Ambassador Mikio Mori: Anime NYC Commendation Speech
Video & Full Transcript of Ambassador Mikio Mori’s speech at the Consul General Commendation Ceremony for Anime NYC on December 13, 2023.
Read a transcript of Ambassador Mikio Mori’s speech at the Consul General Commendation Ceremony for Anime NYC on December 13, 2023 below.
AMBASSADOR MIKIO MORI: Honored guests, Mr. Peter Tatara and Ms. MK Goodwin, and distinguished ladies and gentlemen, I extend a warm welcome to all of you in attendance.
This evening, it is my great pleasure to bestow upon Anime NYC the Consul General Commendation for its outstanding work in New York in deepening ties between Japan and the United States through its promotion of Japanese culture.
These new Japanese art forms have provided a gateway for Americans and people over the world to connect with each other and with Japan to enjoy its unique creativity, storytelling, and technology.
Especially, between Japan and the United States, these cultural exchanges through anime & manga have had a positive impact on bilateral relations and enhancing Japan’s image & brand, our soft power in the world.
In my personal observation, it is great to see the popularity of anime & manga in the United States and particularly New York.
What these art forms can bring to American people is to get to know the Japanese ways of life and Japanese virtues. Many, many good things… And bad things as well! (laughs)
So that American people can feel closer and know more about Japanese people. Here in New York, no other institution has had a greater impact on spreading the popularity and joy of Japanese pop culture than Anime NYC.
Since its founding in 2017, this annual three day convention has been the catalyst for the growth in popularity of Japanese anime, manga, video games, and in cosplay fashion in this city.
This event has grown steadily in scope consistently offering more exhibitions, concerts, Japanese food and panel discussions revolving around the latest development in the field, as well as beloved classics.
Anime NYC is now the largest anime convention on the east coast of the US and obviously one of the biggest in the United States as a whole. Creating unique, positive connections between Japan and the US on many levels.
Due to endeavors like Anime NYC, Japanese manga, anime and gaming are all an intrinsic part of New York City life now.
In the 1980s as a young consul, during my first of three assignments in New York myself, I did not see anime nor manga anywhere in the city. All I saw was some Ultraman. (laughs)
And actually Japanese influences were not very much welcome at the height, height of US – Japan trade frictions.
In the years since, economic and cultural ties between Japan & the US have only strengthened. And today Japanese culture, the artwork, cuisine, businesses can be found on mostly any street of New York City.
I’m grateful to Anime NYC’s organizers and founders for having raised the profile of Japan’s cultural arts by uniting fans from these five boroughs. As well as from across the country and the world here in New York City each year at their wondrous convention.
By presenting ample opportunity to learn more, to interact more, and to explore their common interests together… These youthful, dynamic Japanese cultural elements become an even greater, inseparable part of this remarkable city year after year.
And who started all that? Anime NYC is a brainchild of this humble, constantly in motion gentleman. (referring to Anime NYC Founder Peter Tatara)
It’s difficult to imagine the amount of work, vision and vastness of network that went into creating such a large scale enterprise.
As founder and the first Event Director of LeftField Media, the corporate organizer of Anime NYC, Peter created a landmark institution that forces unique, positive, positive connections between Japan and the US on many vital levels.
He has focused these efforts at his current workplace, Japan Society as the Director of Film. There, he engages American and Japanese audiences, offering a expanse of Japanese films and interactions with Directors, Screenwriters and Producers.
And he has often included local community organizations in his events. Peter has been succeeded by MK Goodwin, the current Event Director of LeftField Media, who has picked up the reigns and launched this year’s very successful convention.
This massive undertaking had a record number of business, 60,000 people as well as hundreds of colorful exhibitions.
As one of the thousands of attendees myself, I felt firsthand the tremendous passion of the plans of these genres, when I spoke at the start of Anime NYC last month.
Thanks to MK and her team, the event was quite eye-opening. It was invigorating to see a wide array of people, diverse in background, ethnicity, and country of origin, all united in their love of Japanese culture.
And this convention looks to be even more colossal in 2024, since it’ll be moved to August instead of November. To acquire a larger space at the Javits Center, we expect even greater things of Anime NYC in the years to come.
Now, in appreciation of the fine work you have done with Anime NYC from 2017 to the present, we will commence with the bestow assembly.
Clearly, Anime NYC through the work of Peter Tatara and MK Goodwin has increased collaborative efforts and enlightening exchanges between the United States and Japan. Therebym deepening the bonds between the American and Japanese people.
For this, it is now my sincere privilege to bestow upon Anime NYC, the award of Consul General. I will now read aloud the translation of this Certificate of Commendation.
‘Certificate of Commendation:
Anime NYC, as the largest anime convention on the east coast of North America, your convention contributes to the promotion of Japanese culture and friendship between Japan and the US in New York.
It creates opportunities for creators and companies working on Japanese content to engage in activities. Therefore, with my utmost respect, I present you with this Certificate of Commendation. December 13th, 2023, Ambassador Mikio Mori Consul-General of Japan in New York.’
Mr. Peter Tatara and Ms. MK Goodwin, are accepting this honor on behalf of Anime NYC. I thank you again for your numerous contributions to US – Japan relations.
I hope you will both continue your important work as bridges between Japan and the US. Which brings joy to a greater number of people from both nations and many others. Thank you very much for your attention!
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