Philanthropist Toshizo Watanabe commended by Japan’ Foreign Minster: 2023 Award conferred by Los Angeles Consul General in January

Mr. Toshizo Watanabe (left) and Consul General Kenko Sone of Los Angeles. Photo by Consulate General of Los Angeles in Los Angeles.

Philanthropist Mr. Toshizo Watanabe was awarded with Japan’s 2023 Foreign Minister Commendation on Aug. 16, 2023. Because Mr. Watanabe lives in the jurisdiction of the Consulate General of Japan in Los Angeles, Mr. Watanabe was presented the Foreign Minister’s Commendation by Consul General Kenko Sone in Los Angeles on Friday, Jan. 19, 2024.

The Foreign Minister’s Commendations are awarded to individuals and groups of outstanding achievements in international fields, to acknowledge their contribution to the promotion of friendship between Japan and other countries. The Commendation also aims to promote the understanding and support of the Japanese public for their activities.

Following are Mr. Watanabe‘s contributions leading to him being awarded the Foreign Minister’s Commendation:

Based on his own experience of studying abroad by obtaining a scholarship, Mr. Toshizo Watanabe has made large fund contributions to major institutions and organizations to support Japanese and U.S. students who might miss out on the same opportunity due to financial hardship.

In addition to $10 million contributions each to The Inter-University Center for Japanese Language Studies and Brandeis University, Mr. Watanabe has contributed $20 million to the U.S.-Japan Council. At each institution and organization, scholarship programs have been set up to continue funding scholarships for students.

Also, in support of Japanese American Cultural & Community Center’s mission, Mr. Watanabe contributed $2 million, leading to the establishment of The Toshizo Watanabe Culinary Cultural Center that highlights and shares Japanese food, traditions, techniques and culture.

Mr. Watanabe has greatly contributed to the promotion of mutual understanding between Japan and the U.S. through education, while also sharing Japanese culture with diverse communities in Southern California.

Mr. Watanabe has been awarded the Foreign Minister’s Commendation in recognition of his contribution to mutual understanding between Japan and the U.S.