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Robinson & McElwee Member's Friendship with Japan's Crown Prince Featured

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April 26, 2019

West Virginia and Japan have enjoyed a 30-year prosperous partnership that has resulted in over $2 billion in Japanese investments in the state. The Mountain State currently hosts over 20 Japanese companies that provide 3,400 jobs to West Virginians.  

Beyond commerce, there have been many cultural and educational exchanges and convergences, including a humble friendship spanning three decades between a West Virginia lawyer and Japan's Crown Prince Naruhito (皇太子徳仁親王). While studying at the University of Oxford in England, Keith George, a bluegrass and country music-loving West Virginian quickly bonded over a shared love of music with Prince Hiro, an avid viola player. Following the completion of their studies, the Crown Prince visited Keith at his family home in Morgantown where he enjoyed a reception with banjos, guitars and bluegrass music. Keith went on to become a lawyer in Charleston (as a partner and Chairman of the Litigation Practice at the law firm of Robinson & McElwee PLLC).  On May 1, 2019 the Crown Prince will ascend to become the Emperor of Japan. Through the years their friendship has remained and included Keith attending the Crown Prince’s wedding, which is mentioned in the Crown Prince’s autobiography, “The Thames and I: A Memoir of Two Years at Oxford.”

As the accession ceremonies draw closer, Keith and Crown Prince Naruhito’s friendship is being featured in the media, including the Washington Post and a number of Japanese media outlets which have dispatched reporters to visit Charleston to interview Keith in person to learn more about his unique friendship with the Crown Price.

Keith George and Japan's Royal Family