As of June 21st, 135 Japanese people have now registered to visit Washington State for the 28th Japan-America Grassroots Summit, an international exchange program to be held September 18-24, 2018.  The Summit alternates between the United States and Japan and will be in Seattle this year for the first time in its 28-year history. This year, it is hosted by the Japan-America Society of the State of Washington in association with the Consulate General of Japan in Seattle, city governments, sister-city associations, and Japanese community organizations and leaders. “I am pleased to express my enthusiastic support for the 28th Annual Japan-America Grassroots Summit and extend a warm hand of welcome to all of the Japanese guests visiting our great state,” said Governor Jay Inslee.

“This is a fantastic opportunity to showcase the best of Washington to our visitors from Japan.  The Society is working hard to provide all 150 guests with a rich array of experiences to create one-of-a-kind memories of their visit here,” said Grassroots Summit Committee Co-Chair, Rep. Sharon Tomiko Santos. These guests will be hosted in 14 localities across the Washington State, including Seattle, Bellevue, Auburn, Ellensburg, Lakewood, Moses Lake, Olympia, Port Townsend, Renton, Sequim, Tacoma, and Vashon Island. “Though these ‘home stays’ are relatively brief, many of these experiences will grow into lasting life-long friendships. Woven together these experiences will create a fabric of a strong and mutually beneficial relationship between our two countries,” explained Grassroots Summit Committee Co-Chairs, Tay Yoshitani.

On September 23, visitors and their hosts will gather at the Hyatt Regency Lake Washington for the Grassroots Summit Closing Ceremony, hosted by KING5 television anchor Lori Matsukawa, to celebrate their newfound friendships and insights.

The Japan-America Grassroots Summit was founded in 1991 by the John Manjiro-Whitfield Commemorative Center for International Exchange to honor the friendship between John Manjiro Nakahara of Japan and Captain William Whitfield of the United States. It was pivotal in opening Japan after isolation and developing the early United States-Japan relationship. In honor of Captain Whitfield opening his home to John Manjiro, the Summit offers a unique three-night homestay experience for guests.

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