Day 1 – Arrival & Welcome
The delegation arrived on Sunday, March 12 after late morning flights from California the day prior. After the 10-hour flights, the delegates were greeted at the airport by the trade mission staff and escorted to the hotel. The delegation stayed at The Okura Tokyo Hotel, known for its traditional Japanese beauty, and proximity to the U.S. Embassy in Japan.
Lt. Governor Eleni Kounalakis gave welcome remarks to the group at a brief welcome reception and thanked everyone for being a part of the trade mission. Dee Dee Myers, Senior Advisor to Governor Newsom and Director of the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz), also spoke, as did the only member of California’s Legislature to join the trade mission, Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi (D-Torrance).
The trade mission was held in conjunction with a mission led by California Department of Food and Agriculture Secretary Karen Ross and a Tourism component of Visit California and their President and CEO, Caroline Beteta. Caroline gave a few welcome remarks as well.
Connect Worldwide (CWW), the in-country organizing team, gave a quick briefing on Japanese cultural business etiquette, as Japanese culture is based on the foundation of respect.