Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Shunsuke Takei’s visit to Anchorage (July 26, 2017)
Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz
Parliamentary Vice-Minister Takei exchanged views on relations between Anchorage and Japan with Mayor Berkowitz. Parliamentary Vice-Minister Takei was pleased to note that Anchorage and Chitose have enjoyed 48 years of sister-city relationship and expressed his hope that the relationship would deepen even further. Mayor Berkowitz emphasized that Alaska-Japan trade is very important for Anchorage, and that he would like Anchorage to be a center for technology exchange with Japan. Mayor Berkowitz also said that he would like to increase the number of Japanese tourists coming to Alaska in the winter months.
Alaskan Command Chief of Staff Colonel Cory Mendenhall
Parliamentary Vice-Minister Takei exchanged views on U.S.-Japan alliance with Col. Mendenhall. Parliamentary Vice-Minister Takei observed that Alaskan Command (ALCOM) plays a crucial role in ensuring security throughout the Asia-Pacific region. Parliamentary Vice-Minister Takei and Col. Mendenhall agreed that the close partnership between Japan’s Self-Defense Force and ALCOM, as exemplified by the former’s participation in Red Flag Alaska exercises, should continue.
Alaska Governor Bill Walker
Parliamentary Vice-Minister Takei exchanged views on Alaska-Japan partnership with Governor Walker. Parliamentary Vice-Minister Takei thanked Governor Walker for having been instrumental in strengthening Alaska-Japan partnership, and expressed his expectation that the partnership would strengthen even further. Governor Walker explained that the Alaska LNG Project is now being developed for the purpose of serving Asian consumers. Governor Walker expressed his hope that Japan would be a partner with the State of Alaska in the development of the Alaska LNG Project for Alaska and Asian markets.
Parliamentary Vice-Minister Takei exchanged views and information with representatives from Alaska’s business communities, Japanese entrepreneurs in Alaska, and representatives from Japan-Alaska Association. Parliamentary Vice-Minister expressed his hope that U.S.-Japan economic relations would deepen even further through expansion of operations of Japanese companies in the United States.
At the University of Alaska Anchorage, Parliamentary Vice-Minister Takei was greeted by Interim Chancellor Dr. Sam Gingerich, Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences Dr. John Stalvey, and other senior staff members. Parliamentary Vice-Minister Takei was taken on a campus tour and was shown the Montgomery Dickson Center for Japanese Language and Culture. At the Fort Richardson National Cemetery, Parliamentary Vice-Minister Takei placed a bouquet of flowers at the memorial for the Japanese who perished at Attu Island during World War II.