Tomo Mizutani, president of Toyo Tire Holdings of Americas Inc. and former president of Nitto Tire U.S.A., has been recognized by the Japan America Society of Southern California (JASSC) for his business leadership, community involvement, and stewardship to strengthen Japanese-American relations.
He received the organization’s Kokusai Shimin Sho (International Citizens Award) on June 24, 2014.
The JASSC was founded in 1909 to build economic, cultural, governmental and personal relationships between the people of Japan and America. The Society created the Victor M. Carter Perpetual Award in 1961 to honor citizens of the greater Los Angeles area who have done the most to foster and perpetuate friendship and understanding between the United States and Japan.
In 1988, the organization then went on to create the International Citizens Award to honor and recognize individuals, businesses or organizations that have substantively and significantly enhanced the Japan-United States relationship and are committed to the strengthening of bonds between the two nations.
Nitto Tire and Tomo Mizutani have joined the ranks of the many businesses and individuals that have been honored over the award’s 26-year history.
“It is an honor to have been recognized not just for the work that we have done to grow a Japanese business in America,” says Mizutani, “but also for the outreach that we have done with the Japanese-American community.”
During Mizutani’s tenure as president of Nitto Tire, he increased the company’s revenue three-fold while also doubling the number of tires sold. Mizutani led Nitto’s award-winning marketing efforts that included building a social media following of over 7-million fans on Facebook while still catering to the car enthusiasts that made the brand what it is today, according to the company.
Mizutani’s contributions didn’t stop at his business and marketing achievements. Nitto has become a prominent part of the Japanese-American community, supporting organizations like the JASSC as well as the Japanese American National Museum where it has sponsored a multi-language digital docent app that allows tourists from all over the world to explore the museum when actual docents aren’t available.
Under Mizutani’s guidance, Nitto has also created an award-winning video series that highlights influential Japanese-Americans such as Senator Daniel Inouye of Hawaii, former NFL player Scott Fujita, and non-Japanese-Americans who have contributed significantly to the community. It is Nitto’s hope to preserve and share the legacy of Japanese-American history as well as shed light on the unsung heroes of the community through the Nitto Video Collection.