The Journal The Authority on Global Business in Japan

On January 17, members of the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan presented a Certificate of Appreciation to United States Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy at the US Embassy in Tokyo. The certificate reads:

“Your support of US business in Japan was evident from your first day in Japan, when you took the time to meet with the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan (ACCJ). Your attention to the needs of US businesses has since proved unwavering, deepening the connection between the American business community in Japan and the US government’s efforts to facilitate international commerce and partnerships. Your attention to issues specific to healthcare and labor participation have underscored our efforts to improve the Japanese business climate for American businesses.

Your role in empowering women in Japan has contributed to increased momentum in this area as evidenced by the success of the World Assembly for Women in Tokyo, an annual event that you have championed since its 2014 inception, and the ACCJ Women in Business Summits. Not only did your participation in the 2014 and 2015 ACCJ Women in Business Summits amplify the impact of an initiative critical to the future of the Japanese economy, your speeches at these events moved and inspired hundreds of attendees.

Your commitment to the promise of education and its potential to impact US–Japan relations inspired the creation of a new international internship program by the ACCJ’s Education Task Force. Through this program, the next generation of globally-educated interns will emerge with the tools necessary to contribute to the international business community and the future of the US–Japan relationship for years to come.

Your committed leadership propelled the US–Japan relationship to new heights. Under your Ambassadorship, both countries took historic steps to reaffirm the enduring US–Japan partnership with President Barack Obama’s visit to Hiroshima in May 2016 and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit to Pearl Harbor in December 2016. These symbols of reconciliation and hope have deepened the long-standing relationship and paved the way for continued cooperation on issues of shared interest.

Ties between the ACCJ and the US Embassy in Tokyo have also grown stronger, resulting in renewed collaborations on disaster preparedness, assisting Americans abroad to vote, and the exchange of information beneficial to both the American and Japanese economies.

We wish to express our deep appreciation for your immense contributions on behalf of American businesses in Japan and the US–Japan relationship. It is our true honor to present you with the 2016 ACCJ Person of the Year Award.”

Christopher J. LaFleur
ACCJ President, 2016–2017

Presenting the Person of the Year certificate.
From left: ACCJ Treasurer–Tokyo Nancy Ngou, ACCJ Vice Presidents–Tokyo Eric Sedlak, Leanne Cutts, and Jonathan Kushner, ACCJ President Christopher J. LaFleur, US Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy, ACCJ Executive Director Laura Younger, ACCJ Chairman and President Emeritus Jay Ponazecki, and ACCJ Vice President–Tokyo Andrew Conrad