ANAHEIM — The Japan America Society of Southern California (JASSC) will present its 103rd Anniversary Dinner and Gala Celebration at the Disneyland Hotel, 1150 Magic Way, Anaheim, on Friday, June 15, at 6 p.m.

The Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim. (Disney photo)

Established to build meaningful relationships between Japanese and Americans, the JASCC this year will honor organizations and personnel who contributed greatly to relief efforts in the wake of last year’s earthquake and tsunami.

Disneyland Resort will receive JASSC’s Kokusai Shimin Sho (国際市民賞) or International Citizens Award.  Operation Tomodachi, the joint U.S. Forces and Japan Self-Defense Forces humanitarian relief effort launched after the March 11, 2011 Great Japan East Earthquake and Tsunami, also will be honored.

Adm. Patrick M. Walsh, commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet (retired), and Gen. Shigeru Iwasaki, chief of staff, JSDF (invited), will accept the Kokusai Shimin Sho on behalf of the 20,000 American service personnel and the 107,000 Japanese service personnel who, side-by-side, made Operation Tomodachi a success.

Gen. Shigeru Iwasaki

“We are delighted to honor the Disneyland Resort for its more than 50 years of help in strengthening the relationship between Japan and the United States through the world’s most beloved theme parks,” said Nancy Woo Hiromoto, chairperson of JASSC. “Honoring the service personnel of Operation Tomodachi, one of the greatest joint U.S.-Japan humanitarian relief efforts after last year’s earthquake and tsunami, is a capstone to the JASSC’s 2011 Japan Relief Fund, which raised more than $1.4 million to help victims in Japan.”

Disneyland Resort is being recognized for Tokyo Disney Resort’s immediate response after the disaster, which initially stranded 69,000 people at Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea. Disney employees provided humanitarian aid in the form of blankets, food and water, heaters and raincoats for visitors who were required to stay due to the transportation challenges associated with the earthquake.

“Whether it’s helping others across town or across the world, Disney cast members have a long history of providing assistance in times of crisis,” said Jill Bolton, director of community relations for Disneyland Resort. “It is gratifying to know that we were able to make a difference in the lives of many people affected by the tsunami, and we are grateful to be recognized with the Japan America Society’s International Citizens Award for our efforts.”

Adm. Patrick Walsh

Highlights for the evening include musical performances by six-time Grammy Award winner Daniel Ho and by acclaimed jazz and classical pianist-composer-arranger Yuko Maruyama.

The evening begins with a cocktail reception and silent auction and concludes with a raffle drawing for a 2012 Lexus CT 200h donated by Toyota Motor Sales USA Inc.

More information and reservations for the gala, including how to enter the raffle drawing (winner need not be present), can be found online at or by calling Kay Amano, programs director, at (213) 627-6217, ext. 207.

About Disneyland Resort

Located on approximately 500 acres in Anaheim, the Disneyland Resort features two spectacular theme parks — Disneyland (the original Disney theme park) and Disney California Adventure park — plus the Downtown Disney District composed of unique dining, entertainment and shopping experiences.

The resort’s three hotels are the 948-room Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, the 969-room Disneyland Hotel, and the 481-room Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel. With 23,000 cast members, the Disneyland Resort is Orange County’s largest employer and generates $4.7 billion for the Southern California economy. The resort has welcomed more than 600 million guests since opening on July 17, 1955.

For detailed information about the Disneyland Resort, visit

About Operation Tomodachi

Operation Tomodachi, named for the Japanese word for “friend,” was launched after Japan’s devastating earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011. United States Forces (USF) and Japan Self-Defense Forces (JSDF) worked together in one of the world’s most successful, bilateral military responses to provide humanitarian assistance.

Adm. Walsh recently retired as the 59th commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet. Last year, he served as commander of the Joint Support Force that carried out Operation Tomodachi.

In February 2012, Gen. Iwasaki was promoted to chief of staff, JSDF, where he supervises the operations of the Ground Self Defense Force (GSDF), Maritime Self Defense Force (MSDF) and Air Self Defense Force (ASDF) under the control and supervision of the minister of defense.  Prior to his promotion, and during Operation Tomodachi, Iwasaki served as chief of staff of the ASDF.


The Japan America Society was founded in 1909 to build economic, cultural, governmental and personal relationships between the people of Japan and America.  It has grown to become the West Coast’s premier educational and public affairs forum dedicated to the U.S.–Japan relationship by offering unique opportunities to become involved in the business and cultural relationship between the two countries.

The Japan America Society’s active calendar of events includes breakfast and luncheon programs, business networking mixers, weekend family events, and programs highlighting art, music, fashion, film, performing arts and other special activities. Annual events include the Japan America Golf Classic & Tennis Open, Family Fishing Trip and Family Whale Watch Cruise, Japan America Kite Festival, and U.S.-Japan Green Conference.

JASSC is a qualified 501(c)(3) nonprofit, charitable and educational organization and it is supported by 135 Japanese and American corporate members and more than 2,000 individual members.

(Source: PR Newswire)

International Citizens Award

The perpetual Kokusai Shimin Sho (International Citizens Award) honors “individuals, businesses or organizations that have substantively and significantly enhanced the Japan–United States relationship and that are committed to the strengthening of bonds between the two nations.” Past honorees include:


Yukiatsu Akizawa, president and CEO, am/pm Japan Company Ltd.

C. Michael Armstrong, chairman and CEO, AT&T

Walter F. Beran, co-chairman emeritus, Ernst & Young LLP

Philip M. Condit, chairman and CEO, The Boeing Company

Yoshikazu Hanawa, chairman and CEO, Nissan Motor Company Ltd.

Yoshi Inaba, president and CEO, Toyota Motor Sales USA Inc.

Dr. Kazuo Inamori, founder and chairman emeritus, Kyocera Corporation

Takashi Kiuchi, chairman and CEO, Mitsubishi America Corporation

Minoru Makihara, chairman, Mitsubishi International Corporation

Richard Rosenberg, chairman and CEO, Bank of America

Tasuku Takagaki, chairman, The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ

Dr. Shoichiro Toyoda, chairman, Toyota Motor Corporation


U.S. Ambassador to Japan James D. Hodgson

Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone

U.S. Ambassador to Japan John V. Roos

Ambassador Taizo Watanabe

California Gov. Pete Wilson

Arts, Culture, Literature and Sports

James Clavell, author and screenwriter

Rod Dedeaux and Renzo Ishii, co-founders, U.S.-Japan College Baseball Championship Series

Kitaro, Grammy and Golden Globe award-winning composer and musician

Tommy Lasorda, advisor to the chairman, Los Angeles Dodgers

Etsuko and Joe D. Price, founders, Shin’enkan Foundation

Airlines that Bridge Southern California and Japan

All Nippon Airways

American Airlines

Delta Air Lines

Japan Airlines

United Airlines

Ports that Serve as “Gateways Across the Pacific”

Port of Hueneme

Port of Long Beach

Port of Los Angeles

Port of Kobe

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *