Karleen C. Chinen

“Determined, unflappable, tireless and tenacious.” That is how Dr. Akemi Kikumura-Yano is remembering Irene Hirano Inouye, her friend and former colleague, who died April 7 in Los Angeles after an extended illness. She was 71 years old.

Most people knew Irene Hirano Inouye primarily as the widow of the late U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye from Hawai‘i. They might have heard that she was president of the U.S.-Japan Council, which she established in 2009, and the former president/CEO of the Japanese American National Museum.

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