US-Japan Foundation Honors Mr. Shigeaki Mori

Tokyo, Japan – October 2017

Mr. Shigeaki Mori was honored with the Distinguished Service Award from the United States–Japan Foundation in Tokyo, Japan on October 29, 2017.

The United States–Japan Foundation established its Distinguished Service Award in 2005 to honor American and Japanese individuals for their lifetime commitment to promoting friendship and understanding between the peoples of the United States and Japan. The Foundation’s Board of Trustees selects award recipients and often makes a grant to a US or Japanese not-for-profit organization in honor of the award recipient. This year, the grant was given to the Asia / America New Music Institute.

Prior recipients of the award include: Ambassador Thomas S. Foley, US Ambassador to Japan 1997–2001 (2005); Ambassador Yoshio Okawara, Japan’s Ambassador to the US 1980–88 (2007); Mr. Tadashi Yamamoto, JCIE, President and Founder 1970–2012 (2008);Ambassador Walter F. Mondale, US Ambassador to Japan 1993–96, Vice President of the United States 1977–81 (2008); Honorable Yasuhiro Nakasone, Prime Minister of Japan 1982–87 (2009); Honorable Robin Chandler Duke, Former Ambassador to Norway, Co-Founder of the US-Japan Foundation (2010); Dr. Shoichiro Toyoda, Honorary Chairman, Toyota Motor Corporation (2010); Mr. Minoru “Ben” Makihara, Senior Corporate Advisor and Former Chairman, Mitsubishi Corporation (2011); Dr. Ezra F. Vogel, Henry Ford II Professor of the Social Sciences, Emeritus, Harvard University (2012); and Dr. Kurt A. Gitter, Ophthalmologist and Founder, Gitter-Yelen Art Study Center, New Orleans (2014).

The award, presented by Chairman James W. Lintott, acknowledged Mr. Mori for his passionate work to research and honor American POWs who were held in Hiroshima during WWII.

Shigeaki Mori is a Japanese amateur historian who has won international attention for his book The Unknown History of the American Soldiers Killed by the Atomic Bomb      (原爆で死んだ米兵秘史) and for his research on Allied prisoners-of-war slain by the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  His book was awarded the 2016 Kikuchi Kan Prize for non-fiction (comparable to the Pulitzer Prize in the Japanese publishing world) and Mr. Mori also received a Special Award from the Japan Press Club in the same year.  He is the subject of an American documentary film called Paper Lanterns (directed by Barry Frechette; produced by the Japan Society of Boston).  For his longstanding efforts on behalf of American soldiers killed by the atomic bombs in August 1945, Mr. Mori was personally thanked by President Barack Obama at a ceremony in the Hiroshima Memorial Peace Park on May 27, 2016, immediately following the president’s historic speech there.  The photograph of Mr. Mori’s encounter with President Obama was immediate top news in the international press media, and is considered an iconic image of U.S.-Japanese reconciliation.

Born in Hiroshima on March 29, 1937, Mr. Mori is himself a hibakusha or “atomic bomb victim.”  He narrowly escaped death when his elementary school was destroyed by the atomic bomb on August 6, 1945 and all his teachers and fellow students were killed.  Mr. Mori had just been transferred to another elementary school, nearer to his home, and he was crossing the city of Hiroshima to that new school when the bomb destroyed almost the entire city in an instant.  Like many fellow survivors of the destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Mori has become active in anti-war projects aimed at preventing the future use of nuclear weapons.

Mr. Mori receives the Distinguished Service Award from Foundation Chairman James W. Lintott.




Mr. Mori with Hon. Caroline Kennedy, Trustee of the United States-Japan Foundation.