Tea Time at Japan Society



Remembering 3.11 with Ambassador Kanji Yamanouchi

March 2021
Part of Tea Time at Japan Society & Ten Years Later: Japan Society Remembers 3.11

Ambassador Kanji Yamanouchi, Consul General of Japan in New York, was at the Japanese Prime Minister’s Office as Executive Assistant to the Prime Minister at the time of the 3.11 triple disaster. He will never forget the support from the United States, starting with the telephone conversation that same evening between the Prime Minister and President Barack Obama. Operation Tomodachi—"Operation Friend"—is testimony to the strength of the U.S.-Japan alliance, not only in terms of the government and military forces, but also the friendship and support of the people including New Yorkers. In New York, in addition to Japan Society's Japan Earthquake Relief Fund which raised over $14 million, the Japanese American Association raised $1.4 million and the New York chapter of the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) program alumni mobilized to offer support. The Japanese Medical Society of America (JMSA) facilitated exchanges of medical facilities between New York and Japan, and JMSA continues to organize annual exchanges between 3.11 and 9.11 victims. The ambassador expressed his deep gratitude, "to the New Yorkers who really helped us, not just materially, but also in the friendship of heart and mind, which is so precious. In the middle of difficulty it is easy to feel all the pain. But after a storm, we see rainbows." Ten years later, in midst of a global pandemic, these are lessons to be remembered.

Kanji Yamanouchi
Consul General of Japan in New York


Ambassador Kanji Yamanouchi, Consul General of Japan in New York, assumed his post in September 2018. He has served in a wide range of posts since joining the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan in 1984, including two assignments to the Japanese Embassy in the U.S.: First Secretary of the Political Section in 1997, and Minister for Economic Affairs in 2013. Most recently, he served as Assistant Minister/Director-General for the Economic Affairs Bureau at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs headquarters. One of his most challenging yet fulfilling assignments was as Executive Assistant to the Prime Minister in 2011, when he dedicated himself to actualizing the government response to the historic 3.11 triple disaster.

Japan Society's Tea Time Season #3 features reflections on the Great East Earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear disaster that struck Japan 10 years ago on March 11, 2011. Tea Time Season #3 is proudly supported by Tokio Marine Group and ITO EN (North America) INC.

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