growing them in shallow containers.
- Newport News-Neyagawa-shi (Osaka) (Since July 1, 1982)
- Norfolk-Kitakyushu-shi (Fukuoka) (Since July 14, 1959)
- Richmond-Saitama-shi (Saitama) (Since June 16, 1994)
- Virginia Beach-Miyazaki-shi (Miyazaki) (Since May 25, 1992)
Universities with Japanese Studies
- College of William and Mary: Interdisciplinary concentration in East Asian Studies; Minor in Japanese Studies; Exchange program with Kanazawa University, Akita International University, and Keio University
- George Mason University: Minor in Japanese Studies; Minor in Asia-Pacific Studies; Exchange program with Momoyama Gakuin, Akita University, and Sophia University
- Mary Baldwin College: Major and minor in Asian Studies; Exchange program with Doshisha Women's College, Tokyo Jogakkan, and Kansai Gaidai University
- Northern Virginia Community College: Career Studies Certificate in Japanese Studies
- Old Dominion University: Minor in Japanese Studies; Exchange program with Kansai Gaidai University and Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University
- Randolph-Macon College: Major in Asian Studies; Exchange program with Hiroshima University and Nagoya Gakuin University
- Randolph-Macon Women's College: Major and minor in Asian Studies; Exchange program with Chuko University, Kansai Gaidai University, Nanzan University, Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University, Reitsumeikan University, Toyo University and Hiroshima University
- University of Richmond: Minor in Japanese Studies; Summer program in Hamamatsu
- University of Virginia: Major in East Asian Languages & Literatures; major and minor in East Asian Studies; Exchange program with Kyoto Consortium for Japanese Studies
- Washington & Lee University: Major in East Asian Studies; major in East Asian Languages and Literatures; Exchange program with International Christian University, Nanzan University, and Kansai Gaidai University
- Japan-Virginia Society Mochi-tsuki / New Year Party (January)
- Annual Asian American Celebration in Richmond (May)
- Japan-Virginia Society Virginia Nippon Classic (June)
- Japan-Virginia Society Medical Seminar at Newport News Japanese School (October)
- SEUS-Japan Conference (October) The Japan-U.S. Southeast Association was established in December 1975 to promote trade, investment, understanding and friendship between Japan and member states of the southeast U.S., Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia. In 2007, the State of Mississippi joined the Association.
- Japan-Virginia Society Business Seminar (November)
*Page updated May 2012
This directory was compiled by the Consulate General of Japan in Atlanta with the support of The Japan-America Society of Alabama, The Japan-America Society of Georgia, The Japan-America Society of Charlotte, The North Carolina Japan Center, The Japan-America Society of Western South Carolina, and The Japan-Virginia Society. Specific listings have been gathered from information provided to the Consulate General of Japan in Atlanta and from public information sources. Every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of listings, but we cannot guarantee that there will be no errors. The Consulate General of Japan takes no legal liability for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information listed in this resource directory, or for the conduct of organizations or businesses listed. Furthermore, links to other Internet sites should not be construed as an endorsement of the views contained therein.