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Yoko Noge Awarded by Foreign Minister for Kizuna Photo Exhibits

Yoko Noge was bestowed the Foreign Minister Award for her hard work to hold photo exhibition “Kizuna: The Bonds of Emotion” for the third consecutive year. The award presentation ceremony was held on September 26 in a surprising way at Cyrano’s restaurant in Chicago, where blues singer Noge performs every Friday.
• Noge’s friends began to come to the restaurant one by one in the evening, and unaware of anything Noge sang some pieces for the audience. Finally, Consul General Masaharu Yoshida arrived at the scene, and the surprising presentation started.

• Consul General Yoshida presented the Foreign Minister’s Award to Ms. Yoko Noge and commended her saying that Noge took the initiative to hold three annual commemorative events of Kizuna photo exhibit for the victims of the earthquake and tsunami of March 11, 2011.

• Amazed, Noge said that she was wondering why many friends were coming. She thanked the members of Chicago Sister Cities International and other friends who helped her and worked together to hold Kizuna photo exhibit.
• She spoke about the disaster and said, “It was like a realization one more time how Japan, mother country, was important to us, especially, for we who are living overseas for many years. So with a little effort, I thought that I could do something, and you could do something in order to help the people of Tohoku area. We also could help Chicagoans to understand Japan by our tiny hands.”
• At the end of the speech, Noge said, “I ask you your help one more time to hold Kizuna 4.”

• Yoko Noge is a correspondent of Nikkei Paper in Japan, and co-chair of the Osaka Committee of Chicago Sister Cities International.

• The full story is available in Chicago Shimpo’s October 24th issue.

Yoko Noge (L2) receives Foreign Minister Award from Consul General Masaharu Yoshida (L). Funakoshi (R), former Director of Chicago Osaka Office happened to visit Chicago and joined the ceremony.

Yoko Noge