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Japanese Consul General Meets with UCLA Administrators & FacultyConsul General Yoshio Nomoto and Vice Provost Geoffrey Garrett

Japanese Consul General Meets with UCLA Administrators & Faculty

Consul General Nomoto is briefed on Japanese Studies at UCLA

By Gohar Grigorian

In view of the great and multi-faceted importance of U.S.-Japan relations, any visit of a high-ranking Japanese government official to UCLA is bound to be a significant event. So it was on April 29, when Yoshio Nomoto, appointed to the post of Consul General of Japan in Los Angeles last year, spent a full day at UCLA meeting with administrators and with professors in Japanese Studies. Consul General Nomoto's visit was highlighted by two afternoon meetings: one with Chancellor Albert Carnesale, and the other with Vice Provost for International Studies Geoffrey Garrett.

The day began with the Consul General meeting with Robert Lapiner, Dean of Continuing Education and Extension, and then with Dario Bravo, of UCLA's Internship and Study Abroad Services, followed by a luncheon hosted by Fred Notehelfer, director of the Center for Japanese Studies. Also attending the luncheon were members of the faculty in Japanese Studies as well as members of the Nikkei Bruins, a volunteer, community group that supports Japanese Studies at UCLA. After meeting with Chancellor Carnesale and Vice Provost Garrett, Mr. Nomoto closed the day with a visit to the Richard C. Rudolph East Asian Library.

Consul General Nomoto's personal history and career reflect a concentration on what some people have called "the pivotal triangle" in relations in the Asia Pacific: that is, the U.S.-Japan-China relationship. After taking a degree in law from the University of Kyoto, Mr. Nomoto studied at Stanford University, where he was awarded the M.A. in East Asian Studies. In 1972 he joined the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where he has served as, among others, the Assistant Director of the China Division of the Asian Affairs Bureau, the Deputy Director of the Oceania Division of the European and Oceanic Affairs Bureau, the First Secretary of the embassy in Beijing, the Deputy Director of the Regional Policy Division of the Asian Affairs Bureau, the Secretary-General of the Taipei office of the Interchange Association of Japan, the Consul-General in Seattle, and the Minister (the number two official) in the Beijing embassy. In fact, in his thirty-year career with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Nomoto has served in only one post (as the First Secretary in the embassy in Paris) outside the "pivotal triangle."

In the eyes of the Japanese government, Japan's relationship with the United States is of paramount importance. Publications of the Japanese government have declared that "Economic and industrial cooperation between the United States and Japan now sets the pace for the entire world. Our two economies are inseparably united," and "For a half century, the most important bulwark of stability in Asia has been the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty."

In the U.S.-Japan relationship, the greater Los Angeles area plays a key role. For instance, the largest portion of U.S.-Japanese bilateral trade passes through the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. In intellectual exchange between Japan and the United States also, the Los Angeles area is a leader. It is therefore gratifying that Consul General Nomoto's visit was productive. As the Consul General put it, "as I met with Chancellor Carnesale and the heads of various divisions, my notion of UCLA's prominence -- local and international -- grew much clearer and stronger. I was highly impressed by the excellence of Japan-related programs and facilities. . . . I left campus looking forward to building further ties between your great university and the Consulate General of Japan."

UCLA International Institute