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Artist and community leader Frederick Harris, a resident of Japan for more than 50 years, died early Monday of heart failure. He was 78 and is survived by his wife, Kazuko.

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., he came to Japan during the Korean War. He stayed on and eventually established The Design Studio, a prominent architectural firm, in Tokyo.

At various times he served as president of the Tokyo American Club, the Navy League in Japan and the Jewish Community Center in Tokyo, and was involved in numerous other organizations.

Harris was well known as an artist and was decorated by the Emperor with the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette, for his contributions to U.S.-Japan relations.

He was designated as an adviser and representative to the Asian Division of the Library of Congress, where he strengthened and helped evolve the Japanese collection.

One of his paintings is on permanent display at the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo.

Harris was asked by the Foreign Ministry and the telecommunications ministry to create an image for use on a postage stamp in 2004 commemorating 150 years of Japan-U.S. relations — the first living artist to be so recognized.

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