2015 MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS TO HONOR
Ms. Kazumi Teune
Executive Director, Japan America Society of Greater Philadelphia
From 1998 to 2007, Ms. Kazumi Teune worked to help raise funds to plant 1000 cherry trees in Fairmont Park, Philadelphia. She also contributed to the creation of a one day event called Sakura Sunday. The event, initially attended by only 20 members, has now evolved and became the 2nd largest festival in the Northeast, a week-long affair called Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival of Greater Philadelphia with over 20,000 participants including the Honorable Michael Nutter, Mayor of Philadelphia.
In 1986, the City of Philadelphia established a sister-city relationship with Kobe City, Hyogo. As there had not been any events to celebrate that partnership in a long time, Ms. Teune, Honorary Ambassador of Kobe to the United States, organized the 10th anniversary event for Philadelphia-Japan Health Science Dialogue in Kobe (2009) and the 25th anniversary event for Sister Cities at the Philadelphia City Hall (2011).
Ms. Teune played a key role as co-editor of the revised edition of Phila-Nipponica: An Historical Guide to Philadelphia & Japan which was originally published in 1999. This popular book enlightens its readers about the history of exchange between the people of Philadelphia and Japan.