First Fil-Am Mayor in Ohio visits Japan

BRUNSWICK, OHIO — This is the first Filipino-American mayor in the state of Ohio Ron Falconi in Japan.

Last fall, Falconi was one of the ten selected leaders for the Kakehashi Project — which is a one-week immersion of Asian-Americans in the country of Japan.

The Mayor of Brunswick tells BA how humbling it was to be selected.

“I got an email from the Japanese consulate general’s office in Detroit asking me if I wanted to participate and I said, ‘of course!’ and they asked me to fill out a few forms, send out some information, and like I said I was surprised I got picked.”

“Kakehashi” means to bridge and according to Falconi — the term definitely applies to Japan and his state of Ohio.

Falconi cites how Japanese companies employ nearly 75,000 people in Ohio — which he says, builds strong democratic institutions.

He continued to build on that relationship with the Japanese youth.

Overall, Falconi said he learned so much from his experience and has a new appreciation for Japan.

“The thing I was most impressed about was the friendliness of the Japanese people and just where they’ve come from. Because obviously we were enemies before in the past during the World War II, and the Japanese were able to rebuild their country and build a new and better Japan.”

Last year, Mayor Falconi was recently re-elected by the city of Brunswick for a second term.

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