|Consul General's News Letter From Houston|
Remarks by Consul-General Jota Yamamoto
before the City Council of Dallas on the Grassroots Summit in North Texas at the Council Chamber on March 6, 2013
March 6, 2013
I thank the Honorable Mayor Mike Rawlings & the Honorable Council Members for giving me the privilege to join the proceedings in this City Council Chamber. I shall try to be brief, I have so many words of so many thanks, appreciations & commendations though.
I recall the Japan-America Grassroots Summit in North Texas, which was closed on September 2 last year. The Honorable Mayor Rawlings attended both the opening & closing ceremonies, the latter was held at the Myerson Symphony Center, and reassured and encouraged the 180 guests from Japan and thousands of volunteers & supporters, with his presence and heartwarming, cheering orientations.
Now six months have passed, and time is right to recall the memories, renew the excitement and strengthen our conviction for the value of Japan-Texas collaboration as proven through the Summit. The agenda deserves the constant, never withering attention from the people in Japan, from the people in Texas.
My thanks therefore go to the Honorable Mayor & Council Members, Ms. Rachel Wallis who was the Dallas Local Coordinator for the Summit & other members of the Protocol Office, and the City Hall of Dallas. My special thanks also go to the Dallas Japanese Association, the University of Texas at Dallas Asia Center, and the World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth.
Indeed, I have so many people whom I need salute and commend. If Mayor Rawlings would kindly represents many people in Dallas and accepts my commendation on their behalf, I would be most obliged. It reads:
“Consul-General of Japan extends his deepest regards to: Honorable Mr. Mike Rawlings, Mayor of Dallas, in recognition of his distinguished service in contributing to the deepening of mutual understanding and friendship between Japan and North Texas.”
I would also like to extend my deep gratitude to the Japan America Society of Dallas/Fort Worth, as it was the real engine which made the Summit possible. We today have its Executive Director Ms. Anna McFarland. Whenever I try to promote something for “Japan-America” in North Texas, whilst my colleague Honorary Consul-General John Stich is my constant navigator, Executive Director Anna McFarland is our effective organizer and inborn coordinator. For the cause of “Japan-America”, she is a precious jewel. The Society now plans a big project towards the end of April to further expand the spirit of the Grassroots Summit as a kind of inevitable follow-up. I wish the Society another great success.
Mayor Rawlings, Council Members, Executive Director of JASDFW & many other people in Texas,
You all have given me a lot of orientation, and I now have a clearer image of America: respect for different values, cultural diversities, inter-ethnic face-to-face collaboration, and so forth. I now understand that is why, and only through such passage, Japan-US alliance can be unique and never withering.
Recalling to my mind the Grassroots Summit, recalling Mayor’s comment in the closing ceremony…. “the Texas Rangers will take Yu Darvish to the World Series”, and I said “it is Darvish who will take the Rangers to the World Series, that will surely take place this year…. recalling a nice piece of such sweet memories, I now have more confidence whenever I say what America is, what Americans are.
To keep my convictions in America as represented by you and your people, I have worked out these baseball-shaped key-chains. Baseball is another symbol of Japan-America, and it reads in small letters “Japan Tejas America Tejas” which I like to share with you. I thank you all as I was so lucky to have so many Tejas in Texas.