The Japanese American National Museum officially unveiled the new name for its Democracy Forum, part of its National Center for the Preservation of Democracy: the Tateuchi Democracy Forum, in ceremonies held in October.
To name the Democrac Forum, the Tateuchi Foundation donated $2 million. It also donated additional funds to create a public program series that promotes better relations between the United States and Japan. That series will begin in 2010.
The Tateuchi Foundation seeks to promote and improve international understanding, knowledge and the quality of relations between Japan and the United States. The foundation has also offered support to the Seattle Asian Art Museum, Seattle Libraries and the San Francisco Asian Art Museum.
The Tateuchi Democracy Forum was officially opened in ceremonies held with the museum’s board of trustees and a representative of the Atsuhiko & Ina Goodwin Tateuchi Foundation, located in Seattle. Administrator Dan Asher represented the Tateuchi Foundation, including Ina Goodwin Tateuchi and her late husband Atsuhiko, at the ceremonies. The name was unveiled by Asher, Trustee Board Chair Ernest Doizaki and National Museum President and Chief Executive Officer Akemi Kikumura Yano. Also in attendance were former JANM President and CEO Irene Hirano Inouye, Sen. Daniel Inouye, Norman Mineta and George Takei.
“Conversations with Norman Mineta and George Takei,” a series premiered by the museum, was the inaugural program in the Tateuchi Democracy Forum under its new name. Former Secretary of Transportation Mineta and Takei talked about their lives, including growing as Japanese Americans, their experiences during World War II, and crucial moments in their lives.