Greetings from our new Managing Director

  Greetings!  My name is Toru Masaki, and as of April 1st I am the new Managing Director for the Association for International Relations in Yamagata.  Prior to joining AIRY, I worked for the Yamagata Prefectural Government.  Over the years, I have worked in a number of different government offices, but my longest post would have to be with the tourism department.  Consequently, I have been lucky enough to have had the chance to visit two of Yamagata's Sister States: the Province of Heilongjiang in China and the State of Colorado in the United States of America.  Additionally, I supervised the opening of the Korean branch office of the Yamagata Prefectural Government in Seoul and have made many trips to Europe to oversee displays of Yamagata traditions and culture.

  Traveling to many different countries, what has stayed with me the most has not been the food or the scenery, but rather the exchanges that took place with the people I met.  The images that I have kept of the countries and cities I have visited have largely been based on how well, or how poorly, these exchanges went.  To that end, myself and the staff here at AIRY will continue to do our best to ensure that foreign visitors and residents have a positive image of Yamagata. 

  I also invite you to get involved with AIRY.  We hold many events and conferences throughout the year, and are always looking for volunteers.  Please feel free to drop into AIRY anytime.

Toru Masaki  (正木 徹)
Managing Director
Association for International Relations in Yamagata

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