A resident of the CNMI was awarded a diplomatic award by the Japanese government in mid-November, recognizing her many contributions and assistance to Japanese nationals in the Commonwealth.
NMI resident Kazuko Sumitomo was one of the recipients of the 2018 Autumn Imperial Decoration. Specifically, she was bestowed the Order of the Sacred Treasure, Silver Rays, one of seven ribbons of the Order of the Sacred Treasure.
“…She made many contributions, particularly assisting Japanese residents and tourists who, unfortunately, have suffered from various accidents,” a statement from the Japanese Consulate in the CNMI states.
Sumitomo was an employee of the Japanese Consulate in the CNMI from March 1985 up to late 2013.
Sumitomo, along with her husband Junichi Sumitomo, was conferred the decoration in Tokyo, Japan by Japanese Minister of Foreign Affairs Taro Kono last Nov. 8, 2018. She is the first Japanese resident in the CNMI to be awarded the decoration.
Four years before, on May 29, 2014, Sumitomo was awarded the Consul-General’s Commendations for her contribution in promoting mutual understanding and friendship between Japan and the CNMI, the Japanese Consulate noted.
The Order of the Sacred Treasure, a Japanese order established on Jan. 4, 1888, was originally awarded in eight classes. Since 2003 onwards, the lowest two classes of medals were abolished.
The order was originally a male-only decoration. Since 1919, it was made available to women.