happy new year dear readers Rafu Shimpo.
Since I assumed my post in September 2022, I am very encouraged to learn that many people and organizations, including Japanese people, Japanese companies, and Japanese organizations, have contributed in various ways to strengthening Japan-U.S. relations. We look forward to working with you to further strengthen the Japan-U.S. relationship this year, and ask for your continued cooperation and support.
Last year’s Russian invasion of Ukraine had a major impact not only on Europe, but on the entire world, including the Indo-Pacific region. Attempts to unilaterally change the status quo by force are contrary to the principles of the rules-based international order and are absolutely unacceptable. In addition to security issues, the international community faces many economic issues, such as energy and food supply.
This situation confirms more than ever the importance of the unwavering Japan-U.S. Alliance in ensuring peace and stability in the region and the international community, and the two countries are working to further strengthen this partnership. increase.
I believe that the important role of the Consulate General is to firmly support the initiatives of Japan and the United States toward the realization of a “free and open Indo-Pacific” from Los Angeles, which has a great view of the Pacific Ocean.
Regarding the pandemic, I would like to express my sincere respect to the medical personnel and many others who continue to engage in the fight against COVID-19. At the same time, I find it encouraging to see so many people striving to find new ways to live ‘with COVID’.
In October 2022, Japan significantly eased immigration restrictions, giving impetus to the revitalization of people-to-people exchanges that had been stagnant for three years. You can hear the joyful voices of travelers who are happy to have visited Japan and the United States after a long absence. Our Consulates see this as an opportunity to do more to foster exchanges in different fields and at different levels, and these exchanges will grow even more than in the pre-pandemic era.
Building on our strong relationships with Japanese and Japanese Americans, the Consulate is actively working to foster interaction with the various communities in the region. An initiative to enable the younger generation tasked with promoting future U.S.-Japan relations to do so effectively. Sister city exchange.Sports and cultural exchange through sports martial artsJapanese food, and other areas.
The area we serve is home to Japan House Los Angeles and other organizations and institutions that are passionate about promoting Japanese culture. As a result, the environment has become receptive to Japanese cultural content and information. By making the most of this environment, we would like to quickly disseminate the latest Japanese culture and information to the people of the region, and promote initiatives that will contribute to mutual understanding and cooperation that transcend conventional wisdom. increase.
Within the United States, California is one of the states pursuing cutting-edge environmental and climate change policies. Our Consulate strongly supports cooperation between Japanese companies and local stakeholders in hydrogen technology and other areas where Japan has an edge.
California has set a goal to make all new passenger car sales zero-emission by 2035. Strengthen U.S.-Japan economic ties and lead both countries to become world leaders in related technologies.
According to our traditional calendar, 2023 is the Year of the Rabbit, meaning the year of leaps and bounds. I would like to work together with everyone to make this year a leap year for the further “leap” of Japan-U.S. relations.
In closing, I wish you all the best in your health and happiness this year.