SAN FRANCISCO — On Aug. 20, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced the recipients of the Foreign Minister’s Commendations for 2021. Within the jurisdiction of the Consulate General of Japan in San Francisco, the following three individuals will receive the commendations for their contributions to the strengthening of relations between Japan and the U.S.

Dr. Satsuki Ina was born in the Tule Lake Segregation Center during World War II. She became a psychotherapist based on her personal experience and has worked in trauma therapy serving the Japanese American community for more than 30 years. Ina has researched incarceration trauma and its intergenerational effects and is now professor emeritus at CSU Sacramento. Ina has also produced documentary films about Japanese American internment, raising awareness of its history. Her widely respected work has helped heal the Japanese American community.

Ambassador C. Lawrence “Larry” Greenwood, Jr. was a career diplomat and served twice at the Embassy of the U.S. in Tokyo, including once as minister counsellor of economic affairs. He was U.S. ambassador to the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and led economic cooperation among the Asia-Pacific region, including Japan. After retiring from the Department of State, he served as vice president of the Asian Development Bank. During his time as president of the Japan Society of Northern California (JSNC), Greenwood utilized the deep knowledge and experience he gained from working in Japan-U.S. relations for many years and on the forefront of economic diplomacy. He significantly expanded JSNC’s activities, introducing a wide variety of topics, from Japanese language to cutting-edge technology, at the grassroots level. This increased Japan’s presence in the local area, including influential Silicon Valley.

Dr. Emily Moto Murase, a Japanese American leader, has dedicated herself to enriching the grassroots relationship between Japan and the U.S. As the first Japanese American to ever be elected to the San Francisco Board of Education, she championed world languages, including Japanese, which has been taught in San Francisco public schools since 1973. As a long-time San Francisco-Osaka Sister City Association board member and former U.S.-Japan Council regional director for Northern California, she hosted binational workshops on Womenomics, coached Japanese students on professional networking, and helped establish the group Japanese Americans and Japanese in America (JAJA) in San Francisco. Most recently, as director of the San Francisco Department on the Status of Women, she strengthened relations between local government and the Consulate General of Japan in San Francisco.

This year, the commendations for outstanding achievements in international fields will be awarded to 177 individuals and 41 groups (22 individuals and 5 groups reside in Japan, and 155 individuals and 36 groups reside overseas). The recipients will be presented with an award certificate and individuals will be presented with a commemorative gift. The ceremony, which normally takes place each year, will not be held this year, due to the spread of COVID-19.

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