Boeing [NYSE: BA] was honored Friday with the 2014 Tomodachi Award from the Japanese Cultural & Community Center of Washington. Meaning “friend” in Japanese, the Tomodachi Award is granted each year to individuals or companies who have made an extraordinary contribution to the Japanese community. Past recipients include Sen. Daniel Inouye of Hawaii and the Seattle Mariners baseball team.
“Boeing is being recognized for decades of positive trade relations with Japan,” said Lori Matsukawa, former president, Japanese Cultural & Community Center Board of Directors. “In addition, we appreciate Boeing’s swift and considerable response to those affected by the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami in 2011.”
The relationship between Boeing and Japan spans more than 60 years and includes long-standing partnerships with airlines All Nippon Airways (ANA) and Japan Airlines (JAL), as well as partnerships with the company’s three major aerospace partners – Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Kawasaki Heavy Industries and Fuji Heavy Industries – and other suppliers throughout the country who provide everything from fuselage sections to in-flight entertainment systems for Boeing airplanes.
“Our relationship with Japan and its people is the very embodiment of the spirit of Tomodachi,” said George Maffeo, president of Boeing Japan. “At Boeing, we have long referred to the companies we do business with in Japan as our partners and our friends. Friends help one another, and that is what Boeing and its employees have always endeavored to do.
To be honored in this way is profoundly satisfying.” In 2012, Boeing procured more than $4 billion worth of goods and services from Japan, and its programs support tens of thousands of high-value aerospace jobs in the country. In response to Tohoku, Boeing employees in Japan donated $1.3 million to the immediate disaster response, which was supplemented by an additional $1 million donation from the company and split between Mercy Corps and Disabled Peoples’ International.
Employees also have volunteered their time to reforestation and clean-up projects in the area. Established in 2003, the Japanese Cultural & Community Center of Washington is dedicated to preserving, promoting and sharing Japanese and Japanese American history, heritage and culture.