On December 10, 2015, the Consulate-General of Japan in Seattle recognized two highly-qualified individuals for their contributions to Japan-US relations. In a ceremony held during the Emperor’s Birthday Reception at the Official Residence, Consul General Masahiro Omura presented Ms. Lori Matsukawa and Mr. Ralph Munro with the Foreign Minister’s Commendation and Foreign Minister’s Certificate of Gratitude, respectively.
Ms. Lori Matsukawa is known throughout the Pacific Northwest as an anchor for KING-TV, as well as a prominent member of the Japanese American community. Her history of dedicated service notably includes co-founding the Japanese Cultural & Community Center of Washington, which she continues to lead, promoting Japanese language education, and preserving Nikkei history. In her capacity as a journalist, she is the voice for Japanese and Japanese American issues and, in the aftermath of the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake, she traveled to Japan to report on the disaster.
Over more than 30 years of service, including 20 years in office, Former Washington State Secretary of State Ralph Munro has been making great contributions to the Japan-US bilateral relationship. His long-time promotion of Washington State’s sister relationship with Hyogo Prefecture includes the establishment of the Hyogo Business and Cultural Center, as well as serving on the host committee for the 50th anniversary celebration in 2013. He has consistently gone above and beyond his responsibilities, cultivating many valuable connections among Japanese officials and important leaders.
The Foreign Minister's awards are given individuals and groups in honor of outstanding achievements in the promotion of friendship between Japan and other countries. The Foreign Minister’s Commendation is awarded to those who have made contributions primarily in non-governmental activities, while the Certificate of Gratitude is presented to those whose contributions have been primarily in public service.