Consulate-General of Japan in Houston


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Remarks by Consul-General Nozomu Takaoka
at San Antonio City Council on November 6, 2014

November 6, 2014

Good morning.  I am very honored to be granted this opportunity to address the most honorable members of the City Council of San Antonio.  I’d also like to take this opportunity to express my appreciation to the Mayor of San Antonio, the Honorable Ivy Taylor, for her valuable contributions to the Japan-San Antonio relations.

My name is Nozomu Takaoka, the Consul General of Japan in Houston.  When I arrived in Texas one year ago, I had the honor to be invited to the celebration of the 10 year anniversary of the Toyota factory in San Antonio and the production of 1 million pickup trucks. There I met the former-mayor the Honorable Julian Castro, and have been very fond of this city ever since.

The sister-city relationship with Kumamoto, former-Mayor Castro’s visit to Japan last year, the recent visit of the Governor of Mie Prefecture, Eikei Suzuki, it is clear that San Antonio is indeed key to strengthening the U.S.-Japan relationship. Further accomplishments include the honorable Congressman Joaquin Castro's leading role in establishing the First Bipartisan US-Japan Caucus.  Congressman Castro kindly attended the Japan America Society of Houston Gala 5 days ago, in spite of his busy campaign schedule.

I am glad to be visiting San Antonio this time to commemorate the centennial anniversary of the Japanese Monument to the Alamo Heroes yesterday and kindly attended by Councilman Ron Nierenburg, Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff and Mayor Emerita Lila Cockrell, together with Sister Margit Nagy, the Japanese Junior Ambassador Mission and a delegation from Shinshiro City. This monument represents not just the length of the US-Japan relationship, but also the depth. The Japanese samurai spirit and the Texan cowboy spirit share similar values such as loyalty, patriotism, and bravery, and both spirits are eloquently engraved in the monument by the huge oak tree of the Alamo, donated by Professor Shiga 100 years ago.  I am sure that these values will lead us in continuing to promote a strong US-Japan partnership.

I am happy to share this conviction of mine with you, and thank you again for welcoming me here today.