Consulate-General of Japan in Houston


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Consul General's News Letter From Houston

Letter by Consul-General Yamamoto
to 24 High School Students from Sendai
Visit Tulsa, Oklahoma on the Kizuna Project

October 15, 2012

Monday, October 15, 2012

On behalf of the Government of Japan, I extend a warm welcome to the students from Seiwa Gakuen High School of Sendai.  It is with great honor that Booker T. Washington High School hosts 24 students for four days, which was made possible by Principal James L. Furch, Mr. Joshua New, Ms. Chigusa Izumi and all Booker T. Washington faculty members.

Sendai  was one of the main communities affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake in March 2011.  The earthquake has proved to be an enormous tragedy for the people of Japan.  However, over the past nineteen months since the earthquake, Japan has witnessed and received enormous support from many nations.

It is the US-Japan Alliance which played a critical role in Japan’s recovery effort.  It is the sense of solidarity shown by many American people which gave courage to Japan’s reconstruction effort.   It is a mutual commitment to each other which has been renewed by both Japan and the US.  Now we have shared the value of Tomodachi and the importance of Kizuna, which will be the basic tenet underlying the future of Japan-US relations.

This visit is meant to be the important first step of the newly introduced Kizuna Project.  I believe that the students of Seiwa Gakuen will impress us with their resolve to look and walk forward.  I believe that the students of Booker T. Washington will impress us with their cheers of encouragement for Tomodachi.   The earthquake was tragic.  But through this Kizuna Project, the Japanese youth will surely regain the necessary bravery; the American youth will surely revisit the common values between Japan and the US.

I would like to thank the host families and the greater community of Tulsa for extending their hospitality.  I know that the State of Oklahoma is one of the most energetic centers in the States, and that the greater region of Tulsa is one of the most dynamic centers in Oklahoma.  I know that Mayor Bartlett and First Lady Bartlett are working very hard as leaders to enhance the prosperity of Tulsa, and to expand cooperation and exchange with Japan. 

I always admire Mayor Bartlett and First Lady Bartlett, yet let me pay tribute once again, as your guidance and hospitality has made possible the successful start of the Kizuna Project.


Jota Yamamoto
Consul-General of Japan in Houston