Thank you to Ms. Jun-Ang Ni, Intern at the Fish Family Foundation, for the following photo, text and video:
Lieutenant General Osamu Onoda, JASDF (ret.), Board of Directors Member Atsuko Fish, and Suzanne Basalla in Boston
On October 29, the Fish Family Foundation hosted a wonderful evening honoring the connection between Japan and America. The night began with a greeting and introduction by Ms. Atsuko Fish, Member of the U.S.-Japan Council Board of Directors and the hostess of the evening, who warmly welcomed the audience with the beautiful backdrop of Boston at night.
Around the speakers’ table, familiar faces intermingled with new ones, all joined together by a single thread: Japan. There were many notable individuals who came together to weave and knit those individual threads into one single cloth, binding past with present and nation with nation, including: Dr. Susumu Ito, a veteran of the all Japanese-American 442nd Regiment during World War II; Mr. Shun Kanda, Senior Lecturer at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a new USJC Member; Dr. Shigeo Kondo, a veteran of the Japanese Army during World War II; Ms. Naomi Moniz, Professor Emeritus at Georgetown University; Mr. Paul Niwa, a USJC Member and Professor at Emerson College; and Mr. Yuji Shimizu, Senior Vice President and CTO of Toray Plastics America.
After thanking everyone, Ms. Fish introduced the first speaker, Suzanne Basalla. Ms. Basalla, Executive Vice President and COO of USJC, shared her deep connection with Japan and her fascinating career path. Her speech led the audience through her route to success and clearly expressed gratitude for her connection to Japan and the life she is living. After Ms. Basalla, retired Lieutenant General of the Japanese Air Self-Defense Force Osamu Onoda, the star of the show, took to the stage and delivered a heart-warming, hopeful, yet fiery speech regarding Japan’s security strategy in the growing East Asian region.
Mr. Shun Kumagai, a talented and passionate student at Berklee College of Music and a recipient of the TOMODACHI Suntory Music Scholarship Fund, closed out the night with a beautiful performance demonstrating his mastery of the saxophone. This concert reinforced the idea that Japan would never be hindered so long as there were young and inspired citizens like Mr. Kumagai. With that, the evening ended with many looking forward to further events highlighting the shared history and partnership between Japan and America.