A Message from Consul General Maeda

Consul General Mio Maeda

2024 New Year's Message from Consul General Mio Maeda

In honor of the New Year, I would like to give a few words.

First, I would like to offer my prayers for the souls of the many people who lost their lives in the Noto Peninsula earthquake that occurred on January 1, and my deepest sympathies to the bereaved families and to those who still face difficult circumstances such as being forced to evacuate.

This is the second new year since my assignment as the Consul General of Japan to this region in November of 2022.

My year 2023 started with the University of Georgia football team's second consecutive championship and the inauguration of three Governors across the region we serve. Then I had the honor to witness the adoption of resolutions related to Japan by both Chambers of the Georgia General Assembly in February, and attended various political, economic, cultural, and educational events held in my jurisdiction throughout the year. I also had the opportunity to engage directly with Japanese and American people who are making efforts to strengthen relations and promote exchange between Japan and the Southeastern United States. Through these opportunities, I strongly recognized the trust and friendship of people rooted in this region which form the foundation for close exchanges between Japan and the Southeast of the United States.

When I visited Alabama last fall, I had the opportunity to see a Japanese doll called "Miss Iwate" at the Birmingham Public Library. This was one of the Japanese dolls that were given to the United States in the 1920s as an answer to the "blue-eyed doll" donated by the United States to promote friendship and goodwill between Japan and the United States. A total of 58 dolls were delivered across the ocean to every State and major cities in the United States. Since then, I have met "Miss Kagawa" at the Museum of Natural Science in North Carolina and "Miss Nagoya" at the Atlanta History Center in Georgia. These dolls, which came to the U.S. nearly 100 years ago, have overcome many hardships, including WWII, and have been carefully maintained as a symbol of friendship between Japan and the U.S. I was reminded of the history between Japan and the Southeast of the United States up to the present day and deeply impressed by the efforts made by our predecessors to build this relationship.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Consulate-General of Japan in Atlanta, and we look forward to the many celebratory events that will take place throughout the year, beginning with "Japan Day" on January 23, hosted by the Georgia-Japan Legislative Caucus at the Georgia State Capitol. Taking advantage of this opportunity, the Consulate-General will further develop economic and investment ties between Japan and the Southeast of the United States, promote human and cultural exchange, including sister city exchanges, and work to further strengthen relationships with Japan across the region in a variety of areas. Through these efforts, we will actively promote "Japan" as a vital and vibrant presence once again in the Southeast of the United States.

All of us will continue to strive in our daily activities with the trust that you and our predecessors have built over the years with the Southeast of the United States, and we would like to ask for your continued support.

In order to strengthen our relationship and promote exchange, it is a prerequisite that Japanese residents in the U.S. can live their daily lives with peace of mind. We will continue to provide high quality consular services, so we warmly encourage any and all Japanese citizens to contact the Consulate-General of Japan in Atlanta if they have any problems in their daily life.

Finally, I would like to conclude my greetings by once again wishing the victims of the Noto Peninsula earthquake in Japan a speedy return to normalcy, as well as continued health and prosperity for the year ahead.


January 2024

Consul General of Japan in Atlanta