To the average visitor, Japan House is a combination of restaurant, gift shop, museum and library - but in reality it's a public diplomacy initiative run by the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
"I thought this would be a good approach to those who've never been in touch with Japanese culture. By being in the middle of Hollywood, we can get people walking by into Japan House and get them interested in Japanese culture or Japanese technologies," he said.
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Kono and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe have managed to stay on solid ground with the Trump presidency.
Kono said it's a relationship they've worked hard on. But while the two countries still have their disagreements, such as trade tariffs, Kono said there's a better way.
"The best way to get rid of trade deficit between Japan and the United States is not tariffs, but trying to promote investments from Japan to the U.S., which creates more jobs and more export. I think that's the only way to do it," he said.
Continuing to foster the relationship between our countries is key, and Japan House is part of that equation.
"In the heart of Los Angeles, I think Japan House is our asset as well as your asset, too," he said.
Japan House is now officially open to the public.