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 January 18, 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) in Washington, DC.
The discussion focused on several key issues for the Japanese government and regions across the United States, including new outreach efforts to Japanese American communities throughout the consulate regions. Participants shared their views on the changing narrative of the Japanese American experience, the importance of spreading awareness of Japanese American history among Japanese and younger Japanese Americans, new strategies to build diverse relationships across different regions and communities in both countries, and more. Participants also shared information about upcoming anniversaries and special events, including WakamatsuFest150 in Northern California, which celebrates 150 years of Japanese American heritage, and arts and cuisine at the historic site of the first Japanese colony of immigrants in the United States.
Following the meeting, the Embassy of Japan’s Deputy Chief of Mission Kazutoshi Aikawa hosted a luncheon reception. Hon. Aikawa, USJC President Irene Hirano Inouye, and Manuel Morales, Honorary Consul General of Japan at San Juan (PR), gave remarks.
Deputy Chief of Mission Kazutoshi Aikawa speaking at the luncheon reception held at the Ambassador’s residence
On the evening prior to the meeting, USJC organized a welcome reception at The Monocle Restaurant near Capitol Hill to honor the Japanese American leaders visiting Washington, DC. The reception was attended by local USJC members, representatives of local Japanese American organizations, staff members representing Congressional offices, and the Honorary Consuls & Consuls General of Japan.
Council Leaders and CG-JA participants June Taylor (CO) and Judge Peter Sakai (TX) gather for a photo with Honorary Consul General of Japan at Buffalo (NY) Joe Koessler
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 Minister Kenichiro Mukai (Minister for Management and Coordination, Head of Chancery at the Embassy of Japan).
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Previous meetings have occurred in:
February 2003 in Los Angeles, CA
January 2004 in Washington, DC
November 2005 in San Francisco, CA
June 2007 in New York, NY
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
February 2018 in Chicago, IL