Happy New Year 2018 to all in Southern California and Arizona!
Thank you for warmly supporting the Consulate General of Japan’s activities and operations in our jurisdiction of Southern California and Arizona last year.
Looking back on the year 2017, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe met in Washington, D.C. in February with U.S. President Donald Trump, who had just taken office. In November, President Trump took his first trip to Japan as president and was welcomed warmly by Prime Minister Abe. Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso and U.S. Vice President Mike Pence have also embarked on new dialogue about bilateral economic relations.
On the local front, Japan continues to enjoy a strong economic connection with Southern California and Arizona. Japan was the No. 1 nation for direct investment in Southern California, while Japanese and Japanese-affiliated companies were responsible for nearly 90,000 jobs, according to the World Trade Center Los Angeles 2017 report. These businesses, which totaled around 700 and about 40 respectively in Southern California and Arizona, have contributed to regional economies through jobs and investment.
Japan’s strong ties with the U.S. are also the result of long-lasting bonds cultivated on a grassroots basis. A total of 44 sister-city relationships exist between Japan and our jurisdiction. In 2017, three sister-city relationships celebrated a 60-year milestone: Yokohama-San Diego, Sendai-Riverside, Mishima-Pasadena. Many of the sister-city ties that connect Japan and our jurisdiction have a longstanding history, as shown by Nagoya-Los Angeles and Tachikawa-San Bernardino, which are not far behind as they prepare to mark their own 60th anniversaries in 2019. Such connections would truly not be possible without the hard work of local leaders, residents, volunteers and supporters in our region.
New crossroads between Japan and the U.S. continue to be nurtured, including the opening of a section of Japan House Los Angeles in December in the Hollywood & Highland complex. Japan House aims to be an engaging and fascinating place for Angelinos and other visitors to discover a Japan they did not know or rediscover things they cherish. Japan House will be a one-stop location that offers not only attractive programming and facilities, but also access to various information on Japan. Please check out Japan House Los Angeles’ website for up-to-date information. There will be exciting offerings, so please visit Japan House!
I would like to express my sincere appreciation to the many individuals and organizations that have contributed to the friendship and goodwill between Japan and the U.S.: Japanese nationals, Japanese and Japanese-affiliated companies, members of the Japanese American community. The Consulate General of Japan will do its best to provide services to individuals and to offer support to the Japanese-related business community. Let us know your suggestions so we can best meet the needs of our jurisdiction.
Best wishes to all for a happy, healthy and prosperous year in 2018!
Consul General of Japan in Los Angeles