Consulate-General of Japan in Houston


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Consul General's News Letter From Houston

Remarks by Consul-General Jota Yamamoto
in 2012 Gala of Japan-America Society of Houston
on November 10, 2012

November 10, 2012

I salute the Honorees of today, who took initiative in enhancing the cause of the Japan-America Society of Houston, and in making this occasion possible.

I thank Madam Nancy Allen,  the Asian Society Texas Center is surely one of her masterpieces and a precious venue for the Asian diversities.  The brand new building designed by architect Mr. Taniguchi is the gem of Houston and the projects & event of Texas Center are the jewels of Houston.  I thank Madam Cornelia Long, her Museum of Fine Arts is equally a valuable place for the Asian elegance.  It has now the elegant Art of Japan Gallery.  I thank Mr. Shingo Ueno, who played a critical role in calling for the attention of the Japanese business circle to such cultural dynamos of Houston.  I salute all the Honorees.

I am pleased to see Mr. & Madam Kunio Minami with us.  He was commended by Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan in June of this year, for his dedication to the Hermann Park Japanese Garden.  We have planted 20 saplings of cherry blossoms in the Garden to commemorate the centennial.  This year marks the 100th anniversary of Japan’s first gift of cherry blossom trees to the United States, which speaks volumes to the implication of the past 100 years of the two countries and the value of the Japan-US alliance of today. 

I can also see Mr. & Madam Joe Hafner, and am very pleased to announce that Foreign Minster His Excellency Gemba has also decided to commend Mr. Hafner for his dedication to the Japan-US friendship.  The award presentation will be made in due course, perhaps in December. 

I am very proud of these and other people in Houston who have worked so hard to promote face-to-face exchange and mutual appreciation between our two nations.

Houston is the place where everybody can be given safety, opportunities and prosperity.  My appreciation goes to the Mayor and City of Houston.  It is the privilege to receive the Honorable Mayor Pro Tempore Edward Gonzalez today.  I will never forget his kind words at Japan Festival of March, which was the first big project for the Japan-America Society with the new management.

I am very grateful of such prominent features who have always inspired the Japanese and other communities in Houston with a heartwarming orientation.

It is of particular delight to see Mr. Neil Cantwell with us today, who directed the film “Kanzeon” and now participates in the ongoing 2012 Houston Cinema Arts Festival.  His attendance will add further color, which entails a bit of Japanese nuances and is synchronized with the basic tenet of cross-cultural dynamism of Houston.

It is equally very reassuring to know that Ms. Linda Toyota, President of the Asian Chamber of Commerce has recently been awarded by the Texas Diversity Council for her tireless efforts to promote diversity in Houston. 

We are honored to have these people who have made tireless effort to strengthen the value of multi-ethnic coexistence, which shall be essential everywhere in every country.  They deserve a particular applause, as they make best use of environment of Houston.

I, therefore, take this opportunity to pay all the more tribute to President JJ Naoki and his society, and wish the society the further expansion of activities conducive to the cultural diversities of Houston.  I believe that it is able to.

I would like to thank you all once again, wishing the society the success of Gala, and wishing you all a very good evening.