The Japanese American Bar Association (JABA) announced that its 38th annual Installation and Awards Gala will feature Rep. Mark Takano (D-Riverside) and Japanese American violinist Ryu Goto.

The gala will be held on Friday, March 7, at the Omni Hotel in downtown Los Angeles, with a reception at 6 p.m. and dinner at 7 p.m.

Rep. Mark Takano
Rep. Mark Takano

Takano, the keynote speaker, has dedicated over 20 years of public service to Riverside County, both as an elected official and as a teacher. He currently represents Riverside County residents in the 41st Congressional District and serves on the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee and the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee.

Throughout his public service, Takano has served as a member of the board of the Chancellor’s Asian Pacific Islander Community Advisory Center at UC Riverside, the Association of Latino Community College Trustees, the Association of California Asian American Trustees, and Asian Pacific Americans in Higher Education. His dedication to promoting diversity within the community was recognized when he received the Martin Luther King Visionaries Award.

Goto began his career at age seven when he made his debut at the Pacific Music Festival in Sapporo. Since then, he has appeared as a soloist with many of the world’s leading orchestras and ensembles, including the National Symphony Orchestra, the London Philharmonic, the Sydney Symphony, and the China Philharmonic. He has collaborated with many famous conductors, including Lorin Maazel, Tan Dun, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Fabio Luisi, and Myung-Whun Chung, and has performed at Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, Tokyo’s Suntory Hall, the Sydney Opera House, the Shanghai Grand Theater, Vienna’s Musikverein, Munich’s Herkulessaal, and the Philharmonic Hall Gasteig.

Ryu Goto
Ryu Goto

His dedication to philanthropic causes is exemplified in his mentoring of music students around the world, conducting classes in conjunction with the world’s top musical institutions, including the Juilliard School and the Harvard Bach Society Orchestra.

The JABA Gala is an annual celebration at which distinguished members in the community are honored and the JABA board is installed.  Hundreds of lawyers, judges, elected officials, businesspersons, and members of the Japanese American community attend. Past speakers and honorees include actor and community activist George Takei, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, California Supreme Court Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, and the late U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye.

JABA is the only Japanese American bar association in the country and one of the oldest Asian American bar associations.

Platinum Sponsors include Greenberg, Glusker, Fields, Claman & Machtinger LLP; Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP; Perkins Coie LLP; and Union Bank.

Individual tickets are $125. For more information, and for sponsorship opportunities, contact Jeff Ikejiri at or visit

The JABA Educational Foundation will also hold a raffle fundraiser, the proceeds of which will fund scholarships for deserving students in support of their legal education. To learn more about the foundation or to make a donation, contact Raymond Sakai at (818) 545-1925.

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