Taking part in the dedication ceremony were (from left) Kazue Inoue (Daniel Inouye’s relative), Keiichi Kakuda (Yame City Council chairman), Tsuneyuki Mitamura (Yame City mayor), Masaru Eguchi (Fukuoka Prefecture vice governor) and John C. Taylor (principal officer, U.S. Consulate in Fukuoka).

On March 18, an unveiling ceremony for a bust commemorating the legacy of the late Sen. Daniel K. Inouye (1924-2012) was held by the city government of Yame, Fukuoka Prefecture.

Sen. Daniel Inouye meets with President John F. Kennedy.

Inouye, a decorated World War II veteran and the second-longest-serving U.S. senator in history, was born in Honolulu in 1924, after his father and his grandparents emigrated from the village of Yokoyama in Yame County, currently Joyo District in Yame City.

The monument was erected in a park in Joyo with 30 flowering dogwoods, a gift from the U.S. to Japan in 2015, as a symbol of the lasting U.S.-Japan bilateral friendship as well as the pride of his hometown honoring the political and cultural achievements that he had made in both countries.

Holding keen awareness of his heritage and paying respect to his roots, Inouye, together with Irene Hirano Inouye and other Japanese American leaders, founded the U.S.-Japan Council in 2008. On behalf of the council and Inouye’s wife, who looked forward to the completion of the monument but passed away in 2020, a congratulatory message by USJC President and CEO Suzanne Basalla was delivered during the ceremony.

To watch the entire ceremony, go to YouTube.

Irene Hirano Inouye looks on as Vice President Joe Biden administers a ceremonial oath of office during a mock ceremony for her husband, Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii), in 2011 in the Old Senate Chamber.

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