WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S.-Japan Council expresses our deepest sympathy to the Nishimiya Family and to his many colleagues in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Government of Japan. We are grateful for his many contributions to U.S.-Japan relations including fostering the greater involvement of Japanese Americans.
New York-based U.S.-Japan Council Board Member Susan Onuma worked closely with Ambassador Shinichi Nishimiya during his time in New York. She provided the following words of remembrance:
The Japanese American community of New York was devastated to hear about the sudden passing of Ambassador Nishimiya. He left a warm and indelible impression on everyone he met. From Mr. Met to global leaders, he embraced the New York community and frequently invited Japanese and Japanese American community leaders to his home. In 2010, he spearheaded a photo exhibit at the Museum of the City of New York commemorating the 150th Anniversary of the first Japanese diplomatic mission to New York and later led his own samurai parade on Japan Day in Central Park. A charming diplomat, Nishimiya was also a sharp visionary who possessed the talent and skills of a true “people-to-people” leader. In spite of his busy schedule after returning to Japan, Nishimiya stayed in touch with the New York Japanese American community, provided updates on the Tohoku situation after 3.11, and just two days before his collapse, he sent messages of his new appointment and an invitation to visit him in Beijing. His early departure is not only a great loss to Japan, but to the world at large. He will be greatly missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with his lovely wife Yukiko and his family.
The U.S.-Japan Council will honor Ambassador Nishimiya with a moment of silence at the upcoming 2012 Annual Conference on October 5th in Seattle, WA.