In recognition of the 40th anniversary of its office in Japan and to show appreciation for key trade partners in the Japanese meat industry, USMEF recently held a 40th Anniversary USMEF Appreciation Confab, “Kansha no Yube (evening of appreciation)” at the Shangri-La Hotel Tokyo.
About 100 people attended, including presidents and executives of importers, distributors, ham and sausage manufacturers, retailers and foodservice companies, as well as U.S. Ambassador to Japan William Hagerty and other Embassy officials, former Japanese ambassador to the U.S. Ichiro Fujisaki and officers from Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF).
Opening the confab, USMEF CEO Philip Seng expressed appreciation to the participants for their four decades of support and friendship by highlighting the successes USMEF has achieved in the Japanese market. He also previewed the World Meat Congress in May 2018 and asked participants to attend.
Ambassador Hagerty commended USMEF’s activities and efforts to promote U.S. beef and pork in the Japanese market. He also commented on the bilateral trade relationship between Japan and the U.S., stating that both countries are committed to fostering fair trade practices that result in more balanced trade. Hagerty expressed confidence in the ability of the U.S. and Japan to find a path forward that puts U.S. exporters on a level playing field with competitors, such as Australia.
Wataru Miyasaka, president of the Agriculture Livestock Promotion Corporation (ALIC), also addressed the audience.
USMEF Japan Director Takemichi Yamashoji expressed appreciation to the participants and introduced Japanese representatives of U.S. member packers, as well and staff members from USMEF’s Japan office. The event concluded with a delicious U.S. beef and pork dinner.