Consulate-General of Japan in Houston


About Us
Letters and Messages

Remarks by Consul-General Nozomu Takaoka
at Reception to Recognize the US Delegation under TOMODACHI-Mitsui & Co. Leadership Program
at the University of Saint Thomas
on May 29, 2015

May 29, 2015

Good evening Ladies and Gentlemen, my name is Nozomu Takaoka, Consul General of Japan in Houston. I am happy to welcome you this evening to a humid Houston. I would like to take a moment to thank St. Thomas University for making this space available for this function on such short notice since my residence was inundated above floor level Monday this week and currently looks like a construction site.

I also would like to extend my particular respect and appreciation to Ms. Irene Hirano Inouye, President of the US-Japan Council, who joins us from Washington, D.C., and Mr. Taichi Nagino, Senior Vice President of Mitsui & Co, Inc., in Houston. Your joint initiative, and the contribution of your organizations, has made this Leadership Program Delegation possible. I thank you for the priority that you put on strengthening US-Japan ties and sincerely commend your efforts.

I also welcome these ten, remarkable young leaders who have gathered here from across America. Thank you for investing your time and interest in Japan. Each of you has been chosen to take this opportunity to be an influential and positive voice in the US-Japan relationship.  I hope that your trip will prove to be useful for you in enriching your knowledge and experience of Japan in your personal and professional lives. Good luck to you.

Now, I would like to introduce our next speaker, Ms. Irene Hirano Inouye. Ms. Hirano Inouye is well-known not only as President of the US-Japan council, but also as the former President and founding CEO of the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles, a position which she held for 20 years. She was married to the legendary late U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye. She is such a figure in US-Japan relations that she was invited to participate in important occasions when Prime Minister Abe paid an official visit to the United States earlier this year.

I am personally pleased to see Ms. Hirano Inouye twice in one month, as we met 2 weeks ago in Dallas when she received an honorary degree from Southern Methodist University. I believe that this year’s delegates are fortunate to have this opportunity to benefit from her experience and insight on Japan-US relations and the important legacy and contributions which Japanese Americans have made to the United States.

Please join me in welcoming Ms. Hirano Inouye. . .