Consulate-General of Japan in Houston


About Us
Consul General's News Letter From Houston

Remarks by Consul-General Yamamoto
at JET (Japan Exchange & Teaching Program) Send Off Reception at Holiday Inn, Airport, on July 27, 2012

July 27, 2012

The Japan-US alliance is very intensive, and the Japan-US friendship is very extensive.  Admiral Walsh, who commanded Operation Tomodachi, once described: “as long as we make commitments to each other, and resolve to stand for each other, our friendship will endure, and the spirit embodied in that friendship will never wither and die.”  It is exactly what we see in Japan-US relations. 

Why is it made possible?  We owe much to a variety of factors, and one of those is the long-standing joint commitment to human exchanges, which enlarged the scope of mutual appreciation and enhanced the strength of mutual trust.  JET is a nice example.  JET is a precious asset between us.

I am proud of sending off the best chosen 41 people today, who will join 819 new participants from the States in the 26th year of the JET Program.  In Japan, you will be surprised to see many of American sports are flourishing.  You may excite many Japanese with talks on the Oklahoma City Thunder or the Texas Rangers.  Some Japanese are even prepared to talk about the Houston Astros. 

Enjoy your stay, but mind your safety.  Driving will require the extreme caution.  You will see many pedestrians, cyclists, small congested streets, hectic traffic lights, and after all, you have to keep left.  Natural disasters will call for your particular attention, too.  The Great East Japan Earthquake and its aftermath was rather exceptional.  This year, the overall weather is so changeable, somehow fluctuating.  You may have heavy rains, flood, tornado, typhoon, or the pressing heat. 

Japanese are usually very good at disaster relief, providing the effective local network of early-warning and evacuation.  To ensure benefit from such network, it is quite important for you to keep day-to-day, face-to-face contact with neighbors.  That will make possible for your neighbors to have Koe Kake operation, making sure you are okay and informed.  Ambassador Roos is also resolved to take care of you,  giving you advance information on contact points in the Embassy and Consulates. 

In proposing a toast, I would first like to thank those who have volunteered for the JET Program for many years.  I can assure you, all the JET participants and their families, that so many people both in Japan and the States are always prepared to extend support whenever necessary.  You are not alone, you shall never be alone. 

Wishing all the JET participants to have a safe journey, nice stay, good luck and success, I now invite you all to a toast.  Kampai.