(Credit: Cabinet Public Relations Office)

Prime Minister Abe Attends Group of 20 Summit

On July 7 and 8, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe met with fellow G-20 heads of state and government in Hamburg, Germany. Read more:

Iftar Held at the Prime Minister's Office

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe hosted an Iftar with the Islamic Diplomatic Corps in Japan on June 9. At the Iftar, a meal that takes place after sunset during the month of Ramadan, the prime minister emphasized the importance of Japan's relationship with Muslim countries. 
Read more below:

Abe Speaks at "Future of Asia" Banquet

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe gave a speech on "Asia's Dream: Linking the Pacific and Eurasia," at the Banquet of the 23rd International Conference on the Future of Asia held in Tokyo.
Read his speech here:

Region Covered by Consulate General of Japan in Los Angeles Home to the Largest Japanese Population Outside of Japan

Japanese nationals registered in the Consulate General of Japan in Los Angeles' jurisdiction of Southern California and Arizona totaled 93,642 in 2016, according to preliminary data compiled by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as of October 1, 2016, making it the largest population outside of Japan. The consulate's region has remained in the No. 1 spot since 2012, when aggregated data for the jurisdiction became available. What's more, the greater Los Angeles area has since 2007 been home to the largest number of Japanese nationals residing abroad. The overall population of Japanese nationals residing worldwide outside of Japan grew around 1.6% on the year to 1.33 million, a new record high in 2016.
For information about Consulates General in the U.S. and their jurisdictions, read here:

Conferment Ceremony for Mr. Henry Yasushi Ota

The conferral of the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette on Mr. Henry Yasushi Ota was held on June 20 at the Official Residence of the Consul General of Japan in Los Angeles. Read more:

MSDF Training Squadron In San Diego

The Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force Training Squadron docked in San Diego on June 14-17. Two vessels - JS Kashima and JS Harusame - arrived with around 580 crew members, including 190 recent graduates of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force Officer Candidate School.

Foreign Direct Investment in Southern California by Japan

World Trade Center Los Angeles presented its report, Foreign Direct Investment in Southern California, 2017, at the 2017 Select LA Investment Summit held on June 15. The report highlighted the ongoing contribution of Japan's direct investment in the region, with Japanese firms remaining the largest contributor to Southern California, with 2,465 firms paying 87,247 workers an estimated $5.5 billion in wages.
Read about the investment summit and the report here:

Read the latest on Abenomics!

Learn more about Japan's economic policy since the introduction of Abenomics in early 2013.

School Visits Program

The school visits program of the Consulate General of Japan reached more than 2,400 students in the first half of 2017, taking its presentations on Japan to Arizona schools and local post-secondary classrooms for the first time in several years.
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Gion Matsuri

Lasting about a month, the annual Gion Festival is one of Kyoto's most famous festivals. The Preceding Festival (Saki Matsuri) procession will be held on July 17, and the Latter Festival (Ato Matsuri) procession will be held on July 24. There are two types of floats: hoko, which are giant floats on wheels, and yama, which are smaller and carried on the shoulders of several people. The festival dates back to the year 869, when an epidemic swept through Kyoto. The people offered prayers to the god of good health, establishing 66 floats to represent the provinces of Japan that existed at the time.

Tanabata (Star Festival)

Held on the evening of July 7, Tanabata traces its origins to a legend of two stars separated by the Milky Way that meet up just once a year on the seventh day of the seventh month. As part of the festival, wishes are written on strips of colored paper, which are tied onto bamboo branches. Families may decorate their home entrances or backyards with the branches with hopes that the wishes they wrote will come true. In some regions in Japan, Tanabata is held on August 7.

The Sounds and Tastes of Summer in Japan

At most schools in Japan, the summer break begins from around mid- to late-July and lasts through the end of August. A fu-rin wind bell fluttering in the breeze and a chorus of cicadas are among the sounds that represent summer in Japan. 

Another important part of the season is FOOD! Enjoy some cold somen noodles or some Japanese-style kaki-gori shaved ice to beat the heat. Bon appetite!

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Consulate General of Japan, Los Angeles