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    Wednesday, December 12, 2018-3:14:22P.M.

     

     

     

     

     

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JM Guerrero receives award from Japanese government

THE Japanese government bestowed the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays on the first managing director of the Marianas Visitors Bureau, Jesus Manuel “JM” V. Deleon Guerrero, on Thursday.

The conferment was held at the Consular Office of Japan at the Marina Heights Business Park.

Japan Consul Kinji Shinoda presented the decoration diploma with a rosette given by the Emperor of Japan to Deleon Guerrero.

Witnessing the ceremony were the recipient’s wife, Reiko, and sisters Edith D.L.G. Cruz, Angie V. Deleon Guerrero, Cel D.L.G. Chargualaf, Margaret D.L.G. Camacho and brother Ray V. D.L.G. Guerrero.

The decoration diploma showed the seal of the Japanese government, and the seal of the offices of Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Director-General of Decoration Bureau Cabinet Office Yukihiro Otsuka.

In his remarks, Shinoda said JM Deleon Guerrero, who was appointed as first managing director of MVB in 1977, “established the golden age of the tourism business between Japan and the CNMI.”

For 12 years, Shinoda said JM Deleon Guerrero used his strong leadership to create a thriving tourism business in the Asia-Pacific region.

He said JM Deleon Guerrero was instrumental to increasing the number of direct flights from Japan to Saipan while promoting cultural, sports and youth exchange programs with Japan.

 “He knows and loves Japan,” the consul said. “He is a real friend of Japan. Surely, Japan loves him as well.”

Former Marianas Visitors Bureau Managing Director Jesus Manuel V. Deleon Guerrero, his wife Rieko, and sisters Edith D.L.G. Cruz, Angie V. Deleon Guerrero, Cel D.L.G. Chargualaf, Margaret D.L.G. Camacho and brother Ray V. D.L.G. Guerrero pose with Japan Consul Kinhi Shinoda.  Photo by Junhan B. TodiñoFormer Marianas Visitors Bureau Managing Director Jesus Manuel V. Deleon Guerrero, his wife Rieko, and sisters Edith D.L.G. Cruz, Angie V. Deleon Guerrero, Cel D.L.G. Chargualaf, Margaret D.L.G. Camacho and brother Ray V. D.L.G. Guerrero pose with Japan Consul Kinhi Shinoda. Photo by Junhan B. Todiño

But Shinoda also noted that Japanese tourism in the CNMI is “almost gone,” and that the golden age in tourism established by JM Deleon Guerrero “is already an old story.”

“I am saddened about that,” the consul said. “I hope a person like JM Deleon Guerrero will appear in the CNMI in the future and revitalize the tourism business between Japan and the CNMI.”

JM Deleon Guerrero said he was honored to be one of the recipients of the Order of the Raising Sun, Gold Rays, which he dedicates to his late father, Antonio R. Leon Guerrero.

JM Deleon Guerrero said his father was drafted by the Japanese Army to be a translator on Guam during World War II.

“While I was still growing up, many times my father brought Japanese friends to our house when he was vice mayor of Saipan. Throughout my career I always remembered my dad’s policy of friendship with Japan who are our neighbors and friends.”

JM Deleon Guerrero also expressed his appreciation for the support and encouragement of his wife Reiko, who taught him the Japanese culture.

He also thanked his father-in-law, the late Masao Aono who he said helped him perform his job as a tourism official.

Margaret D.L.G. Camacho, JM Deleon Guerrero’s youngest sister, expressed the family’s appreciation to the Japanese government and its consulate on Saipan for the award bestowed on her brother.

“Receiving this prestigious award is indicative of JM’s commitment, dedication and hard work which resulted in a positive impact that greatly contributed to the CNMI’s economic development and strengthening of the relationship between the CNMI and Japan.”

She said they are very proud of their brother’s accomplishments.