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 reception to honor the JET returnees,
as joined by the JUSTE participant teachers,
on January 12, 2013

January 12, 2013

It is my honor to welcome you all who join and support the two precious exchange programs, JET (Japan Exchange & Teaching Program) & JUSTE (Japan-US Training Exchange Program).  Both represent the value of human exchange, which is the very engine for the Japan-US relations.

I welcome the JET returnees safely back to the States.  Now each of you is a good ambassador of Japan with your first-hand experience in my country, during the earthquake and after the earthquake in particular.

I welcome the JUSTE participating teachers, who will soon safely be back to Japan.  Now each of you is a good ambassador of America with your first-hand experience in Austin & elsewhere representing very American aspects of America.

Admiral Patrick Walsh, commander of the operation Tomodachi, made points in this room last year: as long as we make commitments to each other, and resolve to stand for each other, our friendship will endure, and the spirit embodied in that friendship will never wither and die.  That is the spirit of JET & JUSTE as well.

I welcome and thank Matsumoto-Sensei and all distinguished supporters for the programs.  What you have supported and cherished, through JET and other means, has now crystallized as the basis of the deep & broad Japan-US friendship, and the unique & steadfast alliance.  We are much indebted.

I have a question: how we can respond to such dedication of supporters.  JET was initiated 27 years ago, and now is the time to revisit the original objectives.  It is quite clear that the effective networking among JET returnees is the basic premise to ensure any of such purposes, and the role of JETAA is critical.

I welcome and sincerely appreciate President Drew Himmelreich & caucus of JETAA Texaoma who actively engage in the important, but often difficult mission of alumni networking.  How to facilitate it is our common agenda, and President Shree Kurlekar of JETAA International will surely lend us her good advice.  Constant reference to the Consulate’s website will be another way, as it continues to deliver basic messages & hints for networking. 

For my part, I will try to expand the interface between JETAA and other Japan-related actors, particularly those of business circle.  I am honored to see with us distinguished guests from Sumitomo, Satake, Interesse, Pasona, Hitachi, and JAXA.  I hope that you returnees & alumni will kick off face-to-face conversations with these business people, and move forward to a continued information exchange, which may include job offers and job hunts.

The same spirit applies to JUSTE.  How to organize & associate the JUSTE alumni is the agenda of importance.  I have a few requests for you: keep in touch with your peers, keep in touch with other teams & with the Consulate.  I also request you to create opportunities to convey your advice to your successors, as I look forward to receiving the next JUSTE team in this region this year again.

I have addressed many requests to many people, certainly because I always appreciate and have confidence in all of you.  I hope you all enjoy this afternoon and wish you happiness & safety throughout the year 2013.