Governor Takuya Tasso and U.S.-Japan Council President Irene Hirano Inouye
The Honorable Governor Takuya Tasso of Iwate Prefecture visited the United States in August 2013 to thank the people involved with supporting and aiding in the reconstruction of Iwate after the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami. Gov. Tasso first stopped in New York City for a reception, where he gave a lecture about recent developments in the recovery process. USJC Member Gary Moriwaki, who has traveled frequently to Iwate, provided remarks on behalf of the U.S.-Japan Council, reinforcing the close relationship between the peoples of the United States and Japan. Following his visit to New York, the governor traveled to Washington, DC where he made an official visit to the State Department. He also visited the USJC offices, where he and his delegation expressed their appreciation to USJC President Irene Hirano Inouye.
At the same time, a group of ten high school students selected from across Iwate were also visiting the U.S. as part of a prefectural exchange program. The ten students were selected from among 54 applicants across the prefecture who wrote essays about their future dreams, how they would take their place in a more globalized society and how the 3.11 disaster affected them. One female student commented that she was very touched by all the people who attended the New York event. She really felt a connection with the American people, even though they are far away from Japan. The students spent the day with the governor in New York and visited DC to tour the national monuments. USJC staff planned a day of activities for them that included a tour of the Smithsonian Museum of American History, followed by pizza and games on the National Mall with local American students. The local students included high school student TOMODACHI volunteers as well as students who will be going to Japan in November as part of the TOMODACHI U.S-Japan Youth Exchange Program.