Consulate-General of Japan in Houston


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Consul General's News Letter From Houston

Remarks by Consul-General Jota Yamamoto
in the Closing Ceremony of the Japan-America Grassroots Summit in North Texas
on September 2, 2012

September 2, 2012

Thank you Mr. Adam Zehner. 

Not so many can enjoy the SMU Bell Tones in this fabulous Meyerson Symphony Center.  I would like to thank them all.  I would also like to thank Mayor of Dallas the Honorable Mike Rawlings for his attendance and kind remarks.  Mayor said “let us take Yu Darvish to the World Series”, but I believe that it is Yu Darvish that will take the Rangers to the World Series.

Dear Colleagues from Japan,

I hope you have all enjoyed the Summit.  Governor of Texas, the Honorable Rick Perry sent us a message with these words: “Texas is widely recognized for the hospitality of its residents, and I am certain that my fellow Texans will welcome you with open arms.”  That is exactly what you have witnessed for the past week, I believe.

I hope you have made a lot of friends in Texas.  An American gentleman, who participated in the 2011 Kochi Summit, recalled: “Now I like the Kochi Prefecture best of all.  My wife and I will surely come back to Kochi and visit every corner in the Prefecture.”  That is exactly how you feel now for Texas, I believe. 

Japan and the United States enjoy the best sound alliance of countries and the most reassuring friendship of people.  That is made possible due to the long-standing joint commitment to face-to-face human exchanges, which enhanced mutual trust on a personal basis.  We have thus cherished the Japan Exchange & Teaching Program.  We have thus kicked off the Tomodachi Initiative.  We have therefore worked together for the Grassroots Summit.  With each of you now possessing your own experience of the past week, you all have now joined this endeavor towards this goal.

Mayor of Dallas Honorable Mike Rawlings, Honorable Mayors, Ms. Amy Lewis Hofland & all the people of host cities and dear colleagues from North Texas,

Ambassador Thomas Schieffer, Dr. Richard Wood & Mr. Don Casey: Mr. John Stich, Ms. Anna McFarland, Mr. Toshiaki Taguchi, Ms. Hiroko Todoroki & Mr. Takashi Watanabe,

On behalf of my government and the guests from Japan, I would like to thank you all: host families, volunteers, sponsors, organizers & coordinators, and all the people & authorities who have joined forces for the Summit.  Friendly faces & smiles of all the guests here today speak volumes.  We have achieved a great success, thanks to you all.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Governor Rick Perry mentioned in his message: “In the spirit of John Manjiro and Captain William Whitfield, I hope you leave this visit having developed many long-term friendships.”  This gives us all something.  Let us keep in touch.  Let us cherish long-term friendships.  Let us look forward to seeing each other again very soon.  In closing this successful Summit, I am quite pleased to introduce you to Gyozanryu-Mitobe-Shishiodori from Minami-Sanriku.  This ritual dance has a number of implications: peace, respect, tribute & family ties.  Let us together enjoy it and celebrate this precious moment.