Happy New Year.
2019 will be significant as Japan passes from Heisei into a new era. It is a pleasure to experience this historic milestone with all of you.
Reflecting on the past year in Michigan and Ohio, our office had the privilege of hosting special visitors including Her Imperial Highness Princess Akiko of Mikasa and Mr. Hiroshige Seko, the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry. We have also witnessed a number of successful grassroots exchanges. The 50th anniversary of the sister state relationship between Shiga and Michigan was commemorated with a variety of celebrations and events. A friendship city agreement was also signed between Findlay, Ohio and Kawaguchi, Saitama forging a strong bond between the two cities. We hope such people-to-people exchanges and activities will continue to flourish and look forward to further deepening the mutual understanding between Japan and the United States.
At last September’s summit meeting, Prime Minister Abe and President Trump agreed to begin trade negotiations related to goods and commerce. As we move into the next political year with Michigan and Ohio welcoming newly elected officials, including Governor Gretchen Whitmer and Governor Michael DeWine, Japan remains the largest foreign investor in Ohio and among the top in Michigan. Japan's presence in this region is the foundation of our local bilateral relationship and we appreciate the great efforts put forth by local Japanese facilities.
Japan will be hosting a number of important events in the next few years including the Rugby World Cup in 2019, the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2020 and the Osaka World Expo in 2025. With Japan in the global spotlight, we look forward to sharing with the citizens of Michigan and Ohio the opportunity to experience and learn more about Japan.
I wish you and your family prosperity and health in the New Year!
Consul General Tsutomu Nakagawa
Consulate General of Japan in Detroit
2019 New Year's Greeting from Consul General Nakagawa
January 4, 2019