Remarks by CG Kamo
at the Appointment Ceremony of Mr. Arthur Taniguchi for Honorary Consul General of Japan at Hilo
December 16, 2010
Well, this is the day for Mr. Taniguchi. But I have to say: Congratulations to Mayor Kenoi. Last year, I first visited him in his temporary office. That was nice but not this much. This time I almost got lost in finding way to his new office in this beautiful building. It is indeed my honor to conduct an auspicious function of appointing Mr. Art Taniguchi as Honorary Consul General of Japan at Hilo in this most enticing Hawaiian setting. With pleasant breeze from the Bay and with this magnificent view of the land and sea we enjoy from here, this ranai offers a best venue for this important occasion. We are most grateful to Mayor Kenoi who so graciously opened his office for us to use. I found nobody wearing his tie like myself. It is nice to be relaxing and that’s the best way to enjoy Hawaii.
The official appointment was announced by Foreign Minister Okada on September 1st this year. We are conducting this appointment ceremony today, December 16th. How come it took so long to organize this ceremony, you may ask? Sorry for that, it was current Foreign Minister Maehara’s visit to Honolulu in the late October, the reception in celebration of His Majesty’s birthday which was held yesterday and other important events that were in the way for us to prepare for the function earlier.
Anyway, the appointment of Mr. Taniguchi for this position is a testimony for the importance the Japanese Government attaches to Hilo and the Big Island. Hilo has been a capital city of Hawaii for many decades and is ready for another level of development in the future. You have the volcano, University of Hawaii, Hilo, Subaru Astronomic Telescope, old charming down town and many more. We have 15 career consuls general throughout the United States. We have a number of honorary consuls general in the states where career consuls general are not resided. The state of Hawaii is arguably the only exception where career and honorary consuls general serve together. Well the division of labor is always a problem between the two consuls general. But I have to say, when we are in the Big Island, obviously, he is the boss.
We are fortunate that Japan now can be represented by a very strong honorary consul general here in Hilo. Mr. Art Taniguchi is a successful banker and a community leader. Above all, he is a man of integrity. He will make a very good diplomat. So I would like to request all of you to render your support to him in discharging his heavy responsibility as you did to previous honorary consuls general.