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Japan Foreign Ministers Commendation Awarded to the NVC

by the Consulate-General of Japan
August 2019, Volume 69, Issue 7

Congratulations to the Members of the Nisei Veterans Committee!

The NVC is one of four local recipients of the Japan Foreign Ministers Commendation for 2019.

The men and women Nisei Veterans, the membership, and the support from the community all contributed to the nomination by the Consul General and the subsequent selection of the NVC for the Japan Foreign Ministers Commendation. 

The presentation of the commendation is scheduled for 8 September 2019, during the JBLM and JGSDF Luncheon event at the Nisei Vets Hall. 

Here are excerpts from a couple of messages about why the NVC was awarded this commendation:

From the Consul General of Japan:

“. . . all the success the Japanese companies made in the U.S. and the excellent bilateral relationship between our two countries we enjoy today were only made possible by the contributions of Japanese Americans, especially Nisei soldiers, and the trust and  respect they earned by their sacrifice and bravery . . . believes that it is important for the Japanese Government to recognize Nisei soldiers’ contributions to U.S.-Japan relations . . . “

From Hiro Tojo, Senior Assistant for Political Affairs:

”. . . tangible contributions NVC has made, it did so much to strengthen U.S.-Japan relations, such as the JGSDF/I Corps luncheon in September that NVC has hosted six times so far, the Uncommon Stories on Common Grounds symposium series that has been held five times in the past three years and brought probably more than two thousand people collectively, hosting and providing a venue for the receptions for visiting ambassadors, arriving and departing CGs, generously providing a tour of NVC Memorial Hall to educate the visiting dignitaries, etc., to name a few. Thanks to NVC’s efforts for the reconciliation between the Japanese American community and the country of Japan, we now do so much together.”

These, and many other activities that the NVC has hosted and supported for many years, all contributed to the NVC being selected for this award.

It is a rare occurrence to have more than one commendation issued in a year.  Past recipients of the commendation include:

2018 - Japanese Language and Literature Program, Department of Asian Languages and Literature, University of Washington

2017 - Dr. Judith N. Rabinovitch, Professor Emerita, Department of Modern & Classical Languages & Literatures, University of Montana

2016 - Burton E. "Bud" Bard Jr., President, Seattle Sister Cities Association

2015 - Lori Matsukawa, News Anchor, KING-TV, Ch.5

2015 - Hon. Ralph Munro, Former Secretary of State, State of Washington

2014 - Hon. Karen Fraser, Former State Senator, Washington State Senate (later also decorated)

2013 - Tom Ikeda, Executive Director, Densho: The Japanese American Legacy Project

2012 - Asia Northwest Cultural Education Association (Sakura-con)

2010 - Dr. Michael E. Lang, Former Vice President, Big Bend Community College (later also decorated)

2009 - Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies, University of Washington

2008 - Mimi G. Gates, Director, Seattle Art Museum

2006 - Kazuko Umezu Stout, Former President, Nikkei International Marriage Society (later also decorated)

2005 - Seattle Cherry Blossom & Japanese Cultural Festival (Tazue Sasaki later decorated)

2005 - Rev. Ume Yoshikawa, Minister, Japanese Presbyterian Church of Seattle

2004 - Hon. Kip Tokuda, State Representative, Washington State House of Representatives (later also decorated)

2004 - Griffith Way, Trustee & Manager, The Blakemore Foundation (later also decorated)

2004 - Dr. Mayumi N. Smith, Former Dir., Nippon Business Institute & Japanese Program, Everett Community College

2004 - Hokubei Hochi (North American Post)

2004 - Japan Business Association of Seattle

2004 - The Ventures (later also decorated)

2000 - Seattle Japanese Language School

2000 - Michiko Takaoka, Director, Couture Center, Mukogawa Ft. Wright Institute

1999 - Japan-America Society of the State of Washington

1996 - Mary Hammond Bernson, Director, East Asia Resource Center, HMJ School of International Studies, University of Washington (later also decorated)

1989 - Gerald Roland, Director, Agricultural Program, Employment Security Department, State of Washington

Congratulations Again!