Novi Educational Foundation’s 9th Annual Green Gala

Wixom, MI/March 28, 2015

Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. 

My wife Yukari and I are so pleased to have the opportunity to attend this Novi Educational Foundation’s Annual Green Gala Dinner for two consecutive years, and to be a sponsor for the foundation, together with other friends who are strong supporters of the schools in Novi.

It has been eighteen months since I began my post as Consul General of Japan in Detroit, and my official work as well as our private life has been very smooth and comfortable in spite of the cold winter, thanks to the warm hospitality and strong support extended by the local American people.

According to the recent survey by our Consulate-General office, there are more than 12,800 Japanese living in Michigan, out of whom nearly 3,300 are concentrated in Novi. In fact, Novi has the largest Japanese community among the states of Michigan and Ohio, which is my jurisdiction, where almost 26,000 Japanese reside in total.

There are several reasons that many Japanese families have chosen Novi as their residential venue, and one of the most important factors is its excellent school system. I heard that the number of Japanese students attending the public schools in the Novi Community School District has reached 400.  Most of the Japanese students here go to local American schools on weekdays and Japanese Saturday school, which is also in Novi, on weekends.

The Japanese Saturday School in Novi, which is one of eight Saturday schools in my jurisdiction and the third largest in the world, held its commencement ceremony two weeks ago.  I attended the ceremony along with Dr. Steve Matthews, Superintendent of the Novi Community School District.  I could see that the Japanese students there had really enjoyed not only the Japanese educational system in the Saturday school, but also the excellent American educational system at the local American schools. 

Thus, they have received very deep and impressive educations from both the United States and Japan. I believe that those Japanese students, after receiving an excellent education here, will play very important roles in Japan, U.S. and also the international community in the future.

I am also pleased to see many American students here learn Japanese. There was a Japanese Quiz Bowl competition at Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti about two weeks ago, and I was very impressed by the overwhelming performance of the representatives of Novi High School at the final competitions.

On this occasion, and on behalf of the entire Japanese community here as well as the Japanese government, I would like to express our great gratitude to the Novi Community School District and the local community for enabling us to administrate this Japanese Saturday school here, and also for their continuous efforts to provide excellent education to Japanese students at local public school system.  The Japanese community and our Consulate-General office are very glad to work so closely with you to further improve the quality of the school system here.

Thank you very much.