Prime Minister Suga Congratulates US President Biden, Affirms Japan-US Alliance

On Jan. 28, Prime Minister SUGA Yoshihide held a press conference and discussed his phone conservation with US President Joe Biden. Suga said he congratulated Biden on his inauguration, and that the two leaders agreed to strengthen the Japan-US Alliance further while also working closely to realize a free and open Indo-Pacific.

Policy Speech by Prime Minister Suga to the 204th Session of the Diet

On Jan. 18, the Prime Minister delivered a policy speech to the 204th Session of the Diet during the plenary sessions of the House of Representatives and the House of Councillors. He discussed COVID-19 countermeasures, as well as efforts to safeguard livelihoods and employment by ensuring business continuity. He noted that this March 11 will mark 10 years since the Great East Japan Earthquake, citing ongoing efforts for the full-scale reconstruction and revitalization of Fukushima and the Tohoku region. He also stated that Japan will work to realize a decarbonized society ahead of the rest of the world.

New Year's Reflection by the Prime Minister

Read Prime Minister Suga's New Year's Reflection for 2021 by clicking the title.

2021 New Year's Message from Consul General MUTO Akira

Read the 2021 New Year's Message from Consul General of Japan in Los Angeles MUTO Akira by clicking the title.

IOC President Bach Reaffirms Commitment to the Tokyo 2020 Games

International Olympic Committee President Bach spoke to the media and reiterated the committee's commitment to the safe and successful delivery of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games. He explained that the Japanese government, the Organising Committee and the Japanese Olympic Committee have also shown the same commitment. "We are fully concentrating on the Opening Ceremony on 23 July this year. We are not speculating on whether the Games are taking place. We are working on how the Games will take place," he said, expressing confidence about the Games as different COVID-19 countermeasures are being put together.

LA Times Brand Publishing Article: The 'Japan Model' Goes Global as Japan's COVID-19 Response Transcends Its Borders

Read about the 'Japan Model' COVID-19 strategy, the lessons it may offer and the country’s leadership in global efforts. LA Times Brand Publishing interviewed Dr. OSHITANI Hitoshi, Professor of Virology at Japan’s Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine and a member of Japan’s Government Advisory Panel on COVID-19, about Japan's COVID-19 strategies. The country's response to the pandemic has contrasted sharply with that of the U.S. and many other countries. To minimize the social and economic impact, Japan has not implemented any mandatory lockdowns, and yet its COVID-19 cases and deaths are remarkably low. 

Phased Measures for Resuming Cross-Border Travel into Japan

In light of Japan's Declaration of the State of Emergency in response to COVID-19, cross-border travel into Japan is now subject to restrictions. To learn more, please click the headline and HERE.

Hydrogen Presentation at City of Glendale

On January 12, Mr. Norihiko Saeki, Executive Director of Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Los Angeles, gave a presentation on Japan’s hydrogen economy at the Glendale City Council.  Consul General delivered brief remarks and discussed opportunities for Glendale’s adoption of hydrogen technology with city councilmembers. The presentation can be viewed from the 13:30-59:00 mark by clicking on the video above.

Online Hydrogen Forum Promotes Networking in Los Angeles

The Consulate General launched an online hydrogen forum with the VerdeXchange Institute in November of 2020, consisting of three panel discussions and networking events, with the third Hydrogen Forum event taking place January 25th, as a part of the 14th Annual VerdeXchange Conference. Highlighted during the discussion was the demonstration project of Toyota Tsusho at the Port of Los Angeles, proving the viability of heavy-duty port equipment powered by electricity generated by hydrogen fuel cells.  Their project being proven at the Port of Los Angeles, focuses not only on the demand side of hydrogen consumption by fuel-cell driven equipment, but also on the supply side, of generating hydrogen on-site using renewable bio-gas piped in from northern California. In addition, JETRO provided a complete overview of Japan’s hydrogen strategy. These forums, with participants from government agencies, regulators and private sector companies from the US and abroad, provided a constructive networking platform for the promotion of a hydrogen society in Los Angeles. Click the title for the program overview, speakers and video of proceedings.

Bridging and Building: Japanese America and Japanese Corporations - JANM Forum

Japanese corporations and Japanese American communities have a long and complex history that weaves together stories of immigration, industrial expansion, and the building of neighborhoods, businesses, and banks. With a focus on Los Angeles, this two-part program brings together speakers that represent a broad spectrum of Japanese corporations in the U.S. and Japanese American communities to discuss the past, present, and future relationships of these two groups and highlight how both Japanese corporations and Japanese American communities can continue to cultivate these relationships to move towards a stronger and vibrant future for all.

