Reception held at the Consulate General’s Residence

2015/12/16 News

Reception_04The Consulate General’s Official Residence in Seattle hosted a reception on December 10th in honor of the Japanese Emperor’s birthday. Many local officials and those with ties to Japan were in attendance. Kobe Trade Information Office was honored to attend alongside Hyogo Business & Culture Center. From our booth in the residence, we were able to hand out guides to the city of Kobe and introduce some local products to the attendees.

In particular we were asked about the Fukuju sake served for the toast, which is brewed by the Kobe Shu-Shin-Kan breweries in the Nada region of Kobe city. The sake had also been served during the dinner and reception for the Japanese scientist who won the Nobel Prize in 2012.

Reception_02

During the ceremony, Consul General Masahiro Omura presented KING 5 news anchor Ms. Lori Matsukawa with the Foreign Minister’s Commendation and former Washington Secretary of State Mr. Ralph Munro with the Foreign Minister’s Certificate of Gratitude.

Along with being a news anchor for King 5 TV, Ms. Lori Matsukawa is a co-founder and leader of the Japanese Cultural & Community Center of Washington, and works to promote Japanese language education and the preservation of Nikkei history.

The former Washington Secretary of State Ralph Munro has contributed greatly to Japan-U.S. relations, including the establishment of the Hyogo Business and Culture Center. His promotion of the sister relationship between Washington State and Hyogo Prefecture, alongside the development of many connections between Japanese officials and leaders, serves to bring Japan and the U.S. closer to this day.

 

12月10日、日本総領事館公邸にて天皇誕生日祝賀レセプションが行われました。神戸シアトルビジネスオフィスは兵庫県事務所と共に参加し、公邸内に設置したブースから、シアトルの日系企業のみなさんや日本とゆかりのある方々に、神戸市の観光や特産物を紹介しました。

特に参加者が興味を持たれたのが神戸酒心館で作られる福寿。これは、2012年山中伸弥教授が、ノーベル賞を受賞した時、晩餐会で出されたものです。当日も、乾杯をはじめ、参加者の皆さんに楽しんでいただけました。

レセプションでは大村昌弘総領事よりローリー・マツカワ氏に外務大臣表彰、ラルフ・マンロー氏に外務大臣感謝状が授与されました。お二人は、ワシントン州での日米関係の発展に大きな貢献をしてきたことでの受賞です。

ローリー・マツカワ氏はキングテレビのニュースキャスターであり、パシフィック・ノースウェストでの日系コミュニティの主要メンバーとしても活躍されてきました。マツカワ氏はワシントン州の日本文化コミュニティセンターの設立者の一人であり、今でもワシントンでの日本語教育、日系人の歴史の記録に貢献されています。

ラルフ・マンロー氏は元ワシントン州務長官であり、長年にわたり、日米の友好関係を発展させてこられました。兵庫県ワシントン事務所の創立にもかかわり、兵庫県とワシントン州の姉妹都市関係を深めつつ、日本政府とワシントン州の人的なつながりを支援されてこられました。

KTIO Visits Silicon Valley

2015/09/11 News
5 Finalist Participants at 500 Startups

In late August, KTIO and a delegation of 16 participants from Japan traveled to Silicon Valley in California. Among these 16 participants were entrepreneurs and students, who arrived in Silicon Valley with the goal of expanding their knowledge and expertise on business development, entrepreneurial growth, and successful methods for pitching ideas. From 8/22 through 8/27, KTIO and the team at San Francisco’s 500 Startups worked with these participants to develop entrepreneurial tools for success in business and technological fields.

At 500 Startups, participants from Japan lean how to effectively pitch an idea.

At 500 Startups, participants from Japan lean how to effectively pitch an idea.

Participants from Japan traveled throughout Silicon Valley, visiting numerous organizations and startups such as Google, ChatWork, Pinterest, Yahoo!, Apple, Treasure Data and Twitter. After exploring Silicon Valley’s unique characteristics and entrepreneurial history, these participants were given the opportunity to present a pitch to Zafer Younis and Diana Moldavsky, Venture Partners at 500 Startups. Five participants were chosen to proceed into a “championship round” of pitch presentations.

