Just about the time you think you’ve been through it all, along comes a surprise.
Today one of the world’ very top diplomats sang a chorus of The Red River Valley on News @5. To say I was surprised, would be the understatement of the week.
After complimenting me on pronouncing his name correctly (I’m not positive I did) and with no advance warning, Ambassador Ichiro Fujisaki broke into a chorus of The Red River Valley. (Incidentally, the ambassador has a lovely singing voice!) He is the Japanese ambassador to the U.S. He was making the point that he had never traveled to North Dakota before and what he knew of us, intially, was in that tune.
Please know Ambassador Fujisaki is no slouch. He has served his country at embassies in London, Paris, Switzerland and for the past four years in Washington. I liked him immediately. In a word, he is charming.
Off camera, he told he prefers television interviews to print, even though he has two daughters who are newspaper journalists in Tokio.
On a serious note, we talked about trade between North Dakota and Japan and how his country may be interested in purchasing some of the state’s energy products. Still, I couldn’t get his song out of my head.
The ambassador gifted me with a beautiful Japanese-U.S. friendship token which I will cherish always, but not more than our television conversation.