Japan Information & Cultural Center

Message from the Director

Welcome to the Japan Information & Cultural Center.

The Japan Information and Cultural Center (JICC) was established in 1968 as the cultural, educational, and public affairs arm of the Consulate General of Japan in San Francisco, and also celebrates its 50th year in 2018. The JICC’s primary mission is to promote a better understanding of Japan and its culture and deepening the friendship between Japan and the United States in Central and Northern California and the State of Nevada. To carry out this mission, the JICC has a wide variety of resources available to the public: providing materials on Japan-related matters such as policy, education, the JET Program, and the Japanese Government Scholarship Programs, conducting school visits by Consulate staff, and organizing and promoting numerous Japan-related events.

The JICC also delivers timely, useful information regarding Consulate services, activities, and events through our website, official Facebook pageopen in a new window, and newsletteropen in a new window. The JICC Gallery offers a selection of Japanese daily newspapers, magazines, and other publications for guests to read during their visit. This space is also used to host a variety of Japan-related exhibitions throughout the year and we encourage you to stop by.

Since the arrival of the Kanrin Maru in San Francisco in 1860 with Japan's first diplomatic mission to the U.S., San Francisco and the Bay Area have frequently played an important role at major turning points in the history of U.S.-Japan relations. The Consulate has recently commemorated such major milestones as the 150th anniversary of the arrival of the Kanrin Maru (2010), and the 60th Anniversary of the signings in San Francisco of the 1951 Peace Treaty with Japan and the Security Treaty between Japan and the United States (2011). In 2015, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe became the first sitting Japanese Prime Minister in 26 years to visit San Francisco and Silicon Valley, setting another benchmark in U.S.-Japan relations. Additionally, in 2016, San Francisco Japantown celebrated its 110th Anniversary, and 2017 marked the 50th Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival. 2019 will see the 150th Anniversary of the founding of the Wakamatsu Colony, regarded as the first Japanese Colony in the United States. Lastly, in 2020, the Consulate General of Japan in San Francisco, the oldest Japanese Governmental establishment in the U.S., will observe the 150th anniversary of the founding of the office and its services.

Of the 105 Sister Cities between California and Japan (nearly one quarter of U.S.-Japan Sister City Agreements), 65 lie within our Consulate's jurisdiction. There was a tremendous outpouring of support shown to the people affected by the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and again in the 2015 Kumamoto earthquake. These actions signify that exchange between Japan and the U.S. occurs on many different levels and across multiple fields, creating a deep bond between these regions.

Here at the JICC, we strive to further mutual understanding and exchange between Japan, Northern and Central California, and Nevada, and will continue to provide information about Japan, and strengthen ties through programs and events.

We look forward to serving your needs, and welcome questions, inquiries, comments and suggestions at japaninfo@sr.mofa.go.jp.

Tomohiko Murakami
Director & Consul
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