| Japanese (日本語)

Speech by Consul General Eiichi Kawahara

Remarks by the Consul General of Japan in Miami
Eiichi Kawahara
At Orlando Japan Festival 2011
November 6, 2011


Hello! The people of Orlando!

I am grateful for the opportunity to personally convey my greetings to you.
First of all, I would like to thank Honorable Robert Stuart, Orlando City Commissioner, for honoring us today with his presence.  My deep appreciation and congratulations go to the Japan Association of Orlando and all other persons and entities who contributed to the organization of this festival. The festival is celebrating today its 10th anniversary.  My due respects are to the sponsors and individuals whose collaboration throughout the years has made this a successful event.




This year, northern Japan suffered a massive earthquake and tsunami on March 11th.  Some of the towns in that region were hardly hit, and a large number of people were either missing or confirmed dead.
I am very grateful that, through the City of Orlando and the Mayor’s International Advisory Board, proceeds from this event will be donated to Urayasu, Orlando’s Sister City in Japan.  Urayasu is located nearby the Tokyo Bay and it suffered extensive damage to citizens’ housings and buildings on reclaimed land lot because of huge earthquake. I am grateful for the solidarity shown by people of Orlando to Urayasu city and wish for further strengthening of their Sister-City relation through exchange of their citizens.

Now, I would like to assure you that Japan is open for business and travel.  We have to rebuild the towns devastated by Tsunami. Business of rebuilding the new and future oriented communities is open to foreign companies.

Even though the earthquake and Tsunami was powerful, it affected mainly the northeastern coastal region. We assure you that the rest of Japan did not suffer and life already becomes normal. Visitors from Florida and all over the world are warmly welcome, just as before, to enjoy Japan’s amazing natural beauty and the richness of its history and culture.

Do you happen to know which country has more “Michelin 3-Star” restaurants in the world?  Japan has 26 restaurants, the largest number in the world, according to the 2010 Michelin Guide. Yet, I am sure that there are hundreds more potential 3-Star restaurant all over Japan. Next time you visit Japan, please enjoy Japanese local food.

We are happy that this festival has seen, year by year, an increasing number of participants, as well as more cultural performances and booths sponsored by various entities.  Bon-odori is a traditional dance in Japan to celebrate good harvest every year.  Let’s enjoy the traditions, music, dances and foods of Japan.

Thank you


有難うございました。  (了)