It is the wedding gift that keeps on giving.
To commemorate the marriage of Crown Prince Akihito and Michiko Shoda, the future crown princess, a group of business and community leaders in Hawai‘i formed a scholarship foundation in 1959 to promote educational exchanges between graduate students from Hawai‘i and Japan. A sizeable amount of money was raised — enough to endow the scholarship program — and the first scholarships were awarded in 1973 and every year since then until today. The foundation has helped about 150 students from Hawai‘i and Japan to obtain an international education — at the University of Hawai‘i for Japanese recipients and at a Japanese university for UH recipients. Many of the recipients have pursued careers that, in some way, enhance U.S.-Japan relations.