OSAKA — The head of the U.S. Consulate General Osaka-Kobe expressed on Tuesday her expectation that the people of Osaka and the Kansai region would give a warm welcome to the leaders attending the Group of 20 summit to be held in the city later this week.
“We are all very excited that the G-20 will be held in Osaka, and believe it will be a good chance for Kansai to highlight its omotenashi (hospitality) to the world,” Consul General Karen Kelley said in a written interview with Kyodo News.
The summit, to be held Friday and Saturday, will mark the first time Japan has hosted the gathering of leaders from the United States, Europe and other nations. Osaka is the center of Japan’s second-largest business area Kansai.
“We’re all very excited for what is sure to be an historic summit,” Kelley said.
The G-20 would also present Osaka with “a good chance to prepare for the other large international events,” she said, referring to the Rugby World Cup matches to be held in Osaka this fall and other future events like the 2025 World Expo.
As for must-sees in Osaka, she recommended Osaka Castle — “an example of how tradition and innovation coexist here in Kansai” — and Dotonbori, “a symbol of the Osaka and Kansai food culture” that takes visitors beyond the staple of “okonomiyaki” pancakes and “takoyaki” octopus balls.
Kelley said she is “confident” that Americans and Japanese in the Kansai region can “continue to grow and expand these relationships in the Reiwa era,” the new imperial era that started on May 1.
Kelley became the first woman to assume the post of consul general in Osaka in August 2017.