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2012 National Day Reception (December 3, 2012)

Consul-General and Mrs. Ono received arriving guests.

Consul-General Ono gave remarks looking back on 2012 and outline aspirations for the coming year.

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock expressed congratulations for the celebration of Japan’s National Day and Emperor’s birthday.

Recipients of Japanese government awards in 2012 included, from left; Judge Raymond Uno, Mr. Richard Clark, Mr. Seiji Tanaka, Ikebana International Chapter 66/Ms. Jan Cashman, Mr. Haruhisa Yamamoto, Judge Kerry Hada and Ms. Kimiko Side.

The 2012 National Day reception had a wonderful turnout.


On Monday, December 3, 2012 at 6:00 pm, Consul-General and Mrs. Ono hosted the 2012 National Day Reception at a downtown Denver hotel, in commemoration of the birthday of His Imperial Majesty the Emperor of Japan. With the weather cooperating, approximately 360 guests attended for the occasion, including Mr. George Sakato, a veteran of the U.S. Army 442nd Regimental Combat Team and U.S. Medal of Honor winner; Mr. John Suthers, Attorney General of the State of Colorado; Denver Mayor Michael Hancock and several other metro area mayors from Longmont, Federal Heights, and Cherry Hills Village.

Following a greeting and opening remarks from Consul-General Ono, Denver Mayor Hancock offered his remarks as the guest speaker, expressing his high expectations for growing the relationship between Denver and Japan. He noted in particular the Denver-Tokyo non-stop flight that will begin next March, and its potential contributions toward friendship and economic linkage. A reading of a proclamation issued by Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper followed, which emphasized the strong will for further development of mutual relationship and enhancement of human exchange between Japan and Colorado.

To conclude the formalities Deputy Consul-General Yamaguchi introduced, to deserved applause, this year’s local recipients of Japanese government awards within the Denver consulate’s 4-state jurisdiction. Several awards were conferred this year, including an Imperial Decoration, the Commendation of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Award for Overseas Promotion of Japanese Food, and the Commendation of the Consul-General of Japan.

Along with beautiful Ikebana arranged by members of Ikebana International on display at the venue, the Consulate provided a PR booth with brochures and a DVD playing to introduce Japan for guests. The Japan National Tourism Organization also participated in this effort, as staff from its Los Angeles Office prepared a booth to distribute tourism brochures and travel advice. In addition, five locally active Japanese firms also prepared booths to show their products, taking the opportunity to display the attractiveness of Japanese brands. United Airlines was on hand with a booth as well, with staff members providing information and promoting the upcoming Denver-Tokyo nonstop flight.