U.S.-Japan Friendship Blossoms as Consul-General of Japan Hosts Celebration to Launch the New Japan-America Society of Miami/South Florida

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Japan America Society of Miami South Florida Founding
(L to R) Makiko Murotani, Office Manager of the National Association of Japan-America Societies; Michael Daniels, Vice-chair of Steering Committee of Japan-America Society of Miami/South Florida (JASMSFL); Stella Holmes, Steering Committee Member of JASMSFL; David Woodward, Co-chair of Steering Committee of JASMSFL; Iwata Akiko, Steering Committee Member of JASMSFL; Kazuhiro Nakai, Consul-General of Japan in Miami; Andrew Wylegala, President of the National Association of Japan-America Societies; José Keichi Fuentes, Co-chair of JASMSFL; Cori Hallock, Steering Committee Member of JASMSFL; Margot Carrington, Vice-chair of Steering Committee of JASMSFL

An enthusiastic crowd of more than 75 supporters of the US-Japan alliance attended a special March 31 reception at the Residence of Kazuhiro Nakai, the Consul-General of Japan in Miami, to launch the Japan-America Society of Miami/South Florida (JASMSFL), a new, Miami-based, grassroots non-profit organization devoted to promoting friendship between the people of South Florida and the people of Japan. The large turnout reflected the recognition that a metropolitan area of the size and importance of Miami-Dade and its surrounding counties needs an organization devoted to enhancing mutual understanding and further strengthening our bilateral ties in such areas as business, technology, culture, art and sports. JASMSFL, (日米協会マイアミ南フロリダ, in Japanese) will serve the counties of Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach, working closely with various institutional partners in those counties to further strengthen people to people connections between the U.S. and Japan. The launch of this new Japan-America Society chapter was made possible with the generous support of the National Association of Japan-America Societies (https://www.us-japan.org/) and the Embassy of Japan (www.us.emb-
japan.go.jp/itprtop_en/index.html
).

Guests at the March 31 cherry blossom-themed event were treated to a preview of what the JASMSFL has in store with specially created “ikebana” flower arrangements, Japanese food and sake, and a performance of koto, considered by many to be the national musical instrument of Japan. In addition to listening to remarks by Consul-General Nakai and VIPs from NAJAS, guests witnessed a “Daruma Ceremony.” The Japanese ceremony, in which a first eye is colored in on a special “Daruma” doll as a wish is made, symbolized the Japanese Consulate’s and JASMSFL’s joint wish that this reception is just the first of many more such programs to expose local residents to Japanese culture. With the support of friends of Japan like those in attendance, we hope to be coloring in the second eye in our Daruma very soon!

Consul-General Nakai was asked by JASMSFL to lead the Daruma ceremony in recognition of his strong support and encouragement, which made this launch possible. During his remarks, Consul-General Nakai welcomed the inauguration of the JASMSFL which can give more momentum to Japan-Florida cultural exchange, and emphasized that he is willing to collaborate with them to further strengthen Japan-Florida ties.

About the Japan-America Society of Miami/South Florida:
JASMSFL is a new, Miami-based 501(c)(3) non-profit (official designation pending) focused on promoting friendship between the people of South Florida and Japan. We plan to serve the counties of Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, and Monroe counties. 

JASMSFL’s Mission:
By leveraging the region’s dynamism, growing diversity, and rich culture, the Japan-America Society of Miami/South Florida connects South Florida and Japan through meaningful exchanges and programs in the educational, cultural, business, and policy spheres.

Membership:
JASMSFL is a membership organization open to corporations and individual members who share our mission of connecting South Florida and Japan. Those who join the Japan-America Society of Miami/South Florida will play a direct role in enhancing cultural exchange and mutual
understanding between the two countries. Membership dues will go directly towards supporting cultural, business, and policy programs related to Japan, with a focus on issues that are particularly relevant to residents of South Florida. Members will also benefit from the opportunity to grow professionally and network with others who share these interests. JASMSFL also provides ample avenues for those interested in volunteering to support our mission. 

Website: www.jasmsfl.org

Social Media:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100090047973880 (@Japan-America Society of Miami/South Florida)    
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jasmsfl/  (@jasmsfl)