November 17, 2016 Vol. 12, No. 11

Visit Fukushima

The Governor of Fukushima Prefecture, Masao Uchibori's visit to DC last month included a reception at the Ambassador's Residence. Governor Uchibori expressed his gratitude for the support of the American people after the 3/11 disaster 5 years ago: "This support brought us cheer and encouragement. On behalf of the people of Fukushima, I would like to express my sincere appreciation for your consideration of Fukushima. Thanks to your warm support, Fukushima Prefecture has been steadily progressing with its reconstruction.”

Watch this video to learn more about the great autumn events and amazing sights you could see during your own visit to Fukushima!

Soft Shell Crab Spring Rolls

“Sweet chili sauce is usually paired with spring rolls, but we chose a sesame sauce instead to add a touch of Japanese flavor to the dish,” the Embassy Chef explained. “This is something that we regularly make for guests at the Ambassador’s Residence,” the Embassy Chef continued. These soft shell crab spring rolls include daikon (Japanese radish), carrots, myoga (Japanese ginger), oba (beefsteak plant), shiso (a green herb/leaf commonly used in Japanese cuisine) and cucumbers.

Model of the Kibo Module
on the International Space Station

Celebrating Space Cooperation

As Japan and the US continue to move forward on space research projects like the International Space Station (ISS), the heads of the space agencies from both countries gathered in Washington DC to celebrate a deepening relationship! JAXA President Naoki Okumura hailed the recent extension of ISS Cooperation until at least 2024, and detailed Japan’s ambitions for expanded spaceflight capabilities.

Dr. Okumura, President of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Administrator Charles Bolden were also joined by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Administrator Dr. Kathryn Sullivan at the Ambassador’s Residence. Earth observations have played an important part in cooperative efforts, with missions such as JAXA’s Global Change Observation Mission (GCOM) which has helped NOAA forecast severe storms and monitor the decline of arctic sea ice.

Counselor Tomohiko Arai, head of the science section at the Embassy said that “it is a very exciting time for Japan in space exploration. Whether in space with its astronauts on board the ISS performing revolutionary scientific studies, or on the ground developing new rockets such as the H3, I commend JAXA for having made Japan stand out as a key international player in space exploration!”

Ms. Lukazewski receives the Japanese
Foreign Minister’s Commendation
from DCM Oike

Honoring a Former JET

"I had no idea when I called the Embassy in the fall of 1989 to ask about a new program they had to teach English in Japan, that it would become the first step of an amazing adventure that continues to this day.” Laurel Lukazewski recounted her Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program story after being honored as part of the JET Program's 30th anniversary celebrations.

Out of 32,000 program alumni, Ms. Lukazewski was one of the group chosen to receive the Japanese Foreign Minister’s Commendation in recognition of her service to the JET program as an application reviewer and key supporter of the Alumni program. As she mentioned in her remarks, after returning to the US from Japan, the connection with other JET alumni has become an essential part of her life: "It is the JET Program and other JET alumni who have been a constant source of inspiration and friendship."

The award was conferred by Deputy Chief of Mission Atsuyuki Oike during an event held at the Japan Information and Culture Center. In his remarks DCM Oike hailed the strong personal connections that the JET Program has created over 3 decades: “The efforts of dedicated alumni like Laurel-san are the reason that the JET Program can continue to grow its numbers while maintaining its strong reputation.”