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Ikunosuke “Mike” Kawamura

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month: 2012 Honoree

Video unavailable. Read transcript below.

Video published May 10, 2012 | Download MP4 | View transcript

Above: KPBS celebrates cultural diversity in partnership with Union Bank by honoring Mike Kawamura during Asian Pacific American Heritage Month 2012.

A native of Hiroshima, Japan, Ikunosuke “Mike” Kawamura was one of five production engineers from the Kyoto Ceramic Company, Ltd. (now Kyocera Corporation), who left Japan in 1971 for a bold new assignment in California – opening the first manufacturing plant outside of Japan.

Mr. Kawamura’s ideas and relentless efforts at Kyocera helped create a new generation of semiconductor packages that paved the way for the mass-commercialization of many important semiconductor technologies. Kyocera is also a global maker of cell phones, printers and other products.

In addition to his work as a chemist, manufacturing engineer and training/education professional, Mike Kawamura is actively involved in promoting intercultural understanding and harmony. Born in the city of Hiroshima in May of 1943, Mr. Kawamura is a survivor of the Hiroshima Atomic Bombing of 1945.

As a result of that experience, he is a lifelong advocate of world peace and is involved with a number of local community organizations that promote cultural understanding including the Japanese Friendship Garden Society of San Diego, and the Japan Society of San Diego and Tijuana among others.

Mr. Kawamura believes that the U.S.-Japan relationship should be held up as a model of how former adversaries can become friends and allies by working together toward shared goals.

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