New Year's Reflection by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe

In his New Year's Reflection, Prime Minister Shinzo said he is "determined to make 2016 a year of resolutely taking on challenges for the future. In addition to serving as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, Japan will host major world leaders in Ise-Shima for a summit in 2016, making it "a year in which Japan truly shines on the world's center stage," said the prime minister.

To read more:
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Japanese, South Korean Foreign Ministers Hold Talks

On December 28, Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida and South Korean Minister of Foreign Affairs Yun Byung-se held talks to address the issue of comfort women. The two nations reached an agreement, which includes the establishment of a foundation by the South Korean government to support former comfort women and a one-time contribution by the Japanese government through its budget.
For more details:

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Japan Looks Ahead to the G-7 2016 Ise-Shima Summit

Japan has assumed the Group of Seven nations (G-7) presidency this year and will host ministerial meetings across Japan as well as the 2016 Ise-Shima Summit.
On January 4, the Japanese government launched an official website for its G7 Presidency, which will offer news and updates
To find out more:                                                                 
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Foreign Minister's Commendation Conferred on Mrs. Soyu Yoshiko Koizumi

On December 7, the Consulate General of Japan in Los Angeles held a conferment ceremony for the Foreign Minister's Commendation in Honor of the 70th Anniversary of the End of the War for Mrs. Soyu Yoshiko Koizumi, Advisor for Chado Urasenke Tankokai Orange County Association.
To find out more:                                                                 
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Consul General's Commendation for Mr. Toshiaki Toyoshima

On Dec. 14, the Consulate General of Japan in Los Angeles conferred the Commendation of the Consul General on Mr. Toshiaki Toyoshima, owner of Sushi Gen.
Find out more about his biography and achievements here:                                                                 
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Get Ready for Arizona Matsuri!

Arizona Matsuri returns on Feb. 27 and 28 to the Heritage & Science Park in downtown Phoenix. Join the celebration and experience Japanese food and culture!
Featured offerings include exhibits, demonstrations, arts and crafts, and entertainment. The theme for this year's Arizona Matsuri is Momotaro, a popular hero of Japanese folklore.
Admission is free! For more information:

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Riken Group to Name 113th Element
A group of Japanese researchers has been awarded the right to name the 113th element as the discovered, according to research institute RIKEN. The element, to be listed on the periodic table, is the first one to be named by an Asian team.
To learn more:
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VerdeXchange Conference to Feature Leading Japan Green Tech Firms!

Two days of intensive policy and technology discussions were kicked off by Consul General Horinouchi's hosting of the VerdeXchange VIP reception on Sunday, January 24th. U.S. Federal, California State and local elected representatives and regulators, along with U.S. businesses, gathered and had the opportunity for discussion and presentations by leading Japanese companies including NGK, Hitachi, Sumitomo Electric, Subaru and many others. HD videos of all VerdeXchange Conference panel proceedings will be available within the next weeks here:

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Japanese Students March in the Rose Parade!
Courtesy of: TOMODACHI Initiative, U.S.-Japan Council
Japanese high-school students from  the 2016 TOMODACHI Honda Cultural Exchange Program participated in the historic Rose Parade sponsored by American Honda Motor Co. The students, visiting from a prefecture hit by the Great East Japan Earthquake disaster, helped decorate the float.
To find out more about the exchange program and the Japanese students' participation in the parade, please see here.
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Ishiuchi Miyako: Postwar Shadows Through Feb. 21 at the Getty Center

Courtesy of and Copyright of Ishiuchi Miyako.
Self-taught photographer Ishiuchi Miyako stunned the Japanese photography establishment in the late 1970s with grainy, haunting, black-and-white images of Yokosuka - the city where Ishiuchi spent her childhood. 
For more details about the exhibition:
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Ministry of Foreign Affairs News



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New Year's Greeting from Consul General

Consul General of Japan in Los Angeles Harry H. Horinouchi wished a Happy New Year to all in Southern California and Arizona in his annual greeting. Having marked the centennial of its establishment in 2015, the consulate will mark the beginning of a new century this year.
Consul General asked for the continued cooperation and support of the people of Southern California and Arizona to keep the Japan-U.S. relationship strong as ever.
To read more:
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Prime Minister Abe Issues Statement on Nuclear Test by North Korea

Japan strongly condemns the nuclear test conducted on January 6, according to a statement issued by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on the same day. The prime minister stated the nuclear test was "totally unacceptable," because it "undermines the peace and security of Northeast Asia as well as the international community." Japan will strengthen collaboration with other countries, including the United States, South Korea and China, noted Abe.
To read more:
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Fall 2015 Decoration Conferred on Mr. Terry Saburo Hara

On Nov. 3, the Japanese government announced its Fall 2015 Decorations recipients. Mr. Terry Saburo Hara was awarded from within our jurisdiction.

The Conferment Ceremony for Mr. Hara was held on Dec. 10 at the Consul General's Official Residence.
Read more here:

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Foreign Minister's Commendation Conferred on Mrs. Soyu Yuriko Tanaka


On December 9, the Consulate General of Japan in Los Angeles held a conferment ceremony for the Foreign Minister's Commendation in Honor of the 70th Anniversary of the End of the War for Mrs. Soyu Yuriko Tanaka, Advisor for the Omotesenke Domonkai Southern California Region.
Read more here:

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Embassy of Japan, Washington D.C. Announces Nengajo Competition Winners
The Japan Information and Culture Center at the Embassy of Japan, Washington D.C. has announced the winners of its 2016 JICC Nengajo Competition.
Since its inception in 2010, the annual contest has drawn unique and creative Japanese nengajo New Year's card designs from entrants around the world and across different age groups. For 2016, submissions reached an all-time high, attesting to interest in nengajo cards.

Adult Division Winner:

Madonna W.


Youth Division Winner:

Jenny P. 


Child Division Winner:

Mahoko O.

From our jurisdiction of Southern California and Arizona, Jenny P. from Torrance, CA took the top honor in the Youth Division. Janelle A. from Torrance was a runner-up in the Adult Division, and Jason Y. from Torrance nabbed Honorable Mention in the Most Creative Category.
Congratulations to all the winners of the competition!
To see their artwork and to find out more about the annual competition, please click the links below:

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Wearable Walk-Assist Approved for Sale in Japan
Credit: Cyberdyne
Japan's health ministry approved the sale of a wearable walk-assist robot for use in medical facilities, underscoring the government's push to promote such products as part of growth strategy. See how this robotic leg-assisting suit is capable of dramatically enhancing mobility!
For more information:
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Travel to Japan!!       

Japan has rebounded in tourism and affordability.  Visit us and see all the reasons Japan is the place to visit this year.  Follow the link to "Affordable Japan" and get a glimpse of landscapes, food, inns, and events -- all in your budget. 

link icon  A Big City View

link icon    Fantastic Destinations
link icon    Up and Down the Coast
link icon     Special Events of the Season

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  Click links for budget-friendly airfare, food, inns and events.


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