Some 400 Japanese and Americans who have long been involved in promoting bilateral relations shared warm remembrances of Haru Matsukata Reischauer Monday during a special tribute to the wife of the late U.S. Ambassador to Japan, Edwin Reischauer.Haru died in California on Sept. 23 at age 83.In a simple but cordial one-hour get-together at a Tokyo hotel, U.S. Ambassador Thomas Foley praised Haru, saying she “greatly enriched and strengthened U.S.-Japan relations” and bridged two different cultures across the Pacific. The “strong U.S.-Japan dialogue and strong U.S.-Japan relationship” are her legacy, he said.Also recounting memories were Wakako Hironaka, a House of Councilors member who met Haru when her husband was a Harvard professor in Cambridge, Mass., and Fuyuko Kamisasa, who has written a biography of Haru.Yuichi Kato, a former president of the Harvard Club of Japan who learned English from young Haru in Tokyo, also discussed her experiences before an audience that included Haru’s son, Robert D. Reischauer, and nephew, Naotaka Matsukata.Haru was the granddaughter of Masayoshi Matsukata, an elder statesman of the Meiji Era. She is known for her contributions in promoting understanding between Japan and the United States as Edwin Reischauer’s wife during his years as U.S. ambassador in the first half of this decade.Students from Nishimachi International School, founded by her younger sister, Tane Matsukata, and the American School in Japan, which she attended before going to Principia College in the U.S., gave a choral performance.Monday’s special tribute was organized by the America-Japan Society, Inc., the Harvard Club of Japan and the International House of Japan, founded by Haru’s cousin, Shigeharu Matsumoto. The U.S. Embassy and the two international schools also helped organize the event.
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