Consul-General Fukushima's message on His Majesty the Emperor’s Birthday

CG Fukushima Consul-General Fukushima
 I am pleased to share with you my message on the occasion of the 61st Birthday of His Majesty the Emperor of Japan on February 23rd.
 Previously, our Consulate has always held a reception to celebrate the Birthday of His Majesty the Emperor. We had to decide not to hold it this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 
 His Majesty the Emperor made the following remarks regarding the COVID-19 pandemic in his New Year’s video message:
 “Now facing this difficult situation, I sincerely hope that people will sympathize with, help, and support each other to advance by embracing a firm hope for the future, believing that the day will surely come in the not too distant future when people can live in peace.”
 Amid our challenges, there is also hope, since vaccination has begun in the United States and preparation for vaccination is ongoing in Japan. I earnestly hope that pandemic will recede as soon as possible and I can welcome you at the 2022 reception. 

 In Japan, a new Cabinet led by Prime Minister SUGA Yoshihide was inaugurated last September, and in the United States, the Honorable Joe Biden and the Honorable Kamala Harris were inaugurated as President and Vice President of the United States of America, respectively, in January. The Japan-U.S. Alliance, which shares the basic values of freedom, democracy, basic human rights, and the rule of law, is more important than ever and plays a significant role in regional and international peace and prosperity. The security environment surrounding Japan continues to be severe and both countries recognize need to further strengthen the cooperative relationship as a result. Our Consulate will continue our endeavors to strengthen the relationship within the five states of our jurisdiction.
 Our Consulate will conduct various activities, mainly in virtual formats for the moment due to the pandemic, to enhance mutual understanding and promote friendship between the peoples of Japan and the United States in our jurisdiction in collaboration with state governments, Honorary Consuls, Japan Societies, Japan-America Societies, and other partners. There are several events being prepared for spring that will offer opportunities to experience the Japanese culture. I am looking forward to your participation.
 We have been spreading the charms of Japanese culture and showcasing positive relations between Japan and this region through our homepage and social media. When you have time, please visit our Facebook and Instagram at “@japaninnashville” as well as our homepage.      

 There are over 500 Japan-affiliated companies in our jurisdiction. At the receptions in previous years, we set up booths for these companies to publicize their activities to the participants. This year we are producing online content to communicate Japan-affiliated companies’ contributions to local communities, including measures to fight against Covid-19. These companies are contributing to local communities in various ways to fight the pandemic, thereby deepening bonds with local residents. We will also produce content to highlight the charms of Japanese food products and cuisine, or Washoku. We will publish these materials through our Facebook and Instagram. I would be pleased if you could take a look at them.         
 Our Consulate continues to provide information and support to Japanese residents in the region. We are continuing in-person consular services, keeping our consular desk open to visitors.

 It is thanks to the contributions of Japanese and American people in this region that our Consulate is able to promote these activities. I am counting on your continued support.  

 Last but not least, on this auspicious occasion of the Birthday of His Majesty the Emperor of Japan, I would like to pray that the friendly relationship between Japan and the five states in our jurisdiction continues to be solid in perpetuity and that the peoples of Japan and the United States living in our jurisdiction enjoy good health and prosperity. 
Kayoko FUKUSHIMA           
Consul-General of Japan in Nashville