July 25, 2016
As the newly inaugurated Consul General of Japan in Los Angeles, I would like to extend my warmest greetings to the residents of Southern California and Arizona. I have lived in the United States three times before for a total of seven years. Each stay has been separated by approximately 20 years, which has allowed me to witness major social change during those years. I am particularly happy to return, barely 35 months after my last posting at our Embassy in Washington, D.C.
California and Arizona hold a special place in my heart. My wife and I have fond memories of our time spent as graduate students in California. I recall standing in awe of the compelling message of the exhibits at the Japanese American National Museum. When I brought my family to spend holidays in Arizona to watch an annular solar eclipse, we were all mesmerized by the sheer scale of Grand Canyon and rejuvenated by the healing power of Sedona’s energy vortexes.
Our two nations share fundamental values such as freedom and democracy, which form the firm foundation of our close relations. The year 2015 marked the centennial of the establishment of the Consulate General of Japan in Los Angeles. Once on opposite sides of the battlefield, those who came before us on both sides of the Pacific overcame times of difficulty through unimaginable sacrifice and hardship to earn a strong and solid alliance.
Eyeing the next one hundred years, my role is to continue fostering exchange and cooperation between the people of Japan and the U.S., building upon the longstanding friendship and trust established between Japan and the people of Southern California and Arizona.
Our jurisdiction is home to the largest population of Japanese nationals outside of Japan. I also look forward to working with the Japanese American community, whose historical ties and proud legacy have contributed to deepening Japan-U.S. relations.
Japan is also the largest source of foreign direct investment in Southern California, with nearly 2,500 enterprises originating from Japan, responsible for almost 79,500 jobs (World Trade Center Los Angeles). I hasten to add that Tokyo Disneyland and Universal Studios Japan continue to attract Japanese tourists, young and young-at-heart, who endeavor to visit the original locations in Southern California someday soon.
I will do my utmost to actively support efforts strengthening the ties between our nations. My top priority is to serve you, and I ask for your continuing support, understanding and goodwill traditionally shown to the Consulate General of Japan in Los Angeles.
Consul General of Japan in Los Angeles
Akira Chiba (Born: May 1959, Tehran, Iran)
1984 University of Tokyo, Bachelor of Arts in Law
1985-87 Peking University
1988 University of California, Berkeley, Master of Arts in Asian Studies
1984 China Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
1988 Second Secretary, Embassy of Japan, P.R. China
1991 General Affairs Division (legal affairs), Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA)
1993 Assistant Director (budget), Grant Aid Division
1995 Deputy Director, Oceania Division
1997 Deputy Director, Policy Division, Economic Cooperation Bureau
1999 First Secretary (human rights), Permanent Mission of Japan in Geneva
2001 Counsellor (economic affairs), Embassy of Japan, PRC
2004 Director, International Press Division and Assistant Press Secretary, MOFA
2005 Lecturer, University of Tokyo
2006 Director, United Nations Planning and Coordination Division
2008 Director, Registration Division, Ministry of Justice
Member, National Bar Examination Drafting Committee (international law)
2010 Minister (Congressional affairs), Embassy of Japan, USA
2013 Minister, Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of Japan, I.R. Iran
2015 Deputy Director General, Secretariat, Science Council of Japan, Cabinet Office
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(Chinese version “Zhongguo chuantong shuxin jianshang yu xiezuo” published from Shijie Tushu Chuban Gongsi, Beijing 2014)
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