“One of the best parts of traveling around this country is meeting Japanese Americans, who always welcome me with open arms. I hope I can welcome you as warmly as Japanese Americans always welcome me. I am extremely proud to present this honor to four very deserving organizations,” Ambassador Ken-Ichiro Sasae stated during the final event of Japanese-American Appreciation Week. For outstanding contributions in promoting the friendship and deep ties between Japan and the U.S., Ambassador Sasae presented the prestigious Foreign Minister’s Commendation to four Japanese-American groups:
Japanese American Citizens League (JACL)
The JACL is the oldest and largest Asian American civil rights organization in the U.S. In 2011, immediately following the triple disasters in Japan, the JACL established the Japan Relief and Recovery Fund, which raised over $6 million. The JACL has advanced people-to-people exchanges between Japan and the U.S.
Japanese American Veterans Association (JAVA)
JAVA has advocated not only for Japanese American veterans but for all veterans and has worked tirelessly to maintain the legacy of Japanese Americans who have served in the US military. Another important part of its mission has been to work hand-in-glove with Japanese military leaders, hosting a number of Japanese Ministers of Defense and giving them tours of the National Japanese American Memorial.
National Japanese American Memorial Foundation (NJAMF)
The Memorial is a tribute to over 120,000 Japanese Americans who were incarcerated during WW II, as well as the more than 30,000 men and women who volunteered to serve in the US military during WW II. The Foundation continues to educate the public about internment and works to preserve the legacy of those who gave so much to their community and country.
U.S.-Japan Council (USJC)
The US-Japan Council has been at the forefront of promoting deeper ties between Japan and the U.S. The USJC connects government, political, business, and cultural leaders between the two countries. In the aftermath of 3/11, the USJC partnered with a number of organizations to create the TOMODACHI Initiative, which provides educational, cultural and leadership opportunities to Japanese and American students and expands Japan-U.S. friendship.