Japan-U.S. Summit in Washington, D.C.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe met with U.S. President Donald Trump on Feb. 10 for a summit meeting in Washington, D.C. The two leaders subsequently headed to Palm Beach, Florida for a dinner hosted by President Trump and the First Lady.

Deputy Prime Minister Aso Meets With U.S. Vice President Pence

Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister of Japan Taro Aso, who was visiting Washington, D.C. on Feb. 10, met with counterpart U.S. Vice President Michael Pence in the White House. Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida also attended the meeting.

Japan-U.S. Foreign Ministers' Meeting

Foreign Minister Kishida met with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson at the State Department on Feb. 10. The two affirmed the importance of the Japan-U.S. Alliance as the cornerstone of peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region, and agreed to strengthen Japan-U.S. cooperation to address issues in the region

Policy Speech To 193rd Session of the Diet

Prime Minister Abe gave his policy speech to the Diet on Jan. 20, rehashing the previous year while outlining proposals for the coming year. He emphasized the ongoing strength of the Japan-U.S. Alliance, as well as efforts to improve relationships with neighboring countries.
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Foreign Policy Takes Center Stage at Diet Session

Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida talked about the basic orientation of Japan's foreign policy at the 193rd session of the Diet. He said Japanese diplomacy will remain focused on three key pillars: strengthening the Japan-U.S. Alliance, enhancing relations with neighboring countries, and strengthening economic diplomacy as a way to drive Japanese economic growth.

U.S. Defense Secretary Visits Japan

Foreign Minister Kishida welcomed U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis to Japan on Feb. 3. The foreign minister said he intends to work closely with Secretary Mattis and would strive to further strengthen the Japan-U.S. Alliance. 

Announcing the Winners of the 10th Japan International MANGA Award

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced the winners of The Japan International MANGA Award, which marked its 10th anniversary. A total of 14 winners were chosen, including one Gold Award and three Silver Award winners. A ceremony was held for these winners on Feb. 6 in Tokyo.
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MEXT Japanese Studies Scholarship Applications 

The one-year Japanese Studies Students scholarship is for deepening understanding of Japan and Japanese language and culture.  It is for current university students who are majoring in Japan-related fields (language, culture, etc.), and who, after the scholarship year in Japan, are returning to the same major at their home university. The applications deadline is Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017 at 4:30 p.m.

Japan Foundation Presents Rakugo Master Yanagiya Sankyo

Come see Rakugo Japanese comic storyteller Yanagiya Sankyo, who will perform on Feb. 24 at the Fowler Museum at UCLA and on Feb. 25 at the Japanese American Cultural & Community Center. The performances will have English subtitles, giving non-Japanese speakers an opportunity to experience a 400 year-old storytelling tradition.

Arizona Matsuri 2017

The 33rd Annual “Arizona Matsuri: A Festival of Japan” will be held at Heritage and Science Park in Phoenix, Arizona on February 25 & 26, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., with the 2017 theme of Shinkansen, or Japanese bullet train. The Matsuri is a two-day celebration of Japanese culture featuring colorful displays of authentic Japanese art, crafts, and entertainment. With an expected 80,000 visitors over the weekend, it is the preeminent Japan-related event in the state of Arizona!

Studio Ghibli Co-Produced Film Nominated for Oscar 

The Red Turtle, a co-production by Studio Ghibli and Wild Bunch, has been nominated for an Academy Award in the Animated Feature Film Category. The film is up against other animated features such as Kubo and the Two Strings; Moana; and Zootopia.
Watch who wins on Feb. 26, when the winners are announced at the Academy Awards. 

The 2016 Invest in Japan Report!

Foreign investment in Japan is growing year by year. Check out JETRO's latest report on the business opportunities and the positive investment climate that increasingly convince foreign firms to establish operations in Japan.
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Setsubun: A Reason to Throw Beans Inside the House

On the night of Setsubun, which usually falls on either February 3 or 4 depending on the year, households in Japan fill a wooden measuring cup with roasted soybeans and throw them around the room while shouting "Oni wa soto! Fukuwa uchi!" This translates to "out with the bad spirits and in with good fortune." Beans are also thrown outside. After the bean throwing ends, everyone eats the same number of beans as their age, as a way to ward off sickness during the year.

Hina Matsuri


March 3 is Hina Matsuri, or Girls' Festival. Families with daughters mark this day by setting up a display of dolls inside the house. The practice originally started as a way to ward off evil spirits, with the dolls acting as a talisman. Most families take their dolls out of storage around mid-February, putting them away as soon as Hina Matsuri is over because of an old superstition that leaving them out too long can delay a daughter's marriage.

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Consulate General of Japan, Los Angeles