January 1, 2018
Happy New Year from Japan-America Society of the State of Washington!
We are all different. We all have different experiences and backgrounds, different professions, passions, and personalities. We live our lives as individuals, but we all are parts of the US-Japan relationship. It is up to us to keep it strong and moving forward with the times. In 2018, we look forward to working with you to advance that noble goal through growing the GRASSROOTS.
The Japan America Society’s mission is “To Promote Mutual Understanding and Friendship between the Peoples of Japan and Washington State”. We do that by creating connections between individuals and communities across the state and beyond, connections that enrich our lives and in doing so create the most powerful ties possible between our countries. We share our values, we share our aspirations for peace, we share our rich and abundant cultures. That is the power of the Grassroots. That is the foundation for lasting friendship between our peoples.
2017 has been a remarkable year for the Japan America Society of the State of Washington. We have hosted events which explored and celebrated the bonds between the US and Japan in geopolitics, business, culture, food, and even Bonsai trees. We have seen our education programs, Japan in the Schools and America in the Schools, expand and flourish through the generous support of our members and friends. Thanks to several grants, we are helping schoolchildren in Japan expand their image of Americans and learn the strength of diversity. We have welcomed a new Consul General to Seattle, and found in him a spectacular partner in advancing the Japan-US and Japan-Washington relationships.
We have so much to be excited about as we look forward to 2018. Along with our usual packed schedule of events and exchanges, we are going to take our commitment to grassroots action to a new level. After more than a year of intensive efforts and preparations by our staff and many members of the Society, we are thrilled to be hosting the Grassroots Summit 2018 this September 18-24. This is the 28th annual exchange of this prestigious program that alternates between Japan and the U.S. and the first time that it will be hosted in Washington State. We will welcome 150 visitors from Japan. 14 cities across the state have pledged to provide 5 to 10 host families for 3 nights as part of the weeklong event. Please visit our website to see the ways you can become involved.
I am more convinced than ever that JASSW has a vital role to play in cementing and reinforcing the US-Japan partnership now and into the future. As countries and as peoples we are friends. Our values, our economic interests, and appreciation of our vibrant cultures draw us together. But continuous commitment to continually growing the grassroots is needed to make sure this continues into the future.
Again, Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year!