Ambassador Sakaba of Japan Leads Delegation to the Midwest for “Walk in U.S., Talk on Japan” Program

MINNEAPOLIS--()--Beginning today, a delegation of Japanese citizens will visit the Midwest as part of the Walk in U.S., Talk on Japan program to build diplomatic ties at a grassroots level throughout the United States, while meeting with business leaders and students. The week-long (September 14 – 18) delegation is led by Ambassador Mitsuo Sakaba, the former Japanese Ambassador to Vietnam and Belgium, and the former Consul-General in Chicago. The diverse delegation also includes the former CEO one of Japan’s largest trading companies, an official from the City of Toyota, and a Japanese University student studying at Trinity College, Dublin.

“I see the American Midwest as my second home. I am very excited to see the changes that the Midwest has undergone in the past 10 years, and to have the opportunity to share recent developments from Japan with key business and cultural contacts in the region.”

Ambassador Sakaba served as Japanese Consul-General in Chicago from 2002-2004, where he was responsible for U.S.-Japan diplomatic relations in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Illinois. Remarking on his return to the region, he notes, “I see the American Midwest as my second home. I am very excited to see the changes that the Midwest has undergone in the past 10 years, and to have the opportunity to share recent developments from Japan with key business and cultural contacts in the region.”

While in the Midwest, the delegation will be visiting Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Illinois. Currently, exports from these states to Japan account for more than $4.7 billion in trade revenue. Japanese firms employ over 48,000 people in the region. Based on these strong economic ties, this visit aims to further understanding about Japan and promote business, international education, and cultural exchange between Japan and the Midwest through seminars and meetings with citizens, business leaders, and students.

The delegation will be holding several educational seminars at the Minnesota Trade Office, the University of Wisconsin Madison, Marquette University, The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and the University of Illinois at Chicago.

ABOUT THE WALK IN U.S., TALK ON JAPAN PROGRAM:

The Walk in U.S., Talk on Japan program began in 2014 as a grassroots diplomacy program to increase understanding among American citizens about Japan and the socioeconomic relationship between the U.S. and Japan. With support from the government of Japan, delegations feature a diverse range of Japanese citizens with a wealth of experience and include students, academics, businesspeople, and diplomats, representing multiple facets of Japanese life and culture.

To learn more about the Walk in U.S., Talk on Japan program, please visit the project website at http://www.japan.go.jp/features/talks/ or follow the Government of Japan on twitter @Japangov.

Contacts

Finsbury
Stephanie Blank, 646-805-2019
Stephanie.Blank@finsbury.com