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KAWAMOTO Yukio Kawamoto (Age 99) Yukio Kawamoto passed away on January 7, 2019 at his home in Springfield, VA. He was a longtime metropolitan Washington, DC resident having lived in Northern Virginia since 1955. He was married to his wife, Sayoko (nee Omori) for 71 years, who survives him; predeceased by his eldest son, Craig; survived by his daughter, Sherin Ferguson (Richmond, VA) and sons, Don (also of Springfield) and Brian (of Leawood, KS). He was born November 13, 1919 in Berkeley, California and was fulfilling his lifelong dream to formally graduate from the University of California, Berkeley when WW II intervened and he was drafted February 25, 1942. This merely postponed his official graduation 67 years until the Cal Winter Commencement of 2009 where some 42 surviving Nisei received their diplomas. He served in the US Army's Military Intelligence Services(MIS) and was attached to the 37th Infantry Division where he saw action in the Pacific Theater/Philippines. MIS was involved in procuring intelligence from Japanese Prisoners of War; analyzing and interpreting Japanese documents and code decryption. During his WWII service, his elderly parents were forcibly removed from their home in Berkley and interned in Topaz, Utah under President Roosevelt's Executive Order 9066. He was honorably discharged from service in 1945 and made a lifelong career attempting to improve relations with Japan and the United States. After the War, he assisted those Japanese Americans who had previously been interned with the government's relocation program. He returned to Japan serving under General Douglas McArthur's leadership during Military Tribunal from 1946-1948 where he met his future wife. He returned to California, where all four children were born and eventually relocated to the Washington, DC area to begin his career with the US Department of State in 1955. He served many US Presidents and members of Congress initially as a Japanese language interpreter and then fostering better relations between Japan and the United States in the Bureau of Cultural Affairs. He was later appointed to the Foreign Service where he served as US Consul to the Embassy from 1975 to his retirement in 1979. For his service in WWII, he was awarded the Philippine Liberation Medal in 1994 by the Office of the Adjutant General/Armed Forces of the Philippines and in October 2010, the Congressional Gold Medal. Memorial Service to be held on January 19, 2019 from 11 a.m., at Ekoji Temple, Fairfax Station, VA. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to Japanese American Veterans Association, https://java.wildapricot.org/ or Ekoji Temple.
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Fairfax Memorial Funeral Home, L.L.C.
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Published in The Washington Post on Jan. 11, 2019
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