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Japan’s Ambassador to the U.S. pays visit to Maine’s Secretary of State

Published: Sep. 17, 2020 at 7:36 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Maine (WAGM) -

The Japanese Ambassador to the United States met with Maine Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap today, learning about Maine government.

Dunlap says it was quite the honor that Maine is the first state Ambassador Shinsuke Sugiyama has visited since the start of the pandemic. Dunlap says the Ambassador was instructed by Japan’s Prime Minister to get out of Washington, D.C., learn about America and spread friendship to all 50 states.

“He was at the university yesterday and came to the capitol today and asked to meet with me. And we had a lively exchange about elections. He was very interested in rank-choice voting, very interested in the political situation with the upcoming election in November - sort of handicapping the races a little bit, as it were. Very interested in Maine in particular, because Maine is not really a red or a blue state, it’s kind of a purple state and, you know, when you had Angus King as governor, of course, he was an Independent, so we had two Republican senators and two Democratic members of Congress, which is about as diverse as you can make it in a political situation such as ours,” says Matthew Dunlap.

Dunlap says several Japanese nationals call Maine home. By visiting Maine and other states, the Ambassador will have a better understanding of life in each state. The Ambassador did not meet with the governor while in Augusta.

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