Urasenke grand tea master Dr. Genshitsu Sen pays his respects to Sen. Daniel Inouye.

WASHINGTON — Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) on April 9 hosted Dr. Genshitsu Sen, the 15th-generation Urasenke grand tea master of Japan, as he performed a centuries-old tea ceremony for world peace.

Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii), who passed away in December, had intended to host the ceremony. Instead, the ceremony, which underscored the deep alliance between Japan and the U.S., was dedicated to his memory.

“Nothing could be more important than the U.S.-Japan relationship,” Hirono said at the ceremony. “It is this friendship and alliance that has produced peace in the Asia-Pacific region, security and economic vitality. I want to thank all of you who are here to participate and to also let you know that Sen. Inouye was committed to strengthening that relationship. All of us build on his emphasis.”

In attendance were Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), the Senate’s president pro tempore; Japanese Ambassador to the U.S. Kenichiro Sasae; former Hawaii Gov. George Ariyoshi and his wife, former First Lady Jean Ariyoshi; and Irene Hirano Inouye, the senator’s widow.

The ceremony was held in the historic Kennedy Caucus Room, the location where Sen. Inouye chaired hearings on the Iran-Contra scandal in the 1980s.

To see video from the ceremony, click here.

Left: Attendees included former Hawaii Gov. George Ariyoshi and Irene Hirano Inouye, the senator’s widow. Right: Sen. Mazie Hirono hosted the ceremony.

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