Another good US Ambassador
During the past 75 years, the US and Japan have emerged from a bitter war to become 2 of the strongest nations on earth. Their strength was insured as they worked together. The US and Japan have built 2 of the world’s strongest economies- together. Never in history have 2 former enemies done so.
Now, during these times of political uncertainty, is it conceivable to think that Japan may doubt the sincerity of the US to continue this relationship.
During the election campaign, Donald Trump raised issues of currency and market manipulation and has now rebuked the TPP agreements. Hillary Clinton, too, made comments and overtones that suggested her own “protectionist” leanings. This new American sentiment should worry Japan.
How can President Donald Trump assure Japan of a continued relationship? By naming a US Ambassador to Japan that understands Japan. One that Japan trusts.
The current Ambassador, Caroline Kennedy has done a wonderful job. She has worked hard to strengthen these relationships. The question is- “who can be trusted to continue this work”?
Enter a little know gentleman from Birmingham, Alabama.
Mark Jackson was appointed as Honorary Consul General of Japan in July on 2014. Until then, he founded and grew a global teleconference service and volunteered his time serving on many community boards, in the US and abroad. He has chaired the Birmingham Sister Cities Commission and strengthened his city’s ties and raised its global profile.
He has also developed solid relationships within Japan. His father’s served in the Navy in the pacific theater and later returned to Japan to climb Mt Fuji. Before he passed away in early 2104, he was informed that Mark would be named Honorary Consul General. The elder Jackson’s response was “I am glad the world has changed. I fought the Japanese and now my son will be their diplomat.”
Following his father, Mark has a love for Japan. He has worked tirelessly to strength the economic and community ties between Alabama and Japan. Incidentally, Alabama is home to 142 Japanese-owned companies, including Honda, Toyota and Dai Ichi.
He has worked with current and past consuls general, mayors and ambassadors. He has helped develop new relationships between cities in Japan and Alabama. In short, he has proven his dedication to strengthening the bilateral relations between Japan and Alabama.
Can he do this for the US and Japan? I believe he can. He understands the Japanese culture and the US culture. He has an unwavering respect for his culture and Japan’s. He understands global business and economies. He supports fair and free trade and feels that mutual respect is the basic foundation of all relationships.
It has been proven that the US and Japan are allies but will this relationship continue? Naming an Ambassador with Mark’s experience will insure that it will.
Some will ask if it is safe to trust such an important relationship to a “diplomatic greenhorn” honorary consul general. I say yes. Mr. Jackson has the talent and drive needed. He has the global relationships. He has the relationship base in both countries. And like his father, he has a deep love and respect for the US and Japan.
This election season has proven that uncertainty is a scary thing. It is important to assure our allies of our support. By naming a newcomer to this position, I am sure we will prosper together.