The Consulate General of Japan in Los Angeles presented the Commendation of the Consul General to Haruo Takehana on March 17.
The Commendation of the Consul General was established to recognize an individual or group who has helped advance the mission of the Consulate General and has provided significant contributions to mutual understanding and promoting friendship between Japan and the U.S.
Takehana arrived in the U.S. in 1967 and worked for 18 years as general sales manager in the International Sales Department of commercial steamship company Seatrain Lines, managing four branch offices.
Later he was recruited by Japanese logistics company Suzuyo & Company and worked at the U.S. subsidiary, Suzuyo Fritz Freight Systems Inc., as head of the company while also managing an additional subsidiary, Kashiwa Fudosan America Inc. After retiring from Suzuyo, he established his own company, Takehana Real Estate Services Inc., which specializes in commercial and industrial real estate and provides the sales, lease, and management of properties.
Takehana has served the Japanese American community through volunteering with various nonprofit and community organizations. In 2002, he became a member of the Japanese Community Pioneer Center, which provides health and welfare services to Japanese American seniors. He is currently serving his fifth term as president and received a recognition award from the center in 2010.
In 2004, he joined the Japanese Chamber of Commerce of Southern California. After serving in a variety of positions, he became president in 2012 and now serves as advisor. He also serves as vice chairman of the chamber’s Japanese American Scholarship Fund (JASF), which provides scholarships to Japanese American college-bound high school students.
Takehana received the JASF’s Recognition Award in 2019, and in 2017, with recommendations from both the Japanese Chamber of Commerce of Southern California and Japanese Community Pioneer Center, he received the Nikkei Pioneer Spirit Award from the Nisei Week Foundation.
Takehana has also been active in numerous additional Japanese American community organizations. His positions include: executive director of Beikoku Shodo Kenkyukai, president of Nagano Kenjinkai, senior vice president of Little Tokyo Business Association, advisor to Ikenobo Ikebana Los Angeles, president of Urasenke California Konnichikai, former director of San Diego Japanese Business Association, former trustee of Little Tokyo Rotary Club, former president of Tribute to Nikkei Pioneers, former president of L.A. Mokkei Club and former president of Ikkikai.
Together with the Tomon-kai Alumni Club, Takehana established a scholarship fund for graduate students from Waseda University who come to the U.S. for master’s or doctoral degrees and became the first donor to the fund.
At Beikoku Shodo Kenkyukai, he is currently shihan (instructor) and with other members exhibits and demonstrates the art of calligraphy at community events.
The Commendation of the Consul General has been presented to Takehana as he is expected to continue to play an important role in the Japanese American community and in advancing the Japan-U.S. relationship.