One of the five finalists in the competition to pitch an idea presents at 500 Startups.

One of the five finalists in the competition to pitch an idea presents at 500 Startups.

One of the five finalists in the competition to pitch an idea presents at 500 Startups.

One of the five finalists in the competition to pitch an idea presents at 500 Startups.

By the end of the week presenter Mami Takesada was chosen as the winner. All participants who presented were counseled and given advice by Zafer Younis and Diana Moldavsky, who regularly support international entrepreneurs through 500 Startups.

Participants meet with 500 Startups employees and entrepreneurs to learn about the process of pitching and developing successful ideas.

Participants meet with 500 Startups employees and entrepreneurs to learn about the process of pitching and developing successful ideas.

Zafer Younis (left) and Diana Moldavsky (right) of 500 Startups pose for a photo with the winning participant from Japan, Mami Takesada.

Zafer Younis (left) and Diana Moldavsky (right) of 500 Startups pose for a photo with the winning participant from Japan, Mami Takesada.

The winning presenter is counseled by 500 Startups' Zafer Younis.

The winning presenter is counseled by 500 Startups’ Zafer Younis.

Mr. Sometani and participants from Japan attend a lecture at Stanford University on the history and unique characteristics of Silicon Valley.

Mr. Sometani and participants from Japan attend a lecture at Stanford University on the history and unique characteristics of Silicon Valley.

Participants from Japan prepare their individual pitchces before presenting ideas at 500 Startups.

Participants from Japan prepare their individual pitchces before presenting ideas at 500 Startups.

Participants work with Zafer Younis, a Venture Partner at 500 Startups.

Participants work with Zafer Younis, a Venture Partner at 500 Startups.

Participants from Japan sit in on a lecture at the Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati offices, a corporation providing legal services to tech companies.

Participants from Japan sit in on a lecture at the Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati offices, a corporation providing legal services to tech companies.

Participants visit ChatWork in Sunnyvale, CA.

Participants visit ChatWork in Sunnyvale, CA.

Mr. Sometani and participants from Japan visited the Google campus in Mountain View, CA.

Participants from Japan visited the Google campus in Mountain View, CA.

Participants from Japan gather at Treasure Data in Mountain View, CA.

Participants from Japan gather at Treasure Data in Mountain View, CA.

Participants from Japan exchange ideas with ChatWork, a communication platform designed for small businesses.

Participants from Japan exchange ideas with ChatWork, a communication platform designed for small businesses.

Participants from Japan also had the opportunity to visit the Yahoo! campus in Sunnyvale, CA.

Participants from Japan also had the opportunity to visit the Yahoo! campus in Sunnyvale, CA.

Mr. Sometani's trip included a visit to Stanford University, where participants were lectured on the history of Silicon Valley.

Our trip included a visit to Stanford University, where participants were lectured on the history of Silicon Valley.

Mr. Sometani and the participants from Japan visited Treasure Data, a company that specializes in data management.

Participants from Japan visited Treasure Data, a company that specializes in data management.

Mr. Sometani (far right) poses for a farewell photo with the participants from Japan.

The KTIO Director (far right) poses for a farewell photo with the participants from Japan.

KTIO would like to give Ms. Takesada our warm congratulations, and extend thanks to 500 Startups for its continued support of entrepreneurial exchange between Kobe, the United States, and Japan.

Seafair Torchlight Parade & JET Sendoff

2015/07/28 News
Members and friends of the Seattle-Kobe Sister City Association gathered to greet Ms. Akane Kotani and celebrate Mr. Sometani's birthday

The last weekend of July has proven to be an eventful one for KTIO. On Friday, July 24th, our office gathered for a barbecue with the Seattle-Kobe Sister City Association to celebrate the Kobe Seafair Ambassador, Ms. Akane Kotani.

