Embassy of Japan
December 11, 2015
On Thursday December 10th, the Japanese Ambassador to the U.S., Ken-Ichiro Sasae, hosted a ceremony to award the Foreign Minister’s Commendations at his residence.
In celebration of the 70th Anniversary of the End of the War, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) is awarding the Foreign Minister’s Commendation to 28 individuals and 14 groups across the United States in recognition of their outstanding achievements in promoting of friendship between Japan and the United States (MOFA Press release: http://www.mofa.go.jp/press/release/press1e_000023.html ).
During the award ceremony, Ambassador Sasae handed the certificates of the commendations to groups and individuals based in Washington DC area. Other recipients receive their certificates from Consuls General of Japan in their respective areas.
List of recipients who attended the award ceremony at the Ambassador’s residence
I. Group Recipients
Iwo Jima Association of America has played an important role in deepening the friendship between Japan and the United States as a symbol of the reconciliations between the two countries after the WWII. They hold various events to further promote mutual understanding between the people of the two countries, such as the annual solemn commemoration event honoring Americans and Japanese that were killed, wounded or missing in action.
The U.S. Association of Former Members of Congress has served as secretariat of the Congressional Study Group on Japan for more than 20 years. Throughout those years, the FMC has made significant contributions to maintaining and deepening the Japan-U.S. alliance by promoting enhanced understanding of Japan in the U.S. Congress and engaging in Japan-U.S. legislative exchanges.
The Maureen & Mike Mansfield Foundation has promoted mutual understanding between Japan and the United States by playing an active role in organizing exchanges of scholars, young leaders and senior leaders, such as parliamentary members of both countries.
*In addition to the above three groups, Ambassador Sasae will award the certificates of commendations to the below four Japanese-American groups on December 16th during the Japanese American Appreciation Week at the JICC (Japan Information and Culture Center) (http://www.us.emb-japan.go.jp/english/html/japanese-american-appreciation-week.html).
II. Individual Recipients
During his time at the Office of the United States Trade Representative, Ambassador Shapiro played a critical role in various negotiations, including those regarding the auto industry, between the United States and Japan. In his capacity as Ambassador and principal U.S. trade negotiator with Japan, he strongly contributed to strengthening the trade relationship between our two countries. He continues his work on bringing Japan and the United States closer together through his position as Chairman of the National Association of Japan-America Societies.
Mr. Kelley played a key role in expanding and strengthening the network of the National Association of Japan-America Societies and through his work, he has greatly contributed to the advancement of mutual understanding and goodwill between Japan and the United States at the grassroots level across America.
Mr. Hitzig made significant contributions in the promotion of cultural exchange and mutual understanding between Japan and the United States at the grassroots level. His achievements include organizing the National Japan Bowl for high school students, as well as the Sakura Matsuri - Japanese Street Festival, the largest such festival in the United States.
Mr. Giarra has promoted enhanced understanding of Japan in the United States through his publications as well as his advisory work to various senior officials in the U.S. government. Mr. Giarra also contributed to the Japan-U.S alliance in his capacity as the Senior Country Director for Japan at the Department of Defense.
Ms. Furlan promoted understanding of Japanese culture through Ikebana as the president of the Washington, DC Chapter of Ikebana International, and deepened the bilateral friendship of Japan and the United States at the grassroots level. She has also contributed to the promotion of cultural activities at the Embassy of Japan through her donation of Ikebana to various events held at the Ambassador’s residence.
Ms. Moorman has made significant contributions in promoting the study of Japanese language in the United States through her decades-long teaching career, including 26 years at Walt Whitman High School. In particular, she has contributed to the advancement of Japanese language studies in the United States by assisting the development of a curriculum as well as standardized exams.
Ms. Worland has made significant contributions in promoting the study of Japanese language and culture in the United States through her teaching career of over 23 years at Great Falls Elementary School, as a Japanese immersion teacher. She also organized various programs for youth exchanges between Japan and the United States, such as exchanges between sister-schools, promoting mutual understanding between the two countries.
(* Mr. Sakoda was absent from the Award Ceremony due to a scheduling conflict.) Mr. Robin H. Sakoda has promoted enhanced understanding of Japan in the US through his advisory work to various senior officials in the US government. He has also facilitated people to people exchanges between the two countries. Mr. Sakoda also contributed to the Japan-U.S alliance in his capacity as the Senior Country Director for Japan at the Department of Defense.
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