On December 4, 2014, Consul-General Nozomu Takaoka hosted a reception celebrating the 81st birthday of His Majesty the Emperor of Japan which was attended by over 140 distinguished guests.
Among the guests were Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett, Oklahoma State Senator Randy Bass, Houston Council Member Richard Nguyen and Astronaut Koichi Wakata.
Congratulatory messages for the occasion were sent from the Honorable Rick Perry, Governor of the State of Texas; the Honorable Mary Fallin, Governor of the State of Oklahoma; Texas U.S Senator John Cornyn; Texas U.S Senator Ted Cruz; Texas Congressman Al Green, as well as Houston Mayor Annise Parker.
In his remarks, Consul General Takaoka referred to several visits to Japan in 2014 by Texas leaders, such as Governor Rick Perry, Houston Mayor Annise Parker, Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings, Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price, and Plano Mayor Harry LaRosiliere. He also highlighted three pillars he believes represent the bright future of Japan - Texas and Oklahoma relations; the energy sector, high technology and the strategic positioning of Texas and Oklahoma. He also noted that built upon a foundation that reflects the prosperous and growing economy of the region, more and more Japanese people have relocated to Texas and Oklahoma, and those new residents will enjoy the gracious hospitality of wonderful people like the reception's attendees.