The Government of Japan awarded former Deputy Chief of the Los Angeles Police Department Mr. Terry Saburo Hara a government medal in appreciation for his contribution to the U.S.-Japan friendship. The conferment ceremony was held Dec. 10 at the official residence of the Consul General of Japan in Hancock Park, Los Angeles.
Japanese consul general Harry Horinouchi delivered the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette and the certificate to Mr. Hara in the afternoon of Thursday.
Mr. Hara was born in 1957 in Long Beach, as the third generation of Japanese American. In his childhood, he developed a law-abiding spirit and compassionate heart from his mother who had experienced life in an internment camp during World War II.
In 1980, Mr. Hara joined the Los Angeles Police Department, and thereafter he progressed in his career as a police office. In 2008, he became the first Asian American Deputy Chief in the LAPD’s history and served as Deputy Chief for seven years until his retirement in March 2015.
In 2005, Mr. Hara participated in the Japanese American Leadership Delegation and traveled to Japan for his first time. This experience caused him to have a greater awareness of his identity as a Japanese American and his relationship with Japan.
Mr. Hara served as the president of Nisei Week Foundation in 2009 and 2015. In March 2010, he became a board member of the Japan America Society of Southern California, and he served as the chairman for two years from March 2013. Especially after the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake, Mr. Hara expended great efforts for collecting relief funds to Japan.
Among his initiatives to support to Japanese earthquake victims, was the establishment of the Fukushima Youth Cultural Exchange Program, giving children living in Fukushima orphanages chances to visit Los Angeles. He also increased membership of the Japan America Society to amplify the base of those interested in Japan.
In the conferment ceremony on Thursday, the congratulatory remarks was made by Mr. Douglas Erber, president of the Japan America Society, and a toast for Mr. Hara was led by Mr. Richard Hara, elder brother of Mr. Terry Hara.