A Great Day To Be an American

Posted by Lori Shoemaker
July 5, 2008
Fourth of July Celebrations in Japan

Fourth of July Photo GalleryAbout the Author: Lori Shoemaker is the Assistant Press Attache at U.S. Embassy Tokyo.

At the U.S. Embassy's Independence Day celebration in Tokyo, Ambassador J. Thomas Schieffer enjoyed making the party a very festive one with some great entertainment. As the Ambassador greeted the long line of arriving guests, Tokyo Disneyland's Mickey Mouse and Goofy circulated and posed for photos, moving to the rhythm of the Seventh Fleet Dixieland band which played onstage. After the solemn Marine Color Guard ceremony, Crystal Kay thrilled the party with her singing of the "Star-Spangled Banner" and the Japanese national anthem. The Japanese Foreign Minister, Masahiko Koumura, gave a toast. Later, Hollywood recording artist Jimmy Angel took the stage with some old time Rock n' Roll.

Because of preparations for the G8 Summit, this year's event was held at the Okura Hotel, a beautiful and historic hotel located next to the Embassy grounds. Many U.S. companies contributed to the event in a variety of ways; a number of American food vendors set up colorful stands and served samples of their products to the guests.

As is always the case, it was a great day to be an American.



New Mexico, USA
July 5, 2008

Eric in New Mexico writes:

It occurs to me that Micky and Goofy have payed their diplomatic dues now going on over half a century.

So Lori, don't you suppose it would only be proper to give these two cartoon characters the proper acknowledgement deserving of the greatest American Ambassadors of all time?

If they were Brits, they'd have been Knighted by now. The least we can do is have Congress approve their nominations as honorary Assistant Secretaries of State for Public Diplomacy.

(chuckle)..Happy Independance Day!

July 6, 2008

DipNote Blogger Lori Shoemaker writes:

@ Eric in New Mexico -- Dear Eric in New Mexico,

Thank you for your response. I'm a huge Disney fan, and not only because I have small children at home and primarily watch Disney films by default. To think that, about 85 years ago, a young man from the Midwest named Walt Disney moved to Hollywood with an active imagination and a lot of grit and began, in a garage with his brother, the business that is now a global multimedia empire, is really amazing. Disney was a fantastic artist and innovator during a period of tremendous change in the technology of animation. I also believe that the sense of optimism and opportunity ("When you wish upon a star, makes no difference who you are") which characterizes his work also characterizes the United States, and makes Mickey and Goofy not only fun, but also fitting, additions to the celebration of our country's Independence Day.


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