April 4, 2023

Bloomington, Minn. (June 29, 2017) — Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced Thursday that Ms. Yoko Breckenridge and Mr. Richard Stahl of Minnesota will receive Commendations for the Promotion of Mutual Understanding Between Japan and the United States.

The commendations will come from Mr. Fumio Kishida, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan. The date of the ceremony has not been announced. The Foreign Minister’s Commendations are awarded to individuals and groups with outstanding achievements in international fields, and they acknowledge the recipients’ contributions to the promotion of friendship between Japan and other countries.

Ms. Breckenridge established the Japanese Library in Bloomington in 2005, which now has over 40,000 Japanese-language books, as well as 4,000 videos and DVDs. It enables the local community to access information about Japan, and it facilitates cultural exchange as the meeting place for the Japan-related community in Minnesota. Ms. Breckenridge is an active member of the Minnesota Nihonjinkai and the Japan America Society of Minnesota.

Mr. Stahl is the Honorary Consul of Japan in Minneapolis and a longtime member of the Japan America Society of Minnesota. As president of the Society in 2012, he spearheaded a series of commemorative events that celebrated its 40th anniversary. The same year, he facilitated the Midwest U.S.-Japan Association Conference in Minneapolis-St. Paul that advanced our two-way business relationship by bringing together American and Japanese corporate executives. Mr. Stahl lived in Japan for several years. He continues to draw on that experience to actively promote grassroots exchange between Minnesota and Japan.


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