Consulate-General of Japan in Houston


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Remarks by Consul-General Nozomu Takaoka
the Japan-America Society of Dallas/Fort Worth
Sun & Star Legacy Award Dinner on May 14, 2014

May 14, 2014

Thank you for the kind introduction.  My name is Nozomu Takaoka, Consul-General of Japan in Houston.  This is the third time in six months for me to visit this lively shining city of Dallas.  My wife Yumi and I are very honored that the Honorable Mayor of the City of Dallas, Mr. Michael Rawlings kindly shared his precious time with us as the Honorary Hosts for this event.  I would like to take this opportunity to thank them for his generous support of the Japanese community in Dallas.  Under the mayor’s distinguished leadership, Dallas and the surrounding regions offer a welcoming and comfortable home and an attractive location for Japanese families and businesses.  Thank you very much Mayor.  I am sure that the recent announcement of the Toyota headquarters relocation to Plano attests to our belief in the future of the greater Dallas region. 

I would also like to thank the Honorary Consul-General of Japan Mr. John Stich, and Mrs. Christiana Stich for hosting the Patron’s Reception earlier this evening, and thank the Japan-America Society of Dallas/Fort Worth, especially its Executive Director Ms. Anna McFarland for her and their efforts  to organize tonight’s Awards Dinner. 

In this connection I would like to recognize the two years of dedicated leadership that Mr. Don Casey, as President of the Japan-America Society of Dallas/Fort Worth generously provided.  Mr. Casey, I understand that you will be stepping down as the President in the near future and you are leaving big shoes to fill for your successor.  Thank you for your service and I sincerely hope that you will continue your friendship and ties with Japan.

I hope to closely cooperate with your successor, Ms. Elaine Browning, for the shared goal of promoting Japan-U.S. exchange.  I understand that Ms. Browning used to live in Japan and recently visited Japan including Dallas’ Friendship City, Sendai.  I am very happy to know that the Society will be in very good hands with your leadership for the next two years.

Tonight we gather here to recognize the tremendous achievement and contribution that was made in promoting the bilateral friendship by the Honorable John V. Roos who served as United States Ambassador to Japan from August 2009 to August 2013.  As we will all learn later, in addition to his professional stewardship steering the Japan-U.S. Alliance during this delicate period, following the March 11th earthquake and tsunami, Ambassador Roos stood at the forefront of American support and assistance to Japan and the Japanese people in their time of great need.  The people of my country are deeply grateful to Ambassador Roos and feel blessed to have had his leadership during those incredibly difficult days. 

Tonight we also honor Mr. Timothy Jones for his great efforts to promote Japan-US relations at the grass roots level.  The bridge that Mr. Jones built between the students of Callisburg and the students of Kesennuma, a city in Tohoku later hit by the March 11th Tsunami is so precious.  Japan is so lucky to have friends such as Mr. Jones who can guide American and Japanese youth as they form lifelong ties. 

Now, I would like to propose a toast to honor tonight’s Award recipients, to thank the communities of North Texas who are great partners for bilateral relations and generous hosts to the Japanese communities in this region, and finally to wish for the happiness and well-being of all present.  Kanpai!