January 26, 2018 Vol. 14, No. 1

Ambassador and Mrs. Sasae wave to the crowd at the 2017 National Cherry Blossom Festival.

A Brief Message From Ambassador Sasae on 2018

With the inauguration of a new President, 2017 was a year of big change for the United States. In the areas surrounding North Korea, it was a year of tension. Close contact between Japan and the U.S. at every level has furthered mutual understanding between our two countries, particularly thanks to Prime Minister Abe’s state visit to the U.S. and President Trump’s return visit to Japan on his Asia tour. Japan and the United States, working together, have made of lot of progress with the international community on resolutions to address the North Korean issues. In 2018, the Government of Japan will continue its coordination with the international community, and the Japan-U.S. alliance will be the centerpiece of those efforts. We will continue to contribute to the peace and prosperity of the Asia-Pacific region and the rest of the world.

One thing indispensable to achieving international peace and mutual understanding is the importance of building trust at the grassroots level. The Japan-U.S. alliance goes far beyond official channels. It relies on the extensive network of people-to-people exchange between Americans and Japanese. To that end, the Japanese government is currently pursuing a variety of programs to discover and nurture the next generation of enthusiastic supporters who will carry our close relationship into the future.

My humble prayer for all of you in 2018 is this will be a year of great happiness, and that both Japan and the United States will have an excellent year filled with hope.

Ken-Ichiro Sasae

Ambassador of Japan to the United States

Japan in the News

The latest major Japanese investment in the U.S. is coming to Alabama! 4,000 jobs will be created by Toyota USA & Mazda's new $1.6 Billion Huntsville facility, which was announced at an event this month that included Alabama Governor Kay Ivey. Thanks to a relationship based on shared values, Japan was the top international creator of U.S. jobs in 2017, cementing Japan’s place as America’s number one partner in the Indo-Pacific region.

JICC Hosts Auto Industry Experts For Lively Discussion

The Embassy of Japan hosted business experts, auto industry insiders, and journalists on the sidelines of the Washington Auto Show at the Embassy's Japan Information & Culture Center (JICC) to explore Japan’s key place in the U.S. auto industry. The Japanese auto industry supports 1.5 million American jobs, and Japanese automotive companies have recently announced major investments that promise to deepen the strong economic ties between Japan and cities across the United States.

Watch the video at the Embassy's Facebook page to learn more about the U.S.-sourced parts that put many Japan-brand autos at the top of “Made in the USA” rankings and the strength of the US-Japan economic partnership!

Exploring New Frontiers

US-Japan Caucus staffers got a great chance to learn more about Japan-US space cooperation at an event recently featuring former astronaut Dr. Sandra Magnus. Hiroyuki Iwamoto, Director of the JAXA Washington DC Office, joined the discussion which included details about collaborations on space science, satellites and human space exploration like the Second International Space Exploration Forum (ISEF2) and the International Space Station, where Japanese and American astronauts were scheduled to embark on a pair of spacewalks this week.