Consulate-General of Japan in Houston


About Us
Consul General's News Letter From Houston

Remarks by Consul-General Jota Yamamoto
at the Cherry Blossom Tree Planting Ceremony
at the Hermann Park Japanese Garden,
on October 19, 2012

October 19, 2012

Thank you, Mr. Turner. 

Honorable Mayor Parker, I saw you at Minute Made Park on Milo Hamilton Day.  You were seated at Table No. 7 with Hank Aaron, Craig Biggio and many other celebrated figures:  I was at Table No. 16.  The Astros were so lucky to have your presence, which added further color & energy to the marvelous occasion of paying tribute to Milo Hamilton.

Today I am so privileged to see Honorable Mayor Parker, Honorable City Council Members, Honorable colleagues from City Hall, the Consular Corps, Houston Parks & Recreation Department, Hermann Park Conservancy and the Apollo Chamber Players, many other distinguished guests, and after all bright sunshine blessing us.

The Japanese community in Houston always strives to find the best way to contribute to Houston.  We do this because we love to.  We do this because we appreciate the cultural diversities of Houston.  We do this because we believe that we are able to add and enrich the colors of Houston.  I believe that the Japanese community is able to strengthen the value of multi-cultural coexistence in Houston. 

By lucky coincidence, this year marks the 100 year anniversary of Japan’s first gift of cherry blossom trees to the States.  I am delighted that Houston & Fort Worth  have been chosen to receive cherry blossom trees to commemorate the centennial.  I believe that these 20 saplings will surely add further color to Hermann Park and create further nuances in the social landscape of Houston. 

Mayor Parker and City Council Members so kindly continue to give strong reassuring attention to the Japanese Garden and the cherry blossom project.  Mayor Parker proclaimed October 27, 2011 Terunobu Nakai Day to honor the Japanese garden architect.  On March 31 this year, as proclaimed Japan Festival Day, Mayor Pro Tempore Ed Gonzales made a kind reference to the scheduled planting of cherry blossom trees.  Mayor Parker proclaimed June 19, 2012 Hermann Park Japanese Garden Day, which was blessed at the City Council Meeting, recognizing the active endeavors of Mr. Minami and his colleagues.  I would like to thank the City of Houston for its constant reassuring attention.

It is also a wonderful opportunity to recognize the 40th anniversary of the Houston-Chiba sister city relationship.  Thus, Mayor Kumagai of Chiba City joins us today with his congratulatory message. 

These saplings are blessed by so many people for so many reasons.  I am all the more honored to hand over the cherry blossom saplings to the people of Houston in friendship with America.  I also would like to present this plaque to Mayor Parker to commemorate this day and Japan’s never-withering commitment to the cultural diversities of Houston.