Ambassador Rides in Tour de Tohoku
Ambassador Kennedy joined 3,000 cyclists in the Tour de Tohoku to assist the recovery of the region devastated by the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami. After telling the assembled riders in Ishinomaki, Miyagi prefecture, before the start that “this is my third trip to the region, and I've been so inspired by the strength and courage of the people here,” she pedaled 60 kilometers through many devastated areas, stopping along the way to talk to local volunteers and some of the 90,000 people still living in temporary housing three and a half years after the disaster.
America-Japan Society Symposium Promotes Bilateral Ties
DCM Jason Hyland joined a distinguished list of presenters, including former Japanese Ambassador to the U.S. Ichiro Fujisaki, who highlighted the importance of strong public support for U.S.-Japan bilateral relations at the 9th America-Japan Societies Symposium in Sapporo September 5-7. Members from the 40 independent Japan-America Societies in the United States and 27 regional America-Japan Societies throughout Japan come together once every two years to discuss the state of the alliance and how these groups can better promote mutual understanding. This year, to generate greater interest among American and Japanese youth, the organizers invited 100 local high school and university students and teachers, who led small group discussions and shared ideas and best practices about how to strengthen grassroots ties through cultural exchange and English language learning. In a video message, Ambassador Kennedy encouraged members to focus on the next generation of Japanese and American youth, whose commitment is vital to the long-term success of the alliance.