Home Culture U.S.-Japan Security Alliance Celebrated at Consul General’s Residence

U.S.-Japan Security Alliance Celebrated at Consul General’s Residence

U.S.-Japan Security Alliance Celebrated at Consul General’s Residence

by Barbara Mizoguchi
NAP Editor

Hina doll display at Consul General Iyoris official residence

On the evening of March 22, the Consul General of Japan in Seattle Makoto Iyori and his wife Yuko invited the local United States Navy to their official residence. The event began with drinks and appetizers in the back courtyard immediately after the rain stopped.

Guests, distinguishably dressed in their Navy uniforms, consisted of men and women ranging from seamen to rear admirals from the USS Nimitz CVN-68 aircraft carrier, Carrier Strike Group 3 carrier and others.

Also in attendance were leaders from the Japanese American communities including Washington Secretary of State Steve Hobbs and Washington State Representative Clyde Shavers. Sec. Hobbs was enlisted in the U.S. Army and rose to lieutenant colonel with the Washington Army National Guard. Rep. Shavers was in the U.S. Navy and graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy.


As everyone moved inside the main floor of the residence, the speakers consisted of Rear Admiral Kevin Lenox, Commander of the Carrier Strike Group 3; Rear Admiral Mark Sucato, Commander of the Navy Region Northwest; and Con. Gen. Iyori. He conveyed appreciation for the U.S. Navy’s contributions to Japan’s defense and connections to the country. An example was “Operation Tomodachi,” a term initiated in response to the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami in 2011. The USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier strike group was enroute to Korea and quickly redirected itself toward Japan. It provided “a pivotal platform for air operations,” Iyori said, and was a refueling hub for Japan’s Coast Guard helicopters and Self Defense Forces. Along with other U.S. vessels, the Navy assisted with supplies, search and rescue, clearing debris and restoring vital services. It was “the largest bilateral operation between Japan and the United States” as commemorated at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, Iyori pointed out. “Twenty-four thousand U.S. troops, 189 aircraft [carriers], and 24 ships were deployed.”


The Consul General also said that this Tomodachi reception represented the close bond, friendship and joy between Japan and the United States. Then, Rear Admiral Mark Sucato toasted the guests with sake.

The Consulate’s chef Koyama-san provided delectables such as datemaki, teriyaki fish, ei-ten and desserts. Fujinomiya Yakisoba had a tent outside in the back cooking samples of fresh yakisoba. It is the winner of the first and second B-1 Grand Prix of Japanese gourmet cuisine.

Back inside, Chado Urasenke Tankokai Seattle Association performed three tea ceremonies for guests. It was helpful having a narrator explain the meaning of each movement. Afterwards, guests were welcomed to approach the setting to gain a closer look and appreciate the quality of the utensils. Many guests conversed about the beautiful ceremony.


It was a delightful evening, meeting various navy personnel along with their spouses. Some people said they missed events like the Consul General’s reception while they were stationed in Japan. Everyone said they enjoyed Japan and wished to return. Some were part Japanese, had connections with Japan and wanted to learn more about the country.

Overall, guests thoroughly appreciated the event. Then the rain resumed at the close of the evening.