Embassy of Japan
November 3, 2013
On November 3, 2013 (Japan Time), the Government of Japan announced the foreign recipients of the 2013 Autumn Imperial Decorations. Among 49 foreign recipients is Ambassador John Thomas Schieffer, former U.S. Ambassador to Japan, who will receive the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun, in recognition of his significant contributions on promoting friendly relations and mutual understanding between Japan and the United States.
Ambassador Schieffer received his B.A. from the University of Texas in 1970 and received his M.A. in International Relations from the same University in 1972. He got elected in the Texas House of Representatives in 1973 when he was 25 years old, and served for three terms. Ambassador Schieffer was admitted to the State Bar of Texas in 1979, and served as the president and the general partner of the Texas Rangers Baseball Club until he became a consultant. Then he went on to becoming the U.S. Ambassador to Australia and the U.S. Ambassador to Japan. During his time in Japan, Ambassador Schieffer kept in close contact with his close friend President Bush, and contributed to the enhancement of U.S.-Japan relations by working on various political and economic issues. Even after his departure, Ambassador Schieffer is still contributing to the promotion of people to people exchange and mutual understanding between the two countries.
Ambassador Schieffer especially worked hard to strengthen the cooperative relationship between U.S. and Japan, through proactive involvement in the realization of Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress of Japan’s visit to Saipan, facilitation of the realignment of U.S. forces stationed in Japan and the abduction issue by North Korea, among other things. He contributed to strengthening of the two country’s relations, to the point where the relationship became “the most matured in history”. Moreover, Ambassador Schieffer made numerous lectures and speeches not only inside Japan but in the U.S., and made effort for the enhancement of mutual understanding between the two nations. Through these active efforts, the familiarity and trust between the two peoples enhanced greatly.
Even after his tenure as Ambassador to Japan, he has been actively involved in people to people exchange, strengthening of economic activities, reconstruction support for the victims of the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami, through his position as the Council Member of U.S.-Japan Council, not to mention the involvement in the cultural, people to people, intellectual exchanges as the Board Member of the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Foundation. Furthermore, Ambassador Schieffer became the Head of the U.S.-Japan Grassroots Exchange Summit Dallas Conference Committee, which invited the youth from the disaster effected regions of Tohoku and provided chance for people to people exchange such as home-stay, and appealed to the American public on the reconstruction of the Tohoku region as well as introduced them to Japanese cultures. In addition, as the adviser of the CSIS-Nikkei Virtual Think-tank, he made proposals on the strengthening of U.S.-Japan relations, and has been actively making lectures in various occasions, and promoting understanding of Japan among the American people and strengthening of U.S. Japan relations even more.
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