Conferment of the Ambassador’s Award on Dr. Akira Brian Yamashita and Ms. Melisa Miharu Kamibayashi

On August 31, 2023, Ambassador Kanji Yamanouchi conferred the Ambassador’s Award on Dr. Akira Brian Yamashita and Ms. Melisa Miharu Kamibayashi, for their distinguished service in contributing to the deepening of mutual understanding and friendship between Japan and Canada.
Dr. Yamashita is a third generation Japanese Canadian who served for many years as president of the Ottawa Japanese Community Association (OJCA), the largest Japanese Canadian organization in Ottawa, and the Ottawa Japanese Cultural Centre (OJCC), where he contributed to the promotion of Japanese culture and the advancement of the Japanese Canadians community. Dr. Yamashita has also served the Canadian community in an official role as a forensic research scientist with the federal police force (RCMP) and was awarded The Order of Merit of the Police Forces by the Governor General of Canada in 2013.
Ms. Kamibayashi is a third generation Japanese Canadian who is a Director on the board of the National Association of Japanese Canadians. She has served on the board of the OJCA since 2013 and currently serves as its president. She has also previously served on the OJCC Board. She is dedicated to the development of the Japanese Canadian community in Canada, the preservation and promotion of Japanese culture, and the fostering of friendship and understanding between Japanese Canadians and other communities in the region.  Today, she is the producer and host of a local TV program, "Contact Japan," which regularly provides information about Ottawa's Japanese community and Japan.
The conferment ceremony was held with the participation of many Japanese Canadians and other friends of the recipients at the Ambassador’s residence in warm atmosphere.