August 11, 2017 Vol. 13, No. 5

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Japan in the News

On August 4, Toyota Motor Corp. and Mazda Motor Corp. established a capital alliance to jointly produce vehicles in the US in a new $1.6 billion plant to be built in the United States. This plant is projected to be operational by 2021. It will have an annual capacity of approximately 300,000 vehicles and is expected to generate an estimated 4,000 U.S. jobs. The two Japanese automotive giants will also collaborate to further develop technology for electric vehicles and advanced safety mechanisms while expanding on various complementary products.

JET Program Celebrates Alumni From 30 Years of Grassroots Exchange

Calling the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program one of the "cornerstones of Japan-U.S. relationship over the last three decades," the Embassy's Deputy Chief of Mission Atsuyuki Oike welcomed JET Program alumni from around the country to a reception on August 4 to celebrate 30 years of giving young Americans a chance to work, live, and create lasting bonds in Japan. JET alumni have gone on to key leadership positions in universities, businesses, non-profits, and the federal government.

Ambassador Hagerty also sent a letter of congratulations in which he called JET the “premier people-to-people program between the United States and Japan” and remarked that “JET alumni have integrated into communities, promoted language education, and gained valuable skills and cultural insights through grassroots exchange. I am inspired by your dedication and service, and look forward to witnessing the fruits of your efforts throughout Japan.”

Ambassador Hagerty Honored by Ambassador Sasae

After William Hagerty's confirmation as the new US Ambassador to Japan, Ambassador Sasae hosted a reception to celebrate his new counterpart, hailing Ambassador Hagerty's business background and experience in Japan. Ambassador Sasae remarked that "with Ambassador Hagerty in charge of the US mission in Japan, I am confident that we will enjoy the continuation of a strong Japan-US alliance and partnership."

The event featured a tea ceremony at the Residence's Yu Yu An teahouse which was joined by Ambassador Hagerty's wife and family as well as Mrs. Sasae. The event also included remarks from the US Department of State's Under Secretary for Political Affairs, Thomas A. Shannon, Jr.

Big Names Perform for Local Fans

For decades Otakon has been a summertime highlight for DC-area Japanese pop culture fans. From August 11-13, this huge event is coming to the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in downtown DC for the first time ever. Among the many attractions at this year's Otakon is the first East Coast stop for Anisong World Matsuri, a concert tour featuring performers who have provided songs for famous anime series like Naruto, Gundam SEED and One Punch Man. JAM Project, FLOW, T.M. Revolution and Yousei Teikoku will be live on stage over two nights of the convention.