Denver Bar Association
November 2006
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Building International Bridges: DBA member Kerry Hada visits Japan

by Suraiya Fatima Syed

Top, Speaker of the House in Japan Yohei Kono stands left with Kerry Hada.

Bottom, Taro Kono (left), son of Yohei Kono, is the Senior Vice-Minister of Justice, and a member of the House of Representatives.

Every year since 2000, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan selects distinguished individuals from across the United States who are of Japanese-American heritage and who have shown an exceptional commitment in the field of public service. This small group of delegates are sent on a trip to Japan to build bridges between the two nations through dialogue and understanding to establish lasting ties in the business, political and legal arenas.

These delegates had the unique opportunity to meet with high-profile members of the Japanese government such as the Speaker of the House Mr. Yohei Kono, Senior Cabinet Minister Mr. Taro Aso, and other members of Parliament. This past spring, Kerry S. Hada was chosen to be a special delegate. Hada is a distinguished public interest attorney in the Denver area, and a third-generation Japanese-American.

In Japan, Hada had the chance to interact and build contacts with important members of the Japanese government and well-known Japanese corporate officials, as well. From drinking tea at the royal residence in Tokyo with Princess Takamado, to learning the strategic importance of Japan from military and economic points of view, these experiences were fascinating and inspiring to Hada. Hada relates that he was "happy to make friends with so many important people in Japan and the United States."

At times, the schedule was rigorous, but according to Hada the entire experience was "amazing" and he would do it again in a heartbeat. In addition, Hada was able visit with some of his family members living in Japan, and he saw "their eyes light up," upon hearing the names of some of the people he had the chance to meet.

Through this experience, Hada has had the ability to coordinate projects with the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles and other such programs. Hada hopes to continue to build these bridges, through effort with local and national programs, dedicated to building lasting ties between Japan and the United States.

Suraiya Fatima Syed is currently a second-year law student at the University of Denver, where she serves as the secretary for Asian Pacific American Law Student’s Association. Syed graduated from the University of Denver where she studied Political Science. Syed is a first-generation American of South Asian descent.


Suraiya Fatima Syed is currently a second-year law student at the University of Denver, where she serves as the secretary for Asian Pacific American Law Student’s Association. Syed graduated from the University of Denver where she studied Political Science. Syed is a first-generation American of South Asian descent.


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