Following the Japan-North Dakota Symposium, Mayor Brown will host a public reception for Ambassador Fujisaki and the community at the Grand Forks Japanese Gardens. The Japanese Gardens were a gift from the people of Awano, Japan, following the Flood of 1997 in Grand Forks, N.D. Today, Grand Forks has a Friendship City relationship with the city of Kanuma, which has absorbed Awano; the regions have forged a bond through student exchanges and mutual delegation visits. The garden is a lasting symbol of the relationsihp between the people of Grand Forks and of Japan.
Ambassador Fujisaki will present at the John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences at UND from 3:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m., in Odegard Hall, Room 115. The community welcome at the Japanese Gardens will take place from 5:30 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.
"This visit is a tremendous honor for Grand Forks," said Grand Forks Mayor, Michael R. Brown. "Our residents have strong connections with the Japanese people, forged through years of various partnerships, programs and exchanges. We look forward to opportunities like this visit to build upon this relationship."
North Dakota and Japan have also cultivated a relationship through trade. Japan is an important export market for North Dakota with exports from the state to Japan continuing to grow. From 2000 to 2011, annual exports to Japan have doubled from $15.1 million to $31.3 million, respectively.
"Japan and North Dakota have a strong business and trade relationship," said Dean Gorder, executive director of the North Dakota Trade Office (NDTO). "This visit by Ambassador Fujisaki further cultivates that bond, and we grateful for the Ambassador's interest in our business community."
The top five products exported from North Dakota to Japan are soybeans, self-propelled dozers, wheat, oil and mustard. The Red River Valley region of North Dakota and Minnesota supply nearly 65 percent of the soybeans used in the production of Japan's natto, a popular health food in the country.
According to the Embassy of Japan's website, Ambassador Fujisaki's goal is to visit as many states, cities, and places as possible during his tenure.
For more details about Ambassador Fujisaki's visit, or to RSVP for these events, email Brittany Posey at Brittany@ndto.com