On March 30, Speaker Beth Harwell and House leaders honored the Consul-General of Japan Masami Kinefuchi. Kinefuchi was appointed on April 1, 2015 and serves in Nashville. He has jurisdiction over five states where more than 400 Japanese companies are located. He spoke during the ceremony about the relationship between Japan and Tennessee:
“I am honored to stand on the chamber floor of the Tennessee House of Representatives. I wish to first thank Speaker Beth Harwell for her kind hospitality today. I also wish to sincerely thank each Tennessee State representative here today, for your dedicated efforts to create a welcoming atmosphere not just for me, but for every Japanese citizen who has the fortune to reside in this wonderful State of Tennessee.
Since I arrived to assume my post as Consul General of Japan in Nashville, I have experienced true Southern hospitality. I have come to experience firsthand the gracious climate that so many Japanese business owners, tourists and students before me have found so appealing. My office has built great relationships with Gov. Bill Haslam and his Cabinet and I am especially pleased to become even closer with Tennessee’s legislative branch today.