Consulate-General of Japan in Houston


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Consul General's News Letter From Houston

Remarks by Consul-General Yamamoto
at the opening ceremony of
NA Industries & Nippon Shokubai to honor the new facility in Pasadena/Seabrook, Texas, on October 2, 2012

October 2, 2012

I would like to congratulate President & Dr. Hidetaka Yatagai, Mr. Leon Conner & representatives of NA Industries (NAII) for this memorable day today.  Chattanooga is a very familiar name to me, as I am crazy for railroad modeling, Did you know that Chattanooga accommodates the headquarters of the National Model Railroad Association?  I believe that the successful operational record of NAII for more than twenty years has by now established its reputation in Tennessee.  It is all the more exciting to have its new facilities now in Pasadena/Seabrook areas here in Texas. 

I may be a bit Houstonianized, Texanized.  Yet nobody can deny economic prosperity in and around Houston as further expanded by so many engines.  Obviously, this Bay Area is one of such engines, partly because of the Port of Houston, the center of trade with other nations, in particular the enormous market in Latin America.  It seems that the Port of Houston has acquired No. 1 status in America this year in trading not only with Mexico but also with Brazil. 

The Port, Bay Area, Houston, these words do not mean the facilities or geographical naming alone, but they describe the overall human network of people who diligently and ably sustain economic prosperity.  I believe that I can share with all of us my admiration to Ms. Naoko Shirane of Texas Japan Office, and her best friend Ms. Marie McDermott of Economic Alliance, and the Alliance’ s President Mr. Chad Burke who will be with us today.   

I was told that the basic policy of NAII is composed of four concepts: a deep respect for humanity, coexistence & harmony with social & natural environment, innovative technology, and action on global stage.  All those speak volumes and sound very Houstonian.  I wonder whether they have a Major baseball team in Tennessee, but the single obligation imposed upon NAII in this area will be to cheer for the Houston Astros.  This is the duty.

I am honored to have Mr. Scott Workman from the Procter & Gamble with us.  His presence gives us all the best assurance of the promised success of new facilities of NAII.  Though my daughter is in her twenties now and I do not need diapers any longer, I would just like to see your never withering attention to NAII in Pasadena/Seabrook, too.

It is also a great honor to welcome the Honorable Johnny Isbell, Mayor of Pasadena, and the Honorable Glen Royal, Mayor of Seabook today.  I am very proud of the Japanese business people, who always make the best efforts to ensure the local communal support.  NAII is no exception.  NAII will very shortly consolidate the mutual trust with you and your cities.  I believe that this sense of mutual respect and communal trust is the very basis for the value of Japan-US friendship and after all the very strength of Japan-US alliance. 

The last but not the least, I pay tribute to Director Yojiro Takahashi and his team of Nippon Shokubai, who, despite the difficult circumstances, came all the way to join us.   I would like to express my sympathies with the recent accident in your facilities in Japan.  Though it is premature to identify the definite cause as the investigations are under way, I believe that you will ensure necessary information-sharing with us in due course of time.  After all, the simple and important key to the success of any business in the States is to keep good faith and transparency.  I am very proud of the Japanese companies in this connection as well: Nippon Shokubai is no exception.

Did you know that the former US Ambassador to Japan, Ambassador Thomas Schieffer is from Texas?  He always describes the essence of Japan-US relationship, which is unique as this is the human-to-human alliance, with the Americans appreciating the Japanese people, the Japanese loving the American people.  It is all the more true in Texas, it is all the more clear in Houston, the place of diversities, hospitality and dynamism.  NAII & Nippon Shokubai made a good choice.  To make it the best ever choice, we all will work together and stand with you.