A Message from Consul General Ken Okaniwa

"A very good year for relations
between Japan and US/Florida"

As we approach the end a very good year for relations between Japan and US/Florida, I would first like to express my deep gratitude for your continued support and interest in Japan. November was no exception and several events had me traveling around the State.

On November 5, I attended the Orlando Japan Festival, now in its 16th year. The Consulate provided funding to bring an American Tsugaru Shamisen Duo “Bachido” from California, whose performance was traditional as well as innovative. This being the third time for me, I was impressed to see attendance grow considerably year after year.

A delegation headed by Ambassador Shimanouchi and General Nagaiwa visited Tampa and Pensacola to talk about Japan’s foreign policy, US-Japan Alliance and society. Their presentations promoted better understanding of Japan. I would like to thank State Senator Young, St. Petersburg Mayor Kriseman and Pensacola Mayor Hayward for joining us as well as all those who helped in organizing their program.

On November 30, I had the great pleasure to be a part of Miami Dade County ceremony to mark the introduction of Hitachi Rail’s train cars on Metrorail. Not only will the new trains provide safe, reliable and comfortable ride to the users, Hitachi Rail contributes to local jobs as the trains are assembled at their factory in Medley. Congratulations to Mayor Gimenez and the Board of Commissioners!

I am excited to announce that two Floridians have been selected to receive the Imperial Order this year, Don Yoshino and Sachi Ann Welsh! These two distinguished members of our community have contributed significantly to the U.S.-Japan friendship.

I would like to conclude my last message of this year by wishing all a very happy holidays!

Ken Okaniwa

Consul General of Japan

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