JAPANESE AMERICAN VETERANS ASSOCIATION
(1749 Old Meadow Road, McLean, VA 22102)
January 8, 2011
CONTACT: Terry Shima 301-987-6746;
PHOTO: Two photos attached to this press release
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SEVEN JAPANESE AMERICANS MEET JAPAN FOREIGN MINISTER IN NATIONíS CAPITAL
Japanese American Veterans Association
Washington, DC. Japan Minister for Foreign Affairs Seiji Maehara held an unprecedented meeting with representatives of four Japanese American organizations at the Willard Intercontinental Hotel in Washington, DC on January 7, 2011. Arrangement for this meeting was made by Ambassador Ichiro Fujisaki to give Minister Maehara the opportunity to exchange views. Prior to this meeting, Mr. Maehara had visited the National Japanese American Memorial to Patriotism, located one block from the US Capitol.
Japanese Americans who participated in this meeting were Dr. Craig Uchida, Chairman of the Board of the National Japanese American Memorial Foundation; Floyd Mori, National Executive Director and CEO of JACL; Hideki Hamamoto, Vice Chair of US-Japan Council; Robert Nakamoto, President of Japanese American Veterans Association (JAVA); Grant Ichikawa, MIS veteran and JAVA Board Member; Gerald Yamada, Esq, President-designate JAVA; Terry Shima, 442nd veteran and JAVA Executive Director. After each person introduced himself with a brief background, Nakamoto, Ichikawa, and Shima, recent recipients of the Foreign Ministerís Award, were each asked to comment on their activities.
Minister for Foreign Affairs Maehara and 7 Japanese Americans exchanging views.
Foreign Minister is at right center.
Facing him, L-R: Craig Uchida, Floyd Mori, Terry Shima, Bob Nakamoto, Grant Ichikawa, Hideki Hamamoto, Gerald Yamada, Esq.
On the Foreign Minister's side, L-R: Tomoyuki Yoshida, Private Secretary to the Minister for Foreign Affairs (MFA); Yuka Uchida,
Private Secretary to MFA, H.E. Seiji Maehara, MFA; H.E. Ichiro Fujisaki, Ambassador to USA; Kazuyoshi Umemoto, Director-General,
North American Affairs Bureau, MFA; Minister Hideo Suzuki, Head of Chancery, Embassy of Japan; End of Table: Hiroshi Ishikawa,
Director, First North American Division, MFA. Photo: Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Japan
This was followed by a free exchange of discussions during which the Foreign Minister displayed keen interest in the Japanese American activities and their views on US-Japan relations.
In response to their remarks, Minister Maehara discussed the importance of US-Japan alliance and said Japan is committed to strengthen this bilateral relations. Expressing his appreciation to meet with representatives of the Japanese American community in Washington, DC, Minister Maehara said he is proud of the way Japanese Americans overcame hardships through diligence and discipline to make important contributions to their nation. Strong relationship at the government level is important, he said, but this must be accompanied by an equally strong relationship at the people to people level. The continued interchange at both levels should be fostered to achieve our goals, he concluded.
Minister Maehara was born in Kyoto City, graduated from Kyoto University Faculty of Law, elected to the House of Representatives at six consecutive elections, and served as minister of two other ministries prior to the Foreign Ministership.
L-R. Robert Nakamoto and Foreign Minister Maehara. Photo: Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Japan.
The Japanese American representatives were impressed with the Foreign Ministerís friendliness, candor, and commitment to build strong relations between the government and people of Japan and the Japanese Americans. The Japanese American representatives thanked the Foreign Minister for the invitation to meet with him. Nakamoto, in his letter to Ambassador Fujisaki expressing appreciation for arranging this meeting, said he hopes that the Foreign Minister would consider holding similar meetings, if his schedule allowed, with Japanese American representatives at selected cities the Foreign Minister visits such as Honolulu, Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles.