The Annual Meeting of the Ambassador, Consuls General and Japanese American Leaders (CG-JA) is sponsored by the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and organized by the U.S.-Japan Council and the Embassy of Japan. The purpose of the meeting is to bring leadership together from both sides of the Pacific to discuss how to collaboratively work together to ensure a stronger U.S.-Japan relationship. Consistent with the U.S.-Japan Council mission, building strong enduring “people-to-people” relationships among Japanese Americans and Japanese leaders has been the goal of these meetings throughout the years.
On February 13 in Chicago, prominent Japanese Americans selected by their respective Consuls General from across the United States participated in a discussion with Japanese government leaders as part of MOFA's annual meeting of the Ambassador, Consuls General and Japanese American Leaders (CG-JA).
Japanese American leaders gather for dinner on the evening prior to the meeting
The discussion focused on several key issues for the Japanese government and regions across the United States, including strengthening regional ties, public diplomacy and bilateral exchange programs. Participants shared their views on the U.S.-Japan relationship one year into the current U.S. presidential administration, the importance of partnering with other communities on issues of mutual interest, exploring new opportunities for programs that build goodwill between the two countries (the TOMODACHI Initiative, KAKEHASHI Project, etc.) and more. USJC Board Member Yuko Kaifu was a special guest and presented on the current status of JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles and its mission to promote public diplomacy and cultural exchange.
Irene Hirano Inouye (left) recognizes Ambassador Sasae as an Honorary Japanese American
Following the meeting, Ambassador of Japan Kenichiro Sasae hosted a lunch at the Union League Club of Chicago for the Japanese American leaders, Consuls General and Honorary Consuls General. After the Ambassador’s speech, USJC President Irene Hirano Inouye gave remarks. As a special token of appreciation for his years of service and friendship to the Japanese American community, she presented the soon-departing Ambassador with a certificate recognizing him as an Honorary Japanese American.
Participants gather for a group photo
The CG-JA meeting is an annual collaborative effort between the Embassy of Japan and the U.S.-Japan Council. This year, the discussion was co-chaired by Irene Hirano Inouye and Takuya Sasayama, Minister and Head of Chancery at the Embassy of Japan.
Previous meetings have occurred in:
February 2003 in Los Angeles
January 2004 in Washington, DC
November 2005 in San Francisco
June 2007 in New York City
January 2009 in Washington, DC
February 2010 in Washington, DC
February 2011 in Washington, DC
October 2012 in Seattle, WA
November 2013 in Washington, DC
October 2014 in Washington, DC
December 2015 in Washington, DC
January 2017 in Washington, DC