On Tuesday, August 15, the Consulate General of Japan in San Francisco hosted a reception and roundtable discussion in Sacramento to promote the relationship between California and Japan. California State Senate President Pro Tempore Toni Atkins and Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi were the event's featured speakers, and guests in attendance included Senators Josh Newman and Scott Wiener, Assemblymembers Laura Friedman, Mike Fong, Jacqui Irwin, Alex Lee, Evan Low, Luz Rivas, Phil Ting, and Lori Wilson, as well as Mr. Fernando Vasquez, Associate Consultant at the California State Assembly Speaker’s Office of Protocol. Also participating were representatives from the Japanese Chamber of Commerce of Northern California (JCCNC), the Japan Society of Northern California (JSNC), the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), and the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO).
Following opening remarks by Consul General Noguchi, Pro Tem Atkins recounted her visit to Japan in April 2023 and Assemblymember Muratsuchi gave a summary and outcomes of both Lieutenant Governor Kounalakis’ trade mission in March 2023 and a delegation visit in December 2022 by the California Foundation on the Environment and the Economy (CFEE). Legislators then engaged in a roundtable discussion about the future of California-Japan relations based on the successes of these recent exchanges. The event concluded with a reception where Japanese food, sake, awamori, and shochu were served.
In March of 2022, the Government of Japan and the State of California signed a Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) on climate change countermeasures including promoting clean energy, and this event as well as the three most recent governmental visits have further strengthened cooperation in this area.