DCM Kurt Tong
April 12 - Greetings from the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo, and welcome to the "Deputy's Corner." My name is Kurt Tong, and I arrived in Tokyo last December to serve as the Deputy Chief of Mission (DCM) for the U.S. diplomatic mission in Japan.
My goal here is to do my very best to support strong cooperation and relations between our governments in Washington and Tokyo. Beyond that, however, I want to build on the shared history of close person-to-person relations between Americans and Japanese. Although blogs are by nature impersonal, I hope to be friends with anyone who cares to read this blog - even better if people respond!
This is my first time hosting a blog, so please help me out. I will try to sincerely express my views and experiences here in Japan. I also hope to use this channel to host a broader conversation between the Embassy community and our friends and neighbors here in Japan and abroad. To do that, I will frequently invite Embassy and U.S. Consulate staff members to guest-blog. Hopefully that will be interesting for you, too!
Time for the mandatory self-introduction:
I have worked as a diplomat for about 20 years, including overseas posts in Tokyo, Beijing, Seoul and Manila. That's right, all East Asia, all the time. I guess I made Secretary Clinton's "pivot" ahead of schedule.
Consulting with Secretary Clinton
I have lived in Japan for a total of eight years - three years as a student (studying at International Christian University, the Inter-University Center for Japanese Language Study, and Tokyo University), two years working for the Boston Consulting Group, and three years at the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo in the 1990s.
Before coming to Tokyo this time, I was the U.S. Ambassador to APEC.
Just before returning to Tokyo this time, I served as President Obama's Ambassador to APEC. In that capacity I welcomed leaders around from the Asia-Pacific region to my country. It was a fun and rewarding experience.
Since arriving in Tokyo, I have been busy getting settled in, reconnecting with old friends and colleagues, and seeking out new ones. My wife Mika and my son will move here in the summer; until then I am doing "tanshin funin" and lots of Skype.
I want this to be an active dialogue, so please share your views and feel free to suggest specific topics you’d like to see addressed here on the Deputy's Corner.
Until next time!