Earlier in the afternoon on Friday, July 24th, both KTIO and the Hyogo Business & Cultural Center attended a special Sendoff Reception for new members of the JET Program leaving to teach English and support local government throughout Japan. The reception was held at the residence of Seattle’s Consulate General of Japan, Mr. Masahiro Omura. A total of 64 new JET hirees will be leaving for Japan; five of the 64 will travel to Hyogo Prefecture, and two of those five will travel to Kobe. Of the JET hirees traveling to Kobe, they plan to work with both Hazetani Junior High School and Sakuranomiya Junior High School.

New JET hirees and supporting community members gather for a photo at the residence of Consulate General Omura

64 new JET Program hirees will visit Japan to teach English as Assistant Language Teachers or assist local government as Coordiators for International Relations

Ms. Akane Kotani arrived in Seattle on Thursday, July 23rd to participate as a representative of Kobe in Seattle’s annual Seafair Torchlight Parade. The Seafair Torchlight Parade heralds the beginning of Seattle’s Seafair festival, and is a renowned event where Seattle citizens, organizations, and businesses may celebrate both Seafair and the spirit of Seattle.

Below are photos of the Seafair Torchlight Parade on Saturday, July 25th:

A photo of the beginning of the Seafair Torchlight Parade

A photo of the beginning of the Seafair Torchlight Parade

Kobe Seafair Ambassador Akane Kotani participating in the Torchlight Parade

Kobe Seafair Ambassador Akane Kotani participating in the Torchlight Parade

Seattle Mariners' starting pitcher, Felix Hernandez, participating in the Torchlight Parade

Seattle Mariners’ starting pitcher, Felix Hernandez, participating in the Torchlight Parade

University of Washington marching band providing entertainment during the Torchlight Parade

University of Washington marching band providing entertainment during the Torchlight Parade

Mayor Ed Murray (left) and husband Michael Shiosaki (right) participating in the Seafair Torchlight Parade

Mayor Ed Murray (left) and husband Michael Shiosaki (right) participating in the Seafair Torchlight Parade

Seattle’s Seafair weekend begins on Friday, July 31st, and continues until Sunday, August 2nd.

Mayor Hisamoto Visits San Francisco – Pt II

2015/06/22 News
Mayor Hisamoto presents at the San Francisco City Innovate Summit

After the first leg of their visit to San Francisco and Seattle, Mayor Hisamoto and the Kobe delegation returned to San Francisco last week for continued exchange with San Francisco’s local government and entrepreneurial organizations.

Mayor Hisamoto, KTIO’s Director Sometani and the Kobe delegation spent Tuesday, June 16 visiting TUMML, an organization that aids entrepreneurs in impacting local communities. Mayor Hisamoto also met with Chief Data Officer Joy Bonaguro and Chief Information Office Miguel Gamino at San Francisco’s City Hall. Mayor Hisamoto also participated in a PR reception on Kobe-sponsored investment promotion at the residence of San Francisco’s Consulate General of Japan, Jun Yamada.

Exchanging with Joy Bonaguro and Miguel Gamino at San Francisco City Hall

Exchanging with Joy Bonaguro and Miguel Gamino at San Francisco City Hall

Miguel Gamino and Joy Bonaguro

Mayor Hisamoto (left) with CDO Joy Bonaguro and CIO Miguel Gamino at San Francisco City Hall

Mayor Hisamoto participating in a reception at the residence of Jun Yamada, San Francisco's Consulate General of Japan

Mayor Hisamoto participating in a reception at the residence of Jun Yamada, San Francisco’s Consulate General of Japan

On Wednesday, June 17, Mayor Hisamoto met with Code for America. Code for America is non-profit organization that seeks to improve local communities by connecting open source technology with the transformation of government services. Mayor Hisamoto also met with Peter Hirshberg, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur that focuses on connecting modern technology with business growth.

Mayor Hisamoto participated in a mayors' panel at San Francisco's City Innovate Summit

Mayor Hisamoto participated in a mayors’ panel at San Francisco’s City Innovate Summit

Mayor Hisamoto presents at the San Francisco City Innovate Summit

Mayor Hisamoto speaks at the residence of Jun Yamada, San Francisco’s Consulate General of Japan

Mayor Hisamoto participated in San Francisco’s City Innovate Summit on Wednesday, speaking among a panel of city mayors about his  unique approach to solving Kobe’s modern challenges. Mayor Hisamoto’s presentation focused upon growing Kobe’s IT, business startup, and biomedical sectors.

