LOS ANGELES, May 16, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Ambassador Hideo Sato, a Japanese diplomat, was honored by AJC, the global Jewish advocacy organization, with its prestigious Madeline and Bruce Ramer Award for Diplomatic Excellence.
"Some diplomats are particularly well-positioned to have major impact on a country's foreign policy. Hideo Sato, in a career spanning more than three decades, excelled in strengthening relations between Japan and Israel, and understanding between Japan and the Jewish people," said AJC CEO David Harris, who has known Sato for much of his career.
AJC Honorary President Bruce Ramer presented the award at the annual meeting of the AJC Los Angeles Regional Office. The award recognizes an outstanding official who has furthered the cause of positive relations between his or her country and Jewish communities in the U.S. and abroad.
"I did simply what was expected of me as a diplomat, to deepen and enhance understanding and friendship with other countries, in my case with Israel and the Jewish people," said Sato. He praised David Harris and AJC for their "long and valuable friendship and cooperation with Japan."
During a 33-year career in Japan's Foreign Ministry, Sato served four times in the Japanese Embassy in Israel, the last position as ambassador from 2011 to 2014. Earlier in his diplomatic career, Sato served as First Secretary of Japan's Embassy in Washington, D.C., from 1991 to 1995. He first joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1982 while studying at Tel Aviv University.
Sato also served as Japan's Ambassador to Afghanistan and Bahrain, among other distinguished posts.
Though Sato officially retired in 2015, he has continued to serve as an advisor to Prime Minister Abe on Middle East issues and a special assistant to Japan's foreign minister.
AJC has enjoyed a close and cooperative relationship with Sato throughout his career. He credited AJC for persuading Tokyo to end its participation in the Arab economic boycott of Israel. "According to Hideo Sato, senior official at the Japanese embassy in Washington, the new Japanese policy of opposing the Arab boycott of Israel was the result of five years of patient diplomacy by the American Jewish Committee," The Jerusalem Report said.
AJC has been actively engaged with Japan through its pioneering Asia Pacific Institute (API), which is chaired by Jeffrey Stone and directed by Shira Loewenberg.
Previous recipients of the AJC Ramer Award for Diplomatic Excellence include, among others: Alexander Downer (former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Australia), Joschka Fisher (former Foreign Minister and Vice Chancellor of Germany), Ana Palacio (former Foreign Minister of Spain), and Vaira Vike-Freiberga (former President of Latvia).
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SOURCE American Jewish Committee