The new Japanese consul for the CNMI arrived last Tuesday and will take the place of previous Japanese Consul Toshio Matsumura, who announced his retirement over two months ago.
The newly appointed consul of Japan for the Commonwealth is Kinji Shinoda, who arrived last May 9.
Shinoda was stationed in Copenhagen, Denmark before being assigned to the Commonwealth.
Shinoda kicked off his first weekend in the Commonwealth by participating in the Nempou Shinkyou Buddhist Denomination’s annual memorial service for the war dead.
According to Shinoda, he has yet to meet with the Japanese community here. “This is my first week, so starting next week, I will try to make many courtesy calls,” he said.
Except for Saipan Mayor David Apatang and a House of Representatives member, he has yet to meet any other government officials but he said he will be making arrangements soon. Shinoda met Apatang and Rep. Joseph Lee Pan Guerrero (R-Saipan) as they participated in the memorial ceremony yesterday morning.
Shinoda said he plans to continue to strengthen and promote the bond between the Japanese community and the local community. “As a diplomat, I am always thinking of ways to promote relationships,” he said.
He is also thinking of ways in which he can contribute to the Commonwealth during his term as consul. Shinoda said the Commonwealth will be his last consular assignment before he finally retires and he plans to make it count.
Shinoda will be here for two years.
His initial impression upon getting here? It appears to be extremely hot. (Kimberly A. Bautista)