History of U.S. Consulate Nagoya

Sometime in 1912, one Reverend Kingsbury, a Methodist missionary, agreed to serve as Consular Agent in Nagoya. Rev. Kingsbury’s main duty was the signing of consular invoices. From time to time, he would journey to Yokkaichi, Mie Prefecture and spend a day there performing this duty.

On July 3, 1920, Consul Harry Franklin Hawley officially opened the American Consulate in Nagoya. It was a two-story building, located at 3-2 Nunoike-cho, Higashi Ward. It had been built by the City of Nagoya to serve as both office and residence for the American Consul. The building was used for over twenty years, and narrowly escaped destruction by bombing during the Second World War. Approximately a year before the outbreak of the war, on December 31, 1940, the Consulate was officially closed. Vice Consul C.H. Stephan remained until January 31, 1941 in order to finish all remaining official business.

Consular operations in Nagoya were not started again until well after the termination of the war. In March of 1949, a Foreign Service National (Japanese) was sent to Nagoya by the Yokohama Consular Office to take care of the clerical side of issuing consular invoices. Once or twice a month, an American consular officer would come down from Yokohama to sign invoices and perform limited citizenship services.

On March 1, 1950, the office was officially opened to the public, located in the Dai-ichi Hotel and known as the Nagoya American Consular Service. As the occupation was still underway, its official designation was Nagoya Division, Diplomatic Section, General Headquarters, Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers (SCAP). Later that year, on August 21, the Nagoya Consular District was established, to include the prefectures of Aichi, Gifu, Mie, Shiga, Fukui, Ishikawa, Toyama, and most of Nagano. On September 7, 1951, the office was moved to the second floor of the Nitto Building in Nakamura Ward.

On April 29, 1952, the Treaty of Peace between Japan and the Allied Powers came into effect. As a result, the title of the office became, once more, American Consulate, Nagoya. In June of that year, the Consulate again moved, this time to the second floor of the National City Bank of New York, located in Kuwana-cho, Naka Ward.

On December 12, 1958, year-long construction on an American Consulate building was completed, and the office was opened by U.S. Ambassador Douglas MacArthur II. This three-floor building was located at 6-1, Minami Sotobori-cho in Nagoya’s Naka Ward, and remained the home of the Consulate until its closing in 1970. Upon closing, the office building, housing for consulate officers and families, and land was sold to the Government of Japan. In 1987 this land was purchased from the Ministry of Finance by the Aichi Prefectural Government and is now the site of the Aichi Prefectural Library, opened in April 1991.

Following the closure of the Consulate, Aichi Prefectural Government and Assembly provided for the office space of an American Commercial Information Office. This office, staffed by two Japanese Foreign Service National employees, remained in operation until February 1981.

After a 16-year absence, a U.S. consular presence was re-established in Nagoya through the opening of the Nagoya Representative Office of the U.S. Consulate General, Osaka-Kobe. In March 1986, an American officer was assigned to the Representative Office and lived in Nagoya while reporting to the Consulate General in Osaka. The officer was charged with following political and economic developments in the Tokai region of Aichi, Mie, and Gifu prefectures, while limited consular services were provided by visits of consular teams from Osaka.

On December 2, 1993, U.S. Ambassador Walter F. Mondale participated in the formal re-opening of the U.S. Consulate, Nagoya, located on the sixth floor of the SIS Nishiki Building in Naka Ward. Directed by a Principal Officer assigned by the U.S. Department of State, the Consulate also housed the office of the U.S. Foreign Commercial Service, which was established by the U.S. Department of Commerce in 1991.

In March 2005, the Consulate, including the U.S. Commercial Service, moved to the sixth floor of the Nagoya International Center (NIC) Building near Nagoya Station. The Consulate joined the Nagoya American Center at the NIC, which had been there at that site since 1984. With the joining of the two facilities at one location, there is now a conveniently accessible location for all visitors requiring any of the services provided by the U.S. Consulate or the Nagoya American Center. The Commercial Service in Nagoya has since been phased out. Consular services for American Citizens in the Nagoya area are now provided by the U.S. Consulate General in Osaka.