|Greetings from the Consul General|
My name is Jun Yamada. I arrived in San Francisco on May 21 as the Consul General of Japan. I served at the Embassy of Japan in Washington, D.C. from 2002 to 2005, so I have returned to the US-Japan scene after about ten years' hiatus.
This year marks the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II. Reflecting upon US-Japan relations from this vantage point, we cannot help but feel a sense of destiny which brought San Francisco to the forefront so many times at decisive junctures in our history. Even before Japan re-opened to the world in mid-19th Century, quite a few Japanese sailors who suffered through shipwrecks were rescued by American ships and later arrived here. The initial leaders of the new Meiji government who embarked on the first round-the-world journey in early 1870s (the Iwakura Mission) also landed here. In both cases, it was in San Francisco that they made their very first contact with modern civilization. The war that lasted for three years and eight months was a terrible tragedy for the people of both countries, but Japan signed the peace treaty and rejoined the international community once again here in San Francisco. In April this year, Prime Minister Abe traveled to the San Francisco Bay Area. This was the first visit in 26 years by a Japanese PM to San Francisco and Silicon Valley and it turned a new page in the history of our relationship.
The Atlantic is sometimes fondly referred to as "the pond." Likewise, the Pacific Ocean has come to resemble a single pond on a much greater scale. Nitobe Inazo (1862-1933), one of our greatest humanists, once aspired to become "the Bridge over the Pacific" himself. This bridge over the pond, connecting the US and Japan, has now become a reality. My mission is to work hand in hand with everyone here - at the bridge's starting point, San Francisco - so that our precious bridge becomes even more beautiful and steadfast.
I would sincerely like to ask Japanese nationals, the Japanese American community, and U.S. citizens with strong connections to Japan via the JET Program, etc. who live in Northern and Central California and Nevada to offer your frank opinions and guidance to our Consulate.
May 22, 2015
Consul General of Japan in San Francisco