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Greetings from Consul-General Masami Kinefuchi
I received my official appointment as Consul-General of Japan in Nashville on April 1, 2015 and arrived to assume my duty on April 28.
Since beginning my career at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan in 1983, I have held office in a wide variety of responsibilities, ranging from the Minister's Secretariat, and those offices of Political affairs, Economic matters, Economic Cooperation, Culture and Information, etc. My recent overseas assignments were Minister and Deputy Chief of the Mission at the Embassy of Japan in Australia and that in Egypt, and most recently in Japan, I served as Assistant Vice-Minister at the Ministry of Justice until March this year. Now that I am charged with being the Consul-General of Japan in Nashville, covering a five-state jurisdiction in the Southeast United States, I am excited with this assignment and feel the great weight of responsibility. Actually it has been a long time since my last appointment to the United States in Washington DC and New York, it is a great pleasure and honor to come back to this wonderful country and I am determined to strive in reinforcing the relationship between Japan and this region.
Our Consulate covers Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee, where over 400 Japanese companies are operating and 11,400 Japanese citizens are residing. We will continuously work to improve our consular services through outreach to the residents who live far from our Nashville office by extending consular service trips and providing information to ensure safety, and to support the Japanese business community through hosting business seminars, promoting business exchanges and various other activities.
Another pillar of our operation relates to cultural exchange. It is wonderful that there are many events and exchanges taking place to introduce Japanese culture, serving to better understanding between our two people; most notably, the Nashville Cherry Blossom Festival in Tennessee, the Lexington Japan Summer Fest in Kentucky, and the New Orleans Japan Fest in Louisiana. Also, recently, a cherry blossom tree planting was held for the first time in Mississippi as a symbol of the Japan-U.S. friendship. On top of this, sister-city relationship building has been very active between many cities of both countries such as those between Hot Springs, Arkansas and Hanamaki in Japan as well as between Nashville and Kamakura. I believe that these grass-roots level exchanges are the key to building a truly close friendship, trust and strong bilateral bonds between our two countries. I, as Consul-General, will strive to further promote these activities and various Japanese cultural events.
If you need any assistance or support including obtaining the latest information on Japan, please feel free to contact our office. We are more than happy to do whatever possible for that cause.
Consul-General of Japan in Nashville