Mayor Hisamoto presents at San Francisco's City Innovate Summit

Mayor Hisamoto presents at San Francisco’s City Innovate Summit

Mayor Hisamoto answering questions at San Francisco's City Innovate Summit

Mayor Hisamoto answering questions at San Francisco’s City Innovate Summit

Kobe Trade Information office looks forward to future visits from Mayor Hisamoto, and will continue to post information regarding the results of Mayor Hisamoto’s exchanges with the local governments and organizations of Seattle, San Francisco, and the Silicon Valley.

Mayor of Kobe Visits San Francisco & Seattle

2015/06/16 News
Seattle Mayor Ed Murray and Mayor Hisamoto shake hands after signing the Letter of Intent for business exchange

On June 11th, a delegation from Kobe joined KTIO’s Director Tetsuya Sometani in assisting Mayor Kizō Hisamoto with a visit to San Francisco, Silicon Valley, and Seattle. Mayor Hisamoto has come to the West Coast with a deep interest in collaboration between aerospace, biomedical, IT, and community programs in both Washington state and California. Since arriving on the 11th, Mayor Hisamoto has met with numerous organizations and progressive thinkers–including Apple,  startup investment organization “500 Startups,” and Seattle’s own Mayor Ed Murray. Mayors Hisamoto and Murray met for the signing of an agreement that will foster partnership and exchange between Seattle and Kobe’s aerospace and IT industries.

Mayor Hisamoto, the Kobe delegation, and KTIO Director Tetsuya Sometani have returned to San Francisco to meet with the San Francisco Japanese consulate; exchange with San Francisco’s Mayor Ed Lee; participate in San Francisco’s City Innovation Summit; and much more.

Check back periodically for updates, photos, and videos from Mayor Hisamoto’s visit to San Francisco and Seattle. Read on for a photo stream of Mayor Hisamoto’s activities from the 11th through the 15th.

Mayor Hisamoto (2nd on left) and members of the Kobe delegation at Apple in Cupertino, CA

Mayor Hisamoto (2nd on left) and members of the Kobe delegation at Apple in Cupertino, CA

Mayor Hisamoto (3rd from right) and members of the Kobe delegation stand with Zafer Younis, a Venture Partner at 500 Startups

Mayor Hisamoto (3rd from right) and members of the Kobe delegation stand with Zafer Younis, a Venture Partner at 500 Startups

Mayor Hisamoto tours the Ferry Building and local farmer's market in San Francisco, CA

Mayor Hisamoto tours the Ferry Building and local farmer’s market in San Francisco, CA

Mayor Hisamoto and the Kobe delegation explore the local market of San Francisco's Ferry Building

Mayor Hisamoto and the Kobe delegation explore the local market of San Francisco’s Ferry Building

Mayor Hisamoto visits a "Hackathon" at San Francisco International Airport--an event where local computer programmers competed to innovate and improve upon travel apps

Mayor Hisamoto visits a “Hackathon” at San Francisco International Airport–an event where local computer programmers joined together to innovate and improve upon travel apps

Mayor Hisamoto learning more about the "Hackathon" project at San Francisco International Airport

Mayor Hisamoto learning more about the “Hackathon” project at San Francisco International Airport

Seattle's Mayor Ed Murray and Mayor Hisamoto signing an agreement of exchange between Seattle and Kobe's aerospace and IT industries

Seattle’s Mayor Ed Murray and Mayor Hisamoto signing an agreement of exchange between Seattle and Kobe’s aerospace and IT industries

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray and Mayor Hisamoto shake hands after signing the Letter of Intent for business exchange

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray and Mayor Hisamoto shake hands after signing the Letter of Intent for business exchange

Mayors Murray and Hisamoto after the signing of the Letter of Intent

Mayors Murray and Hisamoto after the signing the Letter of Intent at City Hall, Seattle, WA