Foreign Minister’s Commendation Award Ceremony for Mr. Shunji Ninoyu

On January 26, 2024, Japan’s Foreign Minister’s Commendation Award Ceremony was held for Mr. Shunji Ninoyu. The ceremony took place at the Consortium Library at the University of Alaska Anchorage.

Mr. Kiyohiko Hamada, Head of the Consular Office of Japan in Anchorage, expressed his sincere gratitude and admiration for Mr. Ninoyu’s work as a cultural bridge builder between US and Japan. His dedication in fostering sister city visits between Palmer and Saroma, Anchorage and Chitose, and his exceeding work in advancing Japanese language education for over 20 years at East High School, Colony High School, Wasilla High School, University of Alaska Anchorage, and Mat-Su College have played a vital role in keeping the relationship between Japan and Alaska strong.
Mr. Ninoyu dedicated the award to colleagues, students, friends, and family who have inspired and supported him throughout his career.
Heartfelt speeches were made by former Director of Mat-Su College Dr. Talis Colberg, President of the Japanese American Citizens League “Alaska Chapter” Dennis Arashiro, and former President of the Japan Alaska Association and daughter Ms. Erika Ninoyu.
A congratulatory message from Saroma Mayor Harutomo Takeda was read who deeply acknowledged Mr. Ninoyu for his success in producing a multitude of distinguished graduates of Japanese language, as well as his continuous efforts in cultivating friendship and goodwill between Palmer and Saroma.