Part 1: The history of Japanese corporations in the U.S. and their relationships to the Japanese American community to the present day.  February 2nd, 4:00 - 5:30 pm

Part 2: How both Japanese corporations and Japanese American communities can continue to cultivate their historic relationships for a stronger future for all.  February 12, 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Register for these free online events here:

Upcoming RAND Webinars

The RAND Corporation will convene conferences in February that bring together experts to discuss wide-ranging issues impacting Japan and the US.

  • The United States, Japan, and the Rise of Telework during the COVID-19 Pandemic (Feb. 4)

    Experts on work and society from the U.S. and Japan to discuss how the two sides of the Pacific are adapting to the challenges of working on-line during COVID, as well as what policy questions leaders in each country are grappling with, and any lessons the two countries can learn from each other's experiences and responses. Former U.S. Secretary of Labor (1993 – 1997) the Hon. Robert B. Reich, Chancellor's Professor of Policy, University of California at Berkeley will provide keynote remarks.

  • The U.S.-Japan Alliance Conference Series, Year VII: The Next Phase in U.S.-Japan Defense Cooperation (Feb. 23)

    Former U.S. Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy (2013–2017) will offer keynote remarks on the importance of the alliance for the two countries and experts from Japan and the U.S. will describe how debates over these questions are seen from the perspectives of Tokyo and Washington.

Applications for the Japanese Government (MEXT) 2021 Japanese Studies Students Scholarship Now Available

The submission deadline is February 16.  The Japanese Studies Students scholarship is a one-year scholarship in Japan intended for undergraduate majors in Japanese or Japan studies.  It is for the strengthening of recipients' proficiency in language and knowledge before they return home to complete their degrees. (Applications for three other types of scholarships - for research (graduate), undergraduate, and specialized training college students -  are generally posted by early May.)

Port of Los Angeles "State of the Port" Speech Recognizes Japan

Year 2020 saw many areas of disruption in the private economy, in society and lifestyle worldwide.  The fight against COVID-19 also generated new areas of cooperation as support of constructive common goals came to the forefront.  Within the annual “State of the Port” address presented by port leadership, Japanese efforts at the port were highlighted in several categories including:  Contributions of supplies to directly deal with the COVID emergency; Proving hydrogen fuel cell powered heavy duty trucks at the port; A new MOU between the Sister-Ports of Nagoya and Los Angeles for collaboration on technology and environmental issues.  View the “State of the Port” message by clicking the headline. 
Japanese donations for COVID support to Los Angeles via the port highlighted here:

2020 Foreign Minister's Commendation Awarded to Ms. Teruko Weinberg

The Consulate General of Japan in Los Angeles held a ceremony for the conferment of the 2020 Foreign Minister’s Commendation upon Ms. Teruko Weinberg, President of Teruko Weinberg, Inc. and Los Angeles Nagoya Sister City Affiliation Chairperson on Friday, January 8, 2021.

Explore and Enjoy Japanese Craft Spirits!

February is Japanese Craft Spirits Month in southern California!  The Consulate General of Japan in Los Angeles is supporting a series of event to raise awareness on the excellent flavors, high quality and versatility of some lesser-known beverages created in Japan, Shochu & Awamori.  The month of February includes a series of promotion events to help introduce these relatively unknown spirits from Japan, day by day.  See the lineup of events and join the exploration and deepen your understanding of Shochu and Awamori by clicking the headline.

Japanese Gardens and Tea Rooms

We are highlighting Japanese gardens/tea rooms in our jurisdiction. Please check each location's website for operating hours and current offerings.
Courtesy of: Storrier Stearns Japanese Garden

Storrier Stearns Japanese Garden, which was created by Kinzuchi Fujii between 1935 and 1940 for Charles and Ellamae Storrier Stearns, was restored from 2007 - 2013 under the direction of Dr. Takeo Uesugi, landscape architect, professor emeritus at Cal Poly Pomona and a Fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects, according to the garden's website. The nearly two acre site features a teahouse, bridges, ponds, a cascading waterfall and other features of a Japanese-style garden.

Held every year on the second Monday of January, Coming of Age Day is when ceremonies are held to welcome 20 years olds into the ranks of "adulthood." The ceremones are usually organized by local governments. Men generally wear suits, while women are often dressed in furisode (kimonos for single young women with long, draping sleeves). At the ceremony, young people typically hear congratulatory speeches, make a pledge to be respectable members of society, and receive some sort of commemorative gift. Depending on the sponsor, many events also have well-known guest speakers, parties, or other activities. 

Looking for something entertaining or informative about Japan? Look no further, the Consulate General of Japan in Los Angeles' events calendar includes information about virtual events related to Japan, as well as links to virtual museums. |
Consulate General of Japan, Los Angeles
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