Council Leaders Carole Hayashino and Delphine Hirasuna have received the 2016 Japanese American of the Biennium Award, the highest public service award given by the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL). Ms. Hayashino was involved in the national legislative effort for redress and reparations for Japanese Americans incarcerated during World War II. As President and Executive Director of the Japanese Culture Center of Hawaii, she worked to establish the Honouliuli Japanese American internment camp as a national monument—which came to fruition in February 2015.
Ms. Hirasuna, author of The Art of Gaman: Arts and Crafts from the Japanese Internment Camps, 1942-1946 and guest curator of the Art of Gaman exhibit, has allowed more than 120 artifacts from Japanese American concentration camps to receive mainstream recognition and has educated the public about the Japanese American internment experience.
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On July 26, Council Leader Jose Keichi Fuentes received the 2016 Foreign Minister's Commendation from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan. Consul General Ken Okaniwa of Miami presented the award to Mr. Fuentes for facilitating mutual understanding between Japan and the United States, especially by developing the sister cities relationship between Miami and Kagoshima. Mr. Fuentes has served as Chairman of the Miami Kagoshima Sister Cities Committee since 2002, and recently led his third delegation of Miami high school students, accompanied by Miami Mayor Thomas Regalado, to Kagoshima. For more information, see this article by the Miami Herald.
USJC President Irene Hirano Inouye was selected as one of the "55 Leading Women in Japan" in the September issue of Forbes JAPAN. In it, Ms. Hirano Inouye discusses her career thus far, her inspirations and her goals. Please check it out if you are in Japan! (The article is only in Japanese.)
Board Member James Higa was recently featured in Asahi Shimbun. In the article, Mr. Higa discusses how the Silicon Valley Japan Platform is the "kakehashi" to connect and reshape Japanese companies into global powerhouses. (Click here or on the image below to read the piece.) This article was also published in Japanese.
On July 26th, USJC Board Member James Higa was featured in the Asahi Shimbun in an opinion piece titled "James Higa: Where Are the New Nomos in the Japanese Business World?" Mr. Higa stressed the economical and intellectual importance of Silicon Valley to America and Japan. James Higa has worked closely on the U.S.-Japan Council's Silicon Valley-Japan Platform, creating a "key to the future of the Japanese economy," for not only tech professionals but for every discipline or industry. The US-Japan Council’s Silicon Valley-Japan Platform is a new initiative aimed at tapping into Japanese innovation by strengthening ties between small- and medium-sized firms and the global-leading resources of Silicon Valley.
This Asahi Shimbun article is about the 2016 USJC Annual Conference. To continue reading the article, please click here.
On June 6, Council Leader Alan Nishio received the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette from the Government of Japan. Consul General Harry Horinouchi of Los Angeles presented the award, recognizing Mr. Nishio's contributions to "promoting the status of Japanese Americans in the United States and mutual understanding between Japan and the United States." Mr. Nishio has worked at the Little Tokyo Service Center for many decades, and is now Chair of its Board of Governors. For more information, please see the announcement by the Consulate General of Japan in Los Angeles here.
On June 10, Vice Chair of the Board of Directors Royanne Doi and Board Member Tracey Doi will speak at the Asia Society Diversity Leadership Forum in New York. This annual forum provides a platform for companies to explore how to develop Asian Pacific American and Asian talent.
On June 1, Member of the USJC Board of Councilors George Takei received the Japan Society Award at their annual dinner. Council Leader Fred Katayama, who is a Japan Society board member, presented the award at this event in New York. Several other USJC members are involved in Japan Society, including President (Ex Officio) Motoatsu Sakurai, who is part of the USJC Board of Councilors.
USJC Associate (and alumnus of the 2014 TOMODACHI Emerging Leaders Program) Kenshiro Uki was recently featured in CHEF LAB, a food documentary, for his work revolutionizing ramen. The digital documentary features his Ramen Lab, an incubator that invites chefs to create unique dishes using Sun Noodle noodles, and his views on why ramen is such an interesting and versatile cuisine. You can view the clip here.