Political science professor and APARC director emeritus Daniel I. Okimoto has received the Japanese Foreign Minister's Commendation. This commendation is awarded is in commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the U.S.-Japan relationship. The years 2003 and 2004 mark the 150th anniversary, respectively, of American naval officer Commodore Perry's leadership of a squadron of sailing sloops and steam-powered warships into Edo Bay (now Tokyo Bay) in 1853; and the signing of the Treaty of Peach and Amity in 1854.
The commendation is awarded to 158 individuals and organizations in Japan and the United States who have contributed to enhancing the U.S.-Japan relationship. Okimoto received the award based on his research on Japan's political economy, foreign policy, the U.S.-Japan relationship, and increasing the understanding of Japan in the United States. He has hosted a series of exchanges among legislators from the United States and Japan to build understanding between the two countries. Okimoto has also written about the Japanese American experience in his autobiography, American In Disguise.