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Japanese Delegation Visits KPR, Midwest

Some members of the Japanese delegation visiting KPR and Midwestern cities as part of a goodwill tour. Pictured left to right are: KPR News Director J. Schafer, Masanori (Mark) Okuda, Minami Maeda, Takao (Tak) Kawasaki, Ambassador Ken Shimanouchi and Francis Lemery, Honorary Consul General of Japan, of Prairie Village. (Photo by Sheri Hamilton)

A delegation from Japan has been visiting Midwestern cities this week as part of a goodwill tour. The group - comprised of more than a dozen officials, executives and other Japanese citizens - made a stop at the KPR studios in Lawrence this (FRI) morning. The goodwill delegation is led by Ken Shimanouchi (shih-muh-NOE-chee), a former ambassador to Spain and Brazil.

("It's about upgrading people-to-people contacts between Japan and the United States. We have good relations right now at the governmental level, but in recent years, we have had fewer contacts at the people-to-people level.")

The delegation also visited Chicago, Kansas City and St. Louis. The city of Lawrence already has a sister city relationship with Hiratsuka (hih-RAHT-ska), Japan - and the delegation says it wants to encourage more travel between the two countries through similar exchange programs.   

(You'll find more about the Japanese delegation on the KPR website.)


Here's a lightly-edited (raw) interview with some members of the Japanese delegation, including the group's leader, Ken Shimanouchi, former Japanese ambassador to Spain and Brazil. 

Pictured here, outside the KPR music library, is Ryoko Yoshioka, a former school teacher, who used to live in New York City. She says she's now 82-years-old and hopes to encourage more young women to travel between the U.S, and Japan. She's also interviewed in the audio link above, toward the end. (Photo by Sheri Hamilton)