Greetings from Consul Aniya

Masaru Aniya (Mr.) Head of Office Consular Office of Japan in Anchorage
My name is Masaru Aniya and I was appointed as Head of the Consular Office of Japan in Anchorage on May 31, 2020. I will do my best to further build friendship between Japan and Alaska.
My trip to Alaska was very dramatic. My wife, Yukiko, and I left my last post in Lithuania on May 29 amidst the novel coronavirus outbreak. After having one-night layovers in both Frankfurt and Washington, DC, we got on board an Alaska Airlines flight to Anchorage via Seattle. The view from the plane was wonderful; I was overwhelmed by big mountains I had never seen before, even though I was a bit scared. …When the flight attendant announced that the aircraft would prepare for landing shortly, I thought to myself, “But the mountains are so close. Where do we land?" Then the ocean came into sight, and the plane, while gradually descending, passed over Fire Island and landed safely. I was relieved. It was a dramatic conclusion to a very long trip. 
After arriving in Anchorage, my wife and I followed the state mandate to stay in isolation for two weeks. I was worried whether I could endure two weeks in a hotel room, but we got through it thanks to the kindness of many people. They brought us daily necessities, cooked dinners, and delivered a bouquet out of consideration that, "Hotel living must be boring."
And now, after finishing isolation life and having settled down at my home,  I am happily building personal relationships by e-mail and the Internet with various people who are concerned with Japan and Alaska. My close friends have taken us to Anchorage attractions, and among them the Chugach State Park was so impressive. It was a majestic and beautiful idyllic view, where gentle slopes lie in front of the mountains, which is different from the steep view seen from the airplane. One friend advised me, "It's easy to get killed in Alaska in winter. In order to survive in Alaska, you have to be careful and prepare for everything. For example, you have to keep some food and water in your car all the time."  From now on, I will humbly note various things, and I would like to visit various places in Alaska, and to interact with many people. My wife and I have already purchased bear spray so we can enjoy Alaska’s beautiful nature more safely.
Fortunately, there are various opportunities to promote friendship between Japan and Alaska: sister cities, the JET Program, economic programs, people-to-people relationships, etc. Respecting COVID-19 health mandates and social distancing guidelines, I would like to work with you to utilize these opportunities that all of you have fostered, for the purpose of further strengthening our friendship.

Thank you very much.