Akira Muto recently assumed his duties as the new consul general of Japan in Los Angeles, succeeding Akira Chiba.
In his greetings to the residents of Southern California and Airzona, Muto said: “My past overseas postings have taken me to Russia (Moscow) twice, and in the U.S., to Washington D.C., and Boston. Aside from my time as a visiting scholar at Stanford University’s Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, this will mark my first time working in the state of California.
“I am greatly honored to be able to serve as consul general in a region with such deep ties to Japan, and look forward to wonderful new encounters that may differ from those during my time as consul general of Japan in Boston.
“His Majesty the Emperor Naruhito’s accession to the throne this year ushered in the new era of Reiwa. This is also a year for major international events in Japan, including the Group of 20 nations Osaka Summit, the Tokyo International Conference on African Development, and Rugby World Cup 2019. And then in 2020, Japan will host the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic games.
“This will be a great opportunity to promote and deepen understanding about Japan within Southern California and Arizona, and I am hopeful that Japan-U.S. exchange and economic relations between our countries will be enhanced further, especially in the area of advanced manufacturing, for purposes of ensuring clean air, water and zero emission.
“Once engaged in war, our nations have overcome those past troubled times to become close allies connected in deep friendship. Japan’s solid relationship with Southern California and Arizona exemplifies our strong Japan-U.S. ties. My utmost duty as consul general of Japan in Los Angeles will be to further cultivate goodwill between Japan and the U.S. fostered over many years by the residents of Southern California and Arizona, and to encourage Japanese community to contribute to the well-being of the regional community. To be able to achieve that, I firstly welcome input from all.
“Another top consideration of mine will be to help Japanese nationals, Japanese-affiliated companies and the Japanese American community by ensuring that we offer substantial services as well as measures to support businesses. I will be grateful for your continued understanding and cooperation as I take on this leadership role, and ask for your support.”
The Japanese Chamber of Commerce of Southern California will host a community welcome luncheon for Muto and his wife, Misako, on Monday, Sept. 30, at the DoubleTree by Hilton Los Angeles Downtown, 120 S. Los Angeles St. in Little Tokyo. Reception at 11:30 a.m., program/luncheon at 12 p.m.
The cost is $75 per person, $750 per table. For more information or reservations, call the JCCSC at (213) 626-3067 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Born in 1960 in New Delhi, India, Muto graduated from the University of Tokyo’s Faculty of Econmomics in 1985. That same year, he joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where he served in the following positions:
1992: Deputy director, International Agreement Division, Treaties Bureau
1996: Principal deputy director, Russian Division, European Affairs Bureau
1998: First secretary, Embassy of Japan in the U.S.
2000: Counsellor, Embassy of Japan in Russian Federation
2004: Director, Free Trade Agreement and Economic Partnership Agreement Division, Economic Affairs Bureau; director, Southeast Asia Economic Partnership Agreement Division, Economic Affairs Bureau
2005: Director, Fourth Division, Intelligence and Analysis Service
2007: Director, Russian Division, European Affairs Bureau
2010: Director, Policy Coordination Division, Foreign Policy Bureau
2012: Consul general, Consulate General of Japan in Boston
2014: Deputy director, General European Affairs Bureau (ambassador)
2015: Cabinet official, Cabinet Secretariat councillor (National Security Secretariat)
2016: Official, Foreign Minister’s Secretariat, Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Cabinet official, Cabinet Secretariat (National Security Secretariat); Cabinet official, Cabinet Secretariat councillor (National Security Secretariat)
2018: Minister, Embassy of Japan in the U.S.; global affiliate visiting scholar, Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, Stanford University