SAN FRANCISCO — The following message was posted by Toru Maeda, outgoing consul general of Japan in San Francisco.

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On Sept. 8 I will have completed my duties at the Consulate General of Japan in San Francisco. Following my arrival here in February of 2020, I have received nothing short of warm and abundant support; for which I would like to express my sincere and heartfelt gratitude.

Not long after my arrival, individual interactions have been greatly limited as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. Although vaccination among wider population has led to gradual relaxation of restrictions – many still remain. With public safety and health concerns in mind, our consular services office has had to transition to a reservation-based system while limiting reception hours. I would like to thank everyone for their understanding and cooperation in light of the inconvenience this may be causing.

Toru Maeda

The year of 2020 marked the 150th anniversary of the establishment of this consulate. It has been a great honor to work here through such a milestone. Looking back on the long history between this region and Japan, I am once again reminded that today’s strong Japan-U.S. relations finds its foundations in the tremendous efforts of our ancestors and the many generations here before us. At the consulate we will continue our best efforts in furthering the Japanese presence while cooperating with the Japanese and Nikkei residents here in the region.

Regretfully, given the circumstances, the opportunities to meet many in-person have been few and far between. On the other hand, through a multitude of online meetings, events, and cultural activities, I have had the pleasure of taking part in numerous fruitful interactions with many individuals. If there is but one reason we at the consulate managed to carry out our mission amidst a global pandemic, it might be the invaluable guidance and input you have provided me along the way. Please, again, accept my sincere gratitude.

As I leave office, please also accept my apologies for being unable to say my farewells in-person. Lastly, I hope that you may have all the blessings of great health and continued prosperity throughout your future endeavors. Thank you.

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