On April 29, 2013, the Japanese government announced that the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Rays, will be conferred upon Ms. Sue C. Root of Holyoke, in recognition of her significant contributions to promoting friendly relations between Japan and the United States of America.
The former Executive Director of the World Affairs Council of Western Massachusetts, Sue Root has actively contributed to various exchanges between Massachusetts and Hokkaido as a member of the board of directors of the Massachusetts Hokkaido Association since its establishment in 1990. Since 1995, she has participated in grass roots exchanges and cultural exchanges between Japan and the United States and fostered mutual understanding between the two countries. In 2000, on the tenth anniversary of the sister state relationship, she successfully received a delegation of 70 members led by the governor of Hokkaido and conducted various memorial events.
In 2010, on the twentieth anniversary, Ms. Root played an important role in receiving the Japanese delegation, which co-signed a joint-declaration with the Massachusetts Hokkaido Association. Since the establishment of the sister state relationship, various exchange programs have been created like a chain reaction between Hokkaido and Massachusetts. These programs can be attributed to Ms. Root’s earlier work.
For three decades Ms. Root has contributed to increasing the diplomatic knowledge of citizens of western Massachusetts as a board member–including a stint as President — and then as Executive Director of the World Affairs Council of Western Massachusetts. Since her retirement in 2003, she has contributed again as a member of the board of directors of the Council.
The Order of the Rising Sun is a Japanese order, established in 1875 by Emperor Meiji. The Order was the first national decoration awarded by the Japanese Government created by decree of the Council of State. The order is awarded to those who have made distinguished achievements in international relations, promotion of Japanese culture, advancements in their field, development in social/occupational welfare or preservation of the environment. It is awarded in the name of the emperor.