Emperor’s Birthday Celebrated with Moving Story
• Consul General Ito looked back the eventful of the year of 2018. He has been bringing grass root caravan with JETRO Chicago to the Midwest, and his visits included Minnesota, Nebraska, and Schaumburg where Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner and Shinsuke Sugiyama, Ambassador to the U.S. accompanied the caravan.
• The Midwest U.S.-Japan Association celebrated its 50th anniversary last September at Omaha, and had the highest participation of governors from eight states. The states of Kansas and North Dakota are joining the Association as new members.
• Osaka-Chicago sister cities celebrated their 45th anniversary, and Chicago’s Michigan Avenue and Osaka’s Midosuji Boulevard became sister streets. Chicago’s Mayor Emanuel first visited Tokyo and signed a memorandum of cooperation with the Japan’s government for close economic and business partnership. Osaka Mayor Hirofumi Yoshimura also visited Chicago. The Osaka-Chicago relation also brought a garden designer from Japan to redevelop the Garden of Phoenix in Jackson Park.
• Chicago’s public schools welcomed two new Japanese language teachers from Japan.
• The excitement of Midwest-Japan relations will continue to 2019. “American Dream”, a Japanese American story during internment tragedy, will be performed by Lyric Opera in March. Japan Festival will be held in Chicago’s Millennium Park in June.
• Leo Melamed, who was honored by Emperor’s award in
2017, told a story about how one person could make a difference.
• The celebration was zested by koto music played by
Tokiko Kimura, and tea ceremonies were offered by the Chado Urasenke Tankokai
Leo Melamed (L) and Consul General Naoki Ito