The Japanese consulate, which opened in 1974 in response to Japan’s interest in Southeast investments, celebrated its 30-year anniversary with a tree planting ceremony last week at Consul General George Hisaeda’s residence in Atlanta.
The same year the consulate opened, Tokyo- based YYK Corp. became the Southeast’s largest Japanese investor, Mr. Hisaeda said. Since then “the number of Japanese people living in Georgia has grown to more than 6,600, and Japanese manufacturing investment here now totals more than $7.5 billion,” he said.
Gov. Sonny Perdue, who participated in the planting of a cherry tree, expressed gratitude for Japan’s investment in Georgia.
Today, Japan is Georgia’s second largest trading partner, receiving over $1 billion of Georgia exports each year, he said. More than 300 Japanese companies have facilities in Georgia, a number that is growing, he added, referring to new investments by Toyo Tire and Rubber Co. Ltd. and Perkins-Shibaura Engines LLC.
Mr. Hisaeda, who became Atlanta’s 12th Japanese consul general in 2002, said he is fortunate to have taken up his post during such an active time in Georgia-Japan relations.
“During my tenure here, we have had not only the 30th anniversary of the Consulate General of Japan in Atlanta, but also the 150th anniversary of the U.S.-Japan relationship, the G-8 Summit in Sea Island, Ga., and, this October, the Southeast U.S.-Japan Joint Meeting will be held in Georgia, which only happens once every 14 years.”
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