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Recipients of the 2013 Foreign Minister's Commendation

Dr. Jeanette Misaka

Mr. Ron Yetsuo Otsuka


On Thursday, July 25 the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan announced recipients of the Japanese Foreign Minister's Commendation for 2013, including two individuals from within the jurisdiction of the Consulate General of Japan in Denver. Dr. Jeanette Misaka of Salt Lake City, Utah and Mr. Ronald Otsuka of Denver, Colorado will be conferred with the Foreign Minister's Commendation for their outstanding contributions to the promotion of mutual understanding and goodwill between the people of Japan and the United States.

Dr. Jeanette Misaka of Salt Lake City, Utah, is a former university educator and academic on cultural diversity, who has dedicated herself to various human rights issues. She has particularly committed herself actively to the improvement of circumstances surrounding the rights of Japanese American citizens. She has been a dedicated member of the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) since the early 1950's, and currently serves as a national JACL board member and as governor of the JACL Intermountain District Council. Dr. Misaka experienced the internment of Japanese American citizens during WWII at Heart Mountain Interment Camp in Wyoming, and is a member of the Advisory Council of the Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation.

Mr. Ronald Yetsuo Otsuka of Denver, Colorado, has been the Curator of Asian Art since 1973 at the Denver Art Museum, one of the largest art museums between the US Midwest and West Coast areas. During his time at the Denver Art Museum, Mr. Otsuka has conducted extensive academic research in the areas of Japanese and Asian art, taught classes at several universities, and organized numerous major exhibitions and special displays of Japanese and Asian art. His dedication toward public awareness and education about these unique art forms, and the promotion of a greater understanding of Japanese culture, has contributed significantly to mutual understanding between Japan and the United States.

In keeping with the high ideals represented by this award, the Consulate-General of Japan at Denver is honored to offer its sincere congratulations to these dedicated individuals for this deserved recognition of their long service to the community. An official conferment ceremony will be held at the Residence of the Consul General in Denver in due course, to be announced at a later date.