Stephen T. Quigley, Jr., Ezilda Samoville, Brian Yoshiaki Shiroyama

SAN FRANCISCO — On Dec. 1, Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced the recipients of the Foreign Minister’s Commendations for 2020.

Within the Consulate General of Japan in San Francisco’s jurisdiction, the following three individuals and one organization will receive the commendations for their contributions to the strengthening of relations between the U.S. and Japan.

• Stephen T. Quigley, Jr., president, Sister Cities International Foundation

• Ezilda Samoville, director, Office of International Relations, California State Senate

• Brian Yoshiaki Shiroyama, vice oresident, Friends and Family of Nisei Veterans (FFNV)

• Asian Art Museum, San Francisco

The Foreign Minister’s Commendations are awarded to individuals and organizations with outstanding achievements in international fields, to acknowledge their contributions to the promotion of friendship between Japan and other countries. The commendations also aim to promote the understanding and support of the Japanese public towards the activities of recipients.

This year, the commendations will be awarded to 172 individuals and 65 groups; 20 individuals and 11 groups reside in Japan, and 152 individuals and 54 groups reside overseas.

The recipients will be presented with an award certificate and individuals will be presented with a commemorative gift. The ceremony that normally takes place each year will not be held this year, due to the spread of the novel coronavirus.

On this occasion, the ministry will also award the Foreign Minister’s Commendations for excellent chefs for ambassadors/consul-generals of Japan. A total of nine chefs will be recognized for the significance of their contributions to diplomatic activities and also to facilitate the recruitment of highly qualified chefs in the future.

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