July 12, Washington, D.C. – Japan-America Society of Washington DC mourns the passing of Kunihiko Saito, Japan’s ambassador to the United States from 1995-1999. Ambassador Saito was a soft-spoken but strong supporter of the U.S.-Japan alliance, and he worked diligently in support of it. He was also a strong and early supporter of the Society’s National Japan Bowl Japanese language competition, which has become an important tool for motivating Japanese language study at the high school-level across our country.

Ambassador Saito and his wife Akiko were patrons of classical music, and Ambassador Saito was himself an accomplished pianist. We fondly recall classical music performances at the Ambassador’s residence in Washington, during which Ambassador Saito would sit in and perform alongside the professional artists.

He was a good friend, and he will be missed.