Many gathered here in Washington on June 6 to remember Tadashi Yamamoto – a tenacious force for global cooperation and visionary founder of the Japan Center for International Exchange (JCIE). His death April 15, 2012 is almost incomprehensible because so much of his work lives on. Among his many passions was the idea of a vibrant nonprofit sector in Japan. As a scholar of philanthropy and its role in bridging U.S. Japan relations, he knew first-hand that this third sector is essential to a healthy society. Tadashi was instrumental in the creation of Japan’s nonprofit framework and the work of JCIE continues to nurture effective organizations on the ground. This is why we chose to support the JCIE Japan NGO Earthquake Relief and Recovery Fund in the aftermath of the Tohoku disaster.
I feel certain we made the right choice. We were early supporters as JCIE established this fund and our endorsement encouraged others. Since its inception in April 2011, the fund has supported 32 organizations that are tirelessly picking-up the pieces and rebuilding the fabric of communities. Depicted here is a fleet of food trucks in the port city of Kamaishi. Among the hardest-hit, an innovation that restores health and income is getting this city back on track.
Tadashi Yamamoto was a change-maker sparked by intellectual honesty and depth; coupled with a healthy impatience and drive to act. He has been an inspiration to the great and the humble – and we at The Hitachi Foundation feel fortunate to call him our friend. While his passing is a profound loss, his innovative and transformative spirit will continue to make the world a better place.
- Barbara Dyer