Foreign Minister’s Commendations for FY 2020 - Ms. Akiko Keene
Embassy of Japan
December 1, 2020
Foreign Minister’s Commendations for FY 2020
Ms. Akiko Keene
Honorary Advisor, National Conference of State Societies (NCSS)
On December 1, 2020 (Japan Time), Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Japan announced the recipients of Foreign Minister’s Commendations for FY 2020. Ms. Akiko Keene is among this year’s foreign recipients. She receives the Commendation in recognition of her contributions to the promotion of mutual understanding between Japan and the United States.
Ms. Keene has contributed to Japan-U.S. friendship for over 40 years through engagement with the Cherry Blossom Princess Program organized by the National Conference of State Societies during the National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, D.C. This program aims to broaden participants’ horizons and to foster future leaders by having them take part in various educational, leadership, and cultural exchange activities, with one representative selected every year to visit Japan as a goodwill ambassador. As the only Japanese staff member in the organization, Ms. Keene has played a major role in connecting the organization with Japan. She has also worked as a teacher of Japanese doll making for many years, promoting Japanese culture in the United States.
Every year, the Foreign Minister’s Commendations are awarded to individuals and groups with outstanding achievements in international fields, in order to acknowledge their contributions to the promotion of friendship between Japan and other countries and areas. The Commendations also aim to promote the understanding and support of the Japanese public for the activities of the recipients.
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