Mr. Eriyoshi Konno, President of Japan Day Inc. (right) hands the award to Mr. Dale Prince (center) and Mr. Gary Moriwaki (left) (Photo by Mark Doyle)
On May 8, Japan Day in New York recognized three organizations, including theTOMODACHI Initiative, for their work during and after the Great East Japan Earthquake in March 2011. Japan Day thanked TOMODACHI, Japan Society and Hideki Matsui, for their support over the past five years and their continued dedication to the Tohoku region. This Japan Day celebrated its 10th Anniversary, and also supported current relief efforts in Kumamoto after severe earthquakes struck the region this past April.
Vice Chair of USJC Board of Directors Gary Moriwaki accepted the award on behalf of USJC, alongside Mr. Dale Prince from the U.S. Department of State (Director of the New York Foreign Press Center), who represented the U.S. Embassy in Japan. Mr. Moriwaki gave a short speech on TOMODACHI's origins in supporting Tohoku's recovery from the Great East Japan Earthquake, as well as ongoing success in fostering the next generation of leaders in U.S.-Japan relations.
Many USJC Council Leaders attended the event to show their support, including Yuki Kaneshige, Sakura Yagi and Fred Katayama. Board Member Yosuke Honjo and his ITO EN team donated 30,500 bottles of tea, and Associate Kenshiro Uki and his Sun Noodle team served 1,300 bowls of ramen.
(L-R) Ms. Kaneshige, Ms. Yagi, Mr. Moriwaki, and Mr. Katayama all pose with the TOMODACHI award. (Photo courtesy of Fred Katayama)
On May 9, Ambassador Reiichiro Takahashi graciously hosted a post-event reception at his residence. USJC New York Regional Chair Sakura Yagi and Vice-Chair Julie Azuma both attended the reception with Mr. Prince and his colleague from the U.S. Department of State.
USJC thanks Japan Day for this recognition, and congratulates Japan Society and Mr. Matsui!