In recognition of his significant contribution to strengthening ties between the United States and Japan, Mr. Dennis W. Archer, former Mayor of Detroit, has been chosen to be honored with the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon, by His Imperial Majesty, the Emperor of Japan. The Government of Japan made the formal announcement today, declaring the foreign recipients of the Spring 2013 Imperial Decorations.
During his term as mayor from 1994-2001, Mr. Archer cultivated ties with the Japanese business community in the state of Michigan, and worked to promote friendship between the U.S. and Japan. His achievements factoring into selection for his award include: his recognition of the social and economic contributions made by the Japanese business community in metro Detroit, his promotion of understanding and goodwill between Japan and the U.S., his participation in various international conferences in Japan, and his support of the Japan America Society of Greater Detroit and Windsor (now Michigan and Southwestern Ontario).
Mr. Archer was the first Detroit mayor to attend meetings with the Japan Business Society of Detroit, showing his high esteem of the Japanese community. His effort in opposition to a post-9/11 ban on drivers’ licenses for non-citizens was of great benefit to the Japanese nationals in Michigan. He also promoted bilateral relations with the planting of cherry blossom trees on Belle Isle.
Mr. Archer has been directly involved in activities in Japan, including his leadership of a trade and investment mission in 1995, sending exhibits on loan from the Detroit Institute of Arts to Detroit’s sister-city Toyota City, also in 1995, and supporting the performance of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra in Japan in 1998. He has also supported bilateral education exchange between Japan and Michigan.
Mr. Archer participated in various conferences between Japan and the U.S., including mayoral/chamber of commerce conferences held in Japan in 1995 and 1999. He also co-represented the U.S. with the Mayor of Honolulu at an environmental conference in Tokyo in 1995, and attended an Asian-Pacific environmental summit in Hawaii in 1999.
After his term as mayor, Mr. Archer served as chairman of the Japan America Society (JAS) of Greater Detroit and Windsor from 2009-2010, continuing to encourage international relations. He led the 20th anniversary general meeting of the JAS and also participated in the 50th anniversary of the sister-city relationship between Detroit and Toyota City. He also discussed economic development and sustainability at a Japan-U.S. Midwest join-conference in Detroit, co-hosted by JAS and Detroit.
Detroit Consul General of Japan, Mr. Kuninori Matsuda had these words: “I am delighted by the announcement of Mr. Dennis Archer’s decoration, and congratulate him for his accomplishments. His endeavors to promote U.S. – Japan relations and to further Detroit’s role as an international partner for progress are reflected in this award. The Japanese community and companies here in Michigan have benefitted from Mr. Archer’s support, and in effect, the local community has received more recognition from Japan. This is a special day for Detroit.”
Mr. Dennis W. Archer currently serves as Chairman Emeritus of Dickinson Wright PLLC in Detroit and has been praised as one of the top lawyers in the U.S. He also served as Chairman of the Detroit Regional Chamber, was the first African-American President of the American Bar Association, and served as Associate Justice on the Michigan Supreme Court. Archer received his J.D. from Detroit College of Law, and his B.S. from Western Michigan University.
Mr. Archer was honored in Detroit at an official conferment ceremony and celebration on June 3, 2013.