December 23, 2016 Vol. 12, No. 12

PM Abe Meets with President-Elect of the US

During a visit to New York this November, PM Abe met informally with President-elect Donald Trump to exchange views and discuss a variety of issues.

PM Abe described the atmosphere of the meeting as warm and the discussion as frank and candid. They agreed to meet again at a mutually convenient time to have a broader and more in-depth discussion.

After the meeting PM Abe stressed that the Japan-US Alliance cannot function without trust, remarking that he “came away convinced that President-elect Trump is a leader who can be trusted.”

World Assembly for Women 2016

Women leaders from around the world convened in Tokyo on December 13th and 14th for the World Assembly for Women 2016 (WAW! 2016).

The first day of WAW! 2016, opened with remarks from Prime Minister Abe on the importance of women’s empowerment, stating that the three main objectives for WAW! 2016 were to "revolutionize" work culture, emphasize women’s leadership, and stress the role that women play in creating a safe and peaceful society. “Through action,” the Prime Minister mentioned in relation to this year’s theme, “we will change the way we think.”

PM Abe revealed his administration's long-term plans of investing around $3 billion in women’s empowerment efforts by 2018. This large sum will be directed towards initiatives seeking to protect the rights of women, formulating a basis for women to reach their full potential, and taking measures to improve women’s leadership in developing countries.

The second day of WAW! featured a series of roundtable discussions with experts from around the globe, each focusing on a specific aspect of women’s empowerment: developing capacity building for women and promoting their active roles in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM); promoting women’s leadership; work-life management; women’s well-being, especially in improving sexual and reproductive health and rights; and the participation and empowerment of women in peace and security.

Minister Tsukada presents Japan Foundation
grant to Dr. Glazer and Mr. Otani

Japanese Language Support

All of the Embassy's diplomats enjoy the opportunity to visit with students working hard to master Japanese, and Tamaki Tsukada, Minister for Communications and Cultural Affairs, got that chance when he visited Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology to present a Japan Foundation grant!

The $25,000 grant from the Japan Foundation, presented to the Principal, Dr. Glazer, is in support of the of Thomas Jefferson's Japanese program, which is led by Japanese language teacher, Mr. Koji Otani.

Minister Tsukada had a chance to sit in on Mr. Otani's lesson, which fittingly introduced “Nihonium,” the artificially synthesized element created by a team of Japanese researchers and deriving its name from “Nihon” (Japan). Nihonium was officially approved on Nov. 28 as atomic element 113.

Helping Celebrate the Holidays

In his years in the US, Ambassador Sasae has enjoyed opportunities to celebrate special occasions and holidays with many communities across the Washington DC area. Recently, the latest chance came when Ambassador Sasae helped push the button to turn on the holiday display of more than 650,000 lights around the Washington D.C. Temple of the Church of Latter-Day Saints!

The Lighting Ceremony, hosted by Mr. J.W. Marriot Jr., was also attended by Ambassadors from many other Embassies, and officials including Senator Jeff Flake who introduced the Ambassador's remarks. Ambassador Sasae was particularly impressed by the Choir's rendition of the Japanese version of "Silent Night," known in Japan as Kiyoshi Kono Yoru.