28th “Award of Honor” Gala

November 22, 2014

Awarding Ambassador John V. Roos, Ken Watanabe and MUFG Union Bank, N.A.

On November 22, 2014, JSNC held the 28th Annual Award of Honor Gala at The Westin St. Francis San Francisco on Union Square. This year, JSNC recognized two exceptional leaders in their field with the Award of Honor, former Ambassador to Japan John V. Roos for his contributions to U.S. – Japan relations during his diplomatic tenure, and internationally acclaimed Japanese stage, film, and television actor Ken Watanabe. We also honored MUFG Union Bank, N.A. with the Visionary Award to commemorate 150 years of commitment to our community, the development of San Francisco, the state of California and the West Coast’s legacy.

The Recipients

Award of Honor Recipient

Ambassador John V. Roos 

Award of Honor Recipient

Ken Watanabe
Actor and humanitarian

Visionary Award Recipient


MUFG Union Bank, N.A. 


  • VIP Reception: 5:30 pm
  • General Reception & Silent Auction: 6:00 pm
  • Dinner Program: 7:00 pm


The Westin St. Francis San Francisco on Union Square, 335 Powell Street, San Francisco, CA 94102

Award of Honor Recipient: Ambassador John V. Roos

Ambassador John V. Roos served as United States Ambassador to Japan from  August  2009 – August 2013. During his tenure he became the first U.S. official ever to attend the commemoration ceremony of the atomic bombing in Hiroshima, led the U.S. civilian response after the 9.0 earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear crisis on March 11, 2011, and led the creation of the TOMODACHI Initiative, a public-private partnership that has raised more than thirty million dollars and established more than 40 exchange programs. Ambassador Roos is a member of the Board of Directors at Salesforce.com and Sony Corporation and the Global Advisory Board of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group. Previously, Ambassador Roos served as Chief Executive Officer at the law firm Wilson, Sonsini, Goodrich, & Rosati.

Award of Honor Recipient: Ken Watanabe

Ken Watanabe is a Japanese stage, film, and television actor. He is known for playing tragic heroes, such as General Tadamichi Kuribayashi in Letters from Iwo Jima and Lord Katsumoto Moritsugu in The Last Samurai, nominated for both the 2003 Oscar and 2003 Golden Globe.  Mr. Watanabe won the Japan Academy Prize for Best Actor twice, in 2007 for Memories of Tomorrow and in 2010 for Shizumanu Taiyō.  He will make his Broadway debut this spring in the title role of The King and I at Lincoln Center. On March 12, 2011, Mr. Watanabe announced that he would be taking a leave of absence from his acting career to focus on films about Japan’s recovery from the 2011 Tohoku earthquake. His international recognition helped keep awareness and focus on the needs of those affected by the catastrophe.

Visionary Award Recipient:  MUFG Union Bank, N.A.

Accepting the award is Masashi Oka, Executive Chairman of MUFG Americas Holdings and its wholly-owned US banking subsidiary, MUFG Union Bank, effective July 2014.  As President & CEO of Union Bank and CEO for the Americas for The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ (BTMU), Mr. Oka led the bank to robust growth, including five acquisitions and the integration of BTMU banking operations in the Americas, while maintaining a strong commitment to community outreach and to responsible banking as one of the nation’s soundest and most reputable banks.  MUFG Union Bank offers services to retail banking, wealth, commercial and corporate banking customers, with more than 12,000 employees and offices throughout the US.

2014 Gala Sponsors

Japan Society Strategic Partner
VIP Reception Host


Allen & Michiko Miner



Hiro Ogawa, in memory of
Betty Jean Ogawa


Hiro Ogawa, in memory of
Betty Jean Ogawa


Bank of the West – BNP Paribas

David & Fumiko Hoeft

Gerald & Keiko Horkan

Bill & Yuko Hunt



Individual Sponsors

Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation

BNY Mellon Wealth Management

Barbara K. Bundy

Richard B. Dasher

Fiduciary Trust International

Glen & Sakie Fukushima

Mary & Thomas Haak-Frendscho

George Hayashi

Howard Hoover

Kathleen Kimura, MBE

Susan Kobayashi & Chuck Han

Law Office of Joanna Kozubal and David Buckley dba Anthony Construction

Tony & Pat Ley

Terry & Keiko Marsh

Isao ‘Steve’ Matsuura

Michael McKechnie, Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation

Mitsubishi Corporation (Americas)

Morrison & Foerster LLP

Shin Nakahara

New People, Inc., Seiji Horibuchi, President & CEO

Robert E. Obana

Allen & Pat Okamoto

Thierry & Yasko Porte

Lon Saavedra, Founding CEO, The Hakone Foundation

Salad Cosmo USA Corp.

Emily J. Sano

SKY Perfect JSAT Corporation

Tsuyoshi Taira, Tazan International

Joyce & John R. Thomas

Tom & Akemi Woofter

Dr. Shinya Yamanaka & Chika Yamanaka

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