Their work with USJC, the Japanese American Association in New York, and other organizations has been recognized for its positive impact on U.S.-Japan relations. Congratulations Gary and Susan!
Stories from Tohoku, a documentary created by USJC Members Dianne Fukami and Debra Nakatomi, shows the roles some Japanese Americans played in the relief and recovery efforts following the Great East Japan Earthquake. The film is supported in part by the U.S.-Japan Council's Earthquake Relief Fund. Olympic Gold Medalist and Member of the USJC Board of Councilors Kristi Yamaguchi is part of the film, which was an official selection of the CAAM Fest (presented by the Center for Asian American Media) and the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival this year.
Stories from Tohoku will be shown on television this weekend. Los Angeles area residents will be able to see it on KCETLink this Sunday, May 18 at 6am and 2pm Pacific, as well as on Friday, May 23 at 9pm on KCET-HD (http://www.kcet.org/shows/japanese_american_lives/stories-from-tohuku.html). Dish Network and DirecTV subscribers can watch it tomorrow, May 16 at 7pm Pacific (DirecTV channel 375, DISH Network channel 9410).
The documentary is part of the KCET series Japanese American Lives (http://www.kcet.org/shows/japanese_american_lives/), which showcases the richness of the Japanese American experience, including a 99-year-old judo master and founders of the Asian American jazz movement.
For more information about the film, see: http://storiesfromtohoku.com/
In this interview with the New York Times, USJC Board of Councilors Member George Takei talks about growing up in a Japanese American internment camp, visiting Japan, and his passion for the U.S.-Japan relationship. Mr. Takei also discusses “Allegiance,” his Broadway-bound musical about a family’s experiences at the Heart Mountain, Wyoming internment camp.
Great news to start a good year: USJC Board of Directors Member Paul Yonamine has been named President of IBM Japan (Read here)!
For a more detailed profile on Paul and his career so far, check out this Nikkei Shimbunarticle in Japanese.
Roy Amemiya App
In late 2013, U.S.-Japan Council Board Members and Council Members were featured in a Nikkei Business Publications profile of prominent Japanese Americans entitled Japanese-Americans: Personal Networks Across the Pacific.
USJC President Irene Hirano Inouye and Board of Directors Members Gary Moriwaki and Susan Onuma received profiles, as well as Board of Councilors Members Norman Y. Mineta, Hiromitsu Ogawa, Daniel Okimoto, Masaaki Tanaka, Paul Terasaki, the late Senator Daniel K. Inouye and Council Members James Higa and Yosuke Honjo. While originally published for the Nikkei Business magazine, features are posted in English and available online at http://business.nikkeibp.co.jp/article/eng/20131125/256265/. The U.S.-Japan Council is composed of Japanese American leaders dedicated to the U.S.-Japan relationships across all sectors of society. We are proud of the recognition our Members received as leaders in their communities.
On November 20, the late Senator Daniel Inouye of Hawaii was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor in the United States. On behalf of the Senator, USJC President Irene Hirano Inouye accepted the award from President Obama at a ceremony at the White House.
President Obama said during the ceremony that he himself had been inspired by the late Senator: "As the second-longest serving senator in American history, he showed a generation of young people--including one kid with a funny name growing up in Hawaii who noticed that there was somebody during some of those hearings in Washington that didn't look like everybody else, which meant maybe I had a chance to do something important, too." President Obama continued, "He taught all of us that no matter what you look like or where you come from, this country has a place for everybody who’s willing to serve and work hard," touching upon the Japanese American legacy that the Senator carried.
Established by President John F. Kennedy, the Medal of Freedom has been presented to more than 500 individuals so far who have made especially “meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.”
The 15 other recipients of the 2013 award included former President Bill Clinton, journalist Ben Bradlee, singer Loretta Lynn and media mogul Oprah Winfrey. See the White House blog post and President Obama's remarks for further details.
On November 5, 2013, USJC Member Ed Shikada was named the next City Manager of San Jose, CA. Shikada, who had been serving as San Jose's Assistant City Manager, will take his new position on December 21. He will oversee nearly 5,700 city employees serving a population of almost one million residents. Shikada has been involved in numerous Council activities, including the Clean Technology Working Group. For more information about the announcement, see the San Jose Mercury News story here.
USJC Council Member William Tsutsui has been announced as the next President of Hendrix College in Arkansas. Dr. Tsutsui is currently serving as Dean of the Dedman College of Arts and Sciences at Southern Methodist University and has been a leader of the Council's Education Working Group. Read more here.
On November 3, 2013, U.S.-Japan Council Board of Councillors Member Thomas Schieffer was announced as one of 49 non-Japanese individuals to be honored by the Japanese government this fall. Schieffer, who served as United States Ambassador to Japan from 2005 to 2009, will be presented with the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun for "contributing to promoting friendly relations and mutual understanding between Japan and the United States," according to a statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. For more information, see the full list of foreign honorees here.
In August 2013, USJC Board of Directors Member Frederick H. Katayama won the 2013 Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA) National Journalism Award in the Unlimited Subject Matter Television category for his Reuters TV piece "The Knuckleball: The science behind why it's so damn hard to hit." The piece explores the physics of the knuckleball, profiling Major League Baseball pitcher R.A. Dickey.