Consul General Sone Hosts Assumption of Post Reception

On November 17th, the Assumption of Post Reception was held for newly appointed Consul General Sone, who arrived in LA to assume his duties at the beginning of September.
The reception, held at the Official Residence of the Consul General, was graced by beautiful weather. Guests who attended enjoyed meeting and speaking with Consul General Sone as well.
The following message was read by the Consul General during his speech:

Distinguished guests, dear friends.


Thank you for joining my welcome reception today.

I am so pleased and honored to be assigned as Consul General of Japan in Los Angeles.

This position is considered one of the most important Japanese consuls general in the world, as you can find from past consuls general, like Mr. Yachi, Mr. Tanaka, and Mr. Ihara.


Southern California is home to the largest population of Japanese nationals in the world (about 90,000) as well as the largest Japanese American community (about 280,000) in the mainland U.S. (second after Hawaii in the entire U.S.). As California is expected to become the 4th largest economy in the world and Southern California covers about half of that economy, Japanese businesses keep focusing on this region as the No. 1 investor nation, creating nearly 75,000 jobs.


Arizona is a fast-growing state in terms of population and the economy. It is going to become one of the most important semiconductor manufacturing hubs in the US. So, it will be a huge opportunity for Japanese semiconductor-related companies to further expand their business in the coming years.


Just these few examples prove the task ahead of me is enormous and challenging. Luckily, however, I am so warmly welcomed by many people including all of you that I can count on lots of support. I thank you all in advance for your support.


As consul general, supporting and protecting Japanese nationals and companies is always an important task. In addition, as a career diplomat, I also have a strong interest in subnational diplomacy. This concept is gaining attention in US diplomacy and recently Ambassador Nina Hachigian, former Deputy Mayor of the City of Los Angeles, was named as Special Representative for Subnational Diplomacy. I myself promoted subnational diplomacy through discussions in CULCON (US-Japan Conference on Cultural & Educational Interchange) during my tenure as Director General of Cultural Affairs in the Foreign Ministry.


I am now in the position to directly implement subnational diplomacy on the ground.

I will do so while keeping in mind the following 3 aspects. E.S.F.


1st, E stands for Exchange

I will promote exchanges in various ways and levels.

I would like to expand exchanges with various communities, keeping the Japanese American community as a pivot. AAPI, Latin, Jewish, African, Armenian, to name a few.

Youth exchanges are important especially for our future, involving students, schools, colleges, and next generation leaders.

I will also encourage more active sister city relationships, as we have 45 in this region.

I want to revitalize tourism as well in both ways to and from Japan, as part of post pandemic people-to-people exchanges.

The Los Angeles region is the hub for cultural exchange in the world. I will try to further expand the traditional as well as pop culture of Japan like anime, manga, music and movies.

Food is also an important part of culture. I will promote more quality and healthy Japanese food, such as you can enjoy today.

Since Japan hosted the Tokyo2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games and Los Angeles will host LA28, it is high time to further expand sports and budo exchanges, from my perspective as former Ambassador in charge of Sport and Budo.


2nd, S stands for Sustainability, especially as business opportunities.

Now, SDGs are the key word for global issues. Also personally, my son is now majoring in sustainability at university in Japan. 

California is always leading the world in protecting the environment, tackling climate change. It has huge opportunities for Japanese companies to support such initiatives, as Japan has many advanced technologies including hydrogen energy.

Improving public transportation is also an important aspect for the environment, and Japan can offer knowledge and technologies in this area as well.

From a social viewpoint, diversity, inclusion, womens empowerment, and health are also key aspects of sustainability. I would like to contribute to dealing with these issues as well.


3rd, F stand for FOIP or Free and Open Indo-Pacific

FOIP is the vision started by late former Prime Minister Abe and now shared by many countries. The US is the strongest supporter of this vision. Personally, I once closely worked for Prime Minister Abe at the Prime Ministers Office as Director of Global Communications. In the last 6 years, I was in India, then worked on APEC, dealt with ASEAN and Pacific Island nations, and now Im on the west coast of the US. California, facing the Pacific Ocean, is the right place in the US to focus on FOIP. As the US plays a central role in the negotiation of IPEF (Indo-Pacific Economic Framework) and will host APEC next year, FOIP must be one of important focuses in this region.

There is every reason for me to promote FOIP. So, I will continue to work for the realization of FOIP through concrete actions here in Southern California and Arizona.

Japan continues to play a central role in the realization of FOIP (Free and Open Indo-Pacific) together with the US.


I will do my best here to become FOCG (Free and Open Consul General).


Thank you.