Greeting from Consul General
Greetings to all Japanese nationals living in New England.
And greetings to all Americans, including Japanese Americans, living in New England.
My name is Akira Muto. As Consul General, I pledge to do all I can to serve the Japanese population in New England and to bring even further progress to relations between Japan and the six New England states.
Immediately prior to my assignment in Boston I served as Director of the Policy Coordination Division in the Foreign Policy Bureau since 2010. In that capacity I drafted, compiled and coordinated foreign policy on the various difficult issues which faced Japan. My work focused on fulfilling the roles and responsibilities of the Japan-U.S. Alliance, and maintaining friendship and goodwill between Japan and the U.S. as “comprehensive partners” that contribute to peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region and byond.
I consider it a particular honor to represent my country in a part of the United States that shares such a special and long history with Japan. At the same time I feel a certain heightened awareness as I explore this important new ground.
New England plays a pioneering role at the cutting edge of the vanguard technologies. It is also an educational and intellectual center which features a great concentration of America’s top universities and colleges. This area is proud of its history, its arts, and its cultural traditions, and is renowned for its rich and storied relationship with Japan. In a region where there are so many friends of Japan, the word “pro-Japan” refers to something deeper than mere knowledge, something that resonates with each other.
The year 2011 was filled with many hardships for Japan, beginning with the Great East Japan Earthquake, which caused unprecedented damage and plunged the Japanese into despair. At that very time, assistance from the public and private sectors of the United States, including Operation Tomodachi, was swift and enormous in size. I heard that Bostonians also promptly conducted inspection tours in the affected areas and carried out many fund-raising activities.
Then, 2012 arrived, and with it, the hundredth anniversary of the gift of cherry trees to Washington D.C. Cherry trees planted on the banks of the Potomac have been nurtured for these 100 years and have charmed tourists visiting the U. S. capital. It is my great pleasure to note that, in this centennial year, countless cherry trees were donated to cities around the country, including Boston, and many planting ceremonies and cultural events took place.
As with the saying, “A friend in need is a friend indeed”, the people of Japan and the United States have been steadily deepening a friendship with each other through both good times and bad. I would like to further deepen our friendship and enhance the Japan-US relationship in a part of the United States that shares such a special and long history with Japan.
The Japanese phrase “Nichinichi-Kore-kojitsu (日々是好日)” is familiar to many Japanese. It is similar to “Every Day is a Good Day”, but with a slight difference. It refers to the state in which people, instead of being captive to the small details or selfish desires of life, live simply and straightforwardly. In such a fresh state of mind, I dedicate myself to promoting friendship and to making the Japan-U.S. relationship in New England as productive and meaningful as possible.
Let’s do our best today.