Consulate History in Fukuoka

The U.S. government started offering Consular services in Fukuoka from an office in Daimyo-machi, Fukuoka City in August 1950. On April 28, 1952, when the Peace Treaty took effect, the Consular office became the U.S. Consulate, Fukuoka, under Principal Officer Owen J. Zurhellen, assisted by two other consuls and 15 staff members.

Principal Officer Zurhellen with staff in 1952

In May 1952, the Consulate was relocated to a famous building, the so-called “Fukuoka White House” in Tenjin, Fukuoka City. It was co-located with the Fukuoka American Cultural Center, which began operations as part of the State Department on May 6, 1952, but became part of the new U.S. Information Agency the following year.

In October 1960, the Consulate moved to its current location in Ohori, Fukuoka City. The Consulate building was designed by Architects Associated, a firm based in San Francisco, California, with architects Harvey Parke Clark, John Frederick Beuttler and George T. Rockrise. The Consulate Residences, located within the grounds of the Consulate, were designed by the architectural firm of Unthank Seder Poticha Architects and built in 1982.

On April 25, 1972, the Fukuoka American Cultural Center was renamed the Fukuoka American Center. In December 1992, the Fukuoka American Center celebrated its 40th anniversary. At the end of the year, the FAC moved out of the “Fukuoka White House” (the building was demolished afterwards), and re-opened on January 29, 1993, at a new location in Otemon, Fukuoka City. In 1997, the Fukuoka American Center was again relocated to its current location atop the Solaria Parkside building in Tenjin, Fukuoka City. In 1999, the U.S. Information Agency, under which the Fukuoka American Center operated, merged into the U.S. Department of State, and the Fukuoka American Center became the Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Consulate, Fukuoka.

The famous “White House” in Tenjin (1952)

Through 2016, 24 officers of the U.S. State Department have served as Consul and Principal Officer of the American Consulate in Fukuoka. The current Principal Officer is Joy Sakurai. There are three other American officers.


“Record of Fees,” August 1, 1950-June 25, 1953. U.S. Consulate Fukuoka.
The Japan-American Society of Fukuoka 50th Anniversary Book, Fukuoka: The Japan-America Society of Fukuoka, 2008.
Fukuoka no Rekishi: Shisei Kyujusshu-nen Kinen, Fukuoka: Fukuoka-shi, 1979.
Fukuoka-ken Hyakka Jiten, Fukuoka: Nishinippon Shimbun, 1982, vol. 1.
“Gaikoku Kokan Kakuchi de Kaisetsu Junbi,” Nishinippon Shimbun, April 28, 1952.
Fukuoka Amerikan Senta 40-nen, Fukuoka: Fukuoka Nichibei Kyokai, Fukuoka Amerikan Senta 40-nenten Jikko Iinkai, 1993.