Irene Hirano Inouye, U.S.-Japan Council President, Dies at 71

Society

New York, April 8 (Jiji Press)--Irene Hirano Inouye, who as president of the U.S.-Japan Council, promoted exchanges between the two countries and supported reconstruction from the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan, died of illness in California on Tuesday, the council said Wednesday. She was 71.

Born in Los Angeles, Hirano Inouye served as president and founding chief executive officer of the Japanese American National Museum for 20 years and contributed to the development of Japanese communities in the United States.

She helped the establishment of the council together with her late husband, Daniel Inouye, who became the first Japanese-American U.S. congressman and worked on strengthening bilateral relations after World War II.

Hirano Inouye also promoted the Tomodachi Initiative to invest in the next-generation of young Japanese and U.S. leaders as part of support for Japan's recovery from the 2011 disaster.

In January this year, she announced her decision to step down as president of the council.

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