日米協会からのお知らせ

大河原名誉会長のご逝去

会長    藤崎一郎 

 

 大河原名誉会長が329日逝去されました。99歳でした。まさに巨星墜つの感があります。ご葬儀はご家族だけですでに行われたとのことです。

  駐米大使退官後は、経団連顧問、世界平和研究所理事長などもされるかたわら日米協会会長を18 年間務められました。100年の協会の歴史でも最長記録です。その間、日米各地の日米協会の間のネットワーク作りに腐心されました。

 私個人は大河原名誉会長とは外務省では26年も違い、仕事でご一緒したことはありませんでした。なんともスマートで威厳のある先輩として遠望していただけです。直接の後任になることがあるなどとは夢想だにしませんでした。二つエピソードがあります。会長の後任に決まった私に一言「いい協会だよ、よろしく頼む」と言われました。ああ協会を愛しておられたんだなと思いました。その後も協会の月例会には、ほぼ毎回顔を出されました。

 もう一つは昨年の協会100周年です。おかげさまで式典は両陛下にご来臨頂き、総理ご夫妻、外務大臣ご夫妻、経団連名誉会長ご夫妻、経団連会長、日米各地の協会代表などのご出席を得て大成功でした。未来志向のプロジェクトをいくつも開始しています。しかし3年前は記念事業として何をするかいろいろ思案していました。その頃のある日お会いしたら「100周年はどうなっているの」と言われました。「今いろいろ考えているところです。」とお返事したら「2年なんてアッという間だよ」と珍しく心配そうに言われました。オイ君大丈夫かい、と仰りたげな表情に本当に協会を愛しておられるんだなとまた思いました。

 大河原名誉会長、協会を今後とも温かく天上から見守ってください。ご冥福を祈ります。

 

President Ichiro Fujisaki    

Ambassador Okawara passed away on the 29th of March. He was 99 years old. The funeral service was held by his immediate family members. After retiring from the government as the Ambassador to the United States, he took posts such as the Advisor to the Keidanren (Japan Federation of Economic Organizations) or the President of the Institute for International Studies. Meanwhile he served as the President of America-Japan Society for 18years. The longest in our more than 100years history. During his term, he worked hard to fortify network among America-Japan Societies in Japan and our relations with Japan Societies in the United States.

 As he was 26 years ahead of me in the Foreign Ministry, I have not actually worked with him. I was just looking upon him from below as such a refined and dignified diplomat. I have never dreamed that one day I will be his immediate successor. I have two stories to tell.

 

 The first is when I was chosen at the general assembly in 2013 to become the President of this Society after him, Ambassador Okawara said to me “It’s a great society. Please take good care of it. I will count on you.” I thought he truly loved this society. The Ambassador attended almost all of our monthly meetings thereafter.

 

 The second is regarding the centennial anniversary in 2017. As all of you know, it turned out to be a great success. The Emperor and the Empress honored us with their presence at the commemorative ceremony as well as the reception. Prime Minister and Mrs. Abe, Foreign Minister and Mrs. Kishida, Honorary Chairman of Keidanren and Mrs. Toyoda, Chairman of Keidanren Mr. Sakakibara, representatives of many America-Japan Societies in Japan and Japan Societies of the United States participated as well. Also we are successfully launching several future-oriented projects. In 2014 and 2015, I was taking time pondering what to do for the centennial. One of those days in 2015, Ambassador Okawara came up and asked me how was the situation regarding the preparation. I answered that I am considering many possibilities. He said “But two years is just there you know.” His facial expression was such as to say “Young man, do you know what you are saying? Get started right away!” I again thought he loved our society so deeply.

 

 Ambassador Okawara please warmly continue to guide us from heaven. Our hearts are with Mrs.Okawara and other members of the bereaved family.