TYSON’S CORNER, Va. — Ichiro Fujisaki, Japan’s ambassador to the U.S., received the Japanese American Veterans Association’s (JAVA) highest recognition, the Courage, Honor, Patriotism Award, at a special luncheon in his honor at the prestigious Tower Club, located in Tyson’s Corner, Va., on Sept. 15.
JAVA President Gerald Yamada, in presenting the award, said Fujisaki is recognized for his leadership in strengthening the U.S.-Japan alliance, for promoting ties between the government and people of Japan and the Japanese American community, and for forging a bond of friendship with JAVA.
The citation accompanying the award, read by Lt. Col. Kay Wakatake, U.S. Army, provided details of some of the ambassador’s accomplishments over his tenure in Washington, D.C., which spanned more than four years.
Yamada also presented Fujisaki with a bronze replica of the Congressional Gold Medal that was awarded to the 100th Infantry Battalion, 442nd Regimental Combat Team, and Military Intelligence Service in November 2011, with the following inscription on a brass plate: “Presented to Ambassador Fujisaki by JAVA for his outreach to WWII Nisei Veterans.”
Yamada credited Fujisaki with reaching out to JAVA by giving the organization numerous opportunities to meet with him and other high-ranking Japanese government officials.
In his response, Fujisaki said he appreciated the award and will always remember the many friendships that he has made while serving as ambassador. He added that he will especially remember the many occasions in which he had the opportunity to visit with JAVA members and with Japanese American veterans’ organizations throughout America.
Fujisaki was born in Kanagawa Prefecture after the end of World War II. He attended school in Seattle during his father’s diplomatic assignment there. He also attended Keio University in Tokyo, and joined the Japanese diplomatic service in 1968. After assignments in Europe and Tokyo, he was assigned to Washington, D.C., with the rank of minister for a four-year period, after which he returned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs headquarters in Tokyo.
Following a tour in Geneva, Switzerland, in 2005, Fujisaki was posted to Washington, D.C., in 2008 as ambassador. The ambassador announced that he will be leaving in a couple of months to return to Tokyo for retirement.