2016 / Los Angeles community leader Alan Nishio’ achievement recognized by Japanese government with medal

Mr. Alan Nishio, left, is received Japanese government medal by Los Angeles Consul General Harry H. Horinouchi on June 6, 2016. (Cultural News Photo)

Mr. Alan Nishio, left, is received Japanese government medal by Los Angeles Consul General Harry H. Horinouchi on June 6, 2016. (Cultural News Photo)

Japanese American community leader Mr. Alan Nishio, 70 years old, was selected on April 29 in the list of Japanese government’s Spring 2016 Decoration Recipients. Los Angeles Consul General Harry H. Horinouchi held the conferment ceremony honoring Mr. Nishida on June 6 at his official residence in Hancock Park, Los Angeles.

Nishio made his speech after Consul General Horinouchi delivered the medal to him and presented his remarks to Nishio. Congratulatory remarks were presented by Mr. Dean Matsubayashi, Executive Director of the Little Tokyo Service Center, and Ms. Leslie Ito, President & CEO of the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center.

Nishio was faculty and administrator at California State University, Long Beach, and has been a board member of the Little Tokyo Service Center since 1984. He was a driving force of the redress movement to ask the U.S. government compensation for Japanese American internments at World War II.

Nisho was awarded the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette.

Alan Nishio spoke after he received the medal: https://youtu.be/QbGmlPVspzA

Mr. Alan Takeshi Nishio, Recipient of the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette

Mr. Alan Takeshi Nishio was born in 1945 in Manzanar, California and grew up in the Venice-Mar Vista area of Los Angeles.

He received his B.A. in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley in 1966 and his M.A. in Public Administration from the University of Southern California in 1968.

He completed a certificate program in Asian Studies at Sophia University in Tokyo in 1972, after a six-month course of study.

Thereafter he returned to the United States and became a prominent leader in the Japanese American community, dedicating his efforts to the community’s welfare and recognition in U.S. society.

Mr. Nishio has been involved with the Little Tokyo Service Center since its early years, serving as a Board Member from 1984, Board President from 1994-1998 and 2003-2014, and currently as Chair of the Board of Governors.

Under his leadership, the center developed extensive services for Japanese language speakers, which are the only linguistically accessible services of their kind offered in the region.

He also propelled the realization of the Budokan of Little Tokyo Project to bring a community sports center to the Little Tokyo neighborhood.

Soon to break ground, the Budokan will advance the preservation and promotion of Japanese traditions in the Southern California region for generations to come.

Mr. Nishio has also been involved in various efforts to promote deeper understanding of the Japanese immigrant experience in the United States.

He was Chair of the California Japanese American Community Leadership Council from 2005-2015.

Mr. Nishio also played an instrumental role in the fight for Japanese Americans to attain redress as Founder and Co-Chair of the National Coalition for Redress/Reparations.

His leadership from 1980-90 assisted in the passing of the Civil Liberties Act of 1988 and has greatly enhanced the understanding of Japanese Americans and their unique history, challenges, and triumphs in the U.S.

Mr. Nishio was a delegate of the inaugural class of the Japanese American Leadership Delegation Program in 2000, sponsored by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan.

Since his participation he has continued to enhance the bilateral relationship.  After the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake, he traveled to Japan several times on U.S.-Japan Council delegations to assist Japanese non-profit/non-governmental organizations involved in Tohoku’s recovery.

Mr. Nishio has long been engaged as a mentor to younger community leaders and taught seminars in Asian/Asian American Studies at California State University Long Beach where he served as an administrator from 1972, retiring as Associate Vice President of Student Services in 2006.

Today he serves on the Board of the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center and as an Advisor to Kizuna, an organization striving to nurture the next generation of Japanese American leaders.