Irene Hirano, head of U.S.-Japan Council and Sen. Inouye’s wife, dies (Kyodo News)

WASHINGTON – Irene Hirano, head of the U.S.-Japan Council and widow of the late U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye, died Tuesday in Los Angeles following an extended illness, the council said Wednesday. She was 71.

Born in Los Angeles, she was also president and founding CEO of the Japanese American National Museum in the city, a position she took in 1999 and held for 20 years. The museum is dedicated to preserving the history and culture of Americans of Japanese ancestry.

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