A gentleman with a strong sense of community, Dato’ Tomiyasu Ushiama has been playing a leading role in strengthening ties between Malaysia and Japan for the past four decades.
On Monday, February 15, Ushiama was given a certificate of commendation by Ryuji Noda, the Penang-based Consul-General of Japan at a simple ceremony held at the Meru Valley Golf and Country Club.
The 77-year-old Ushiama is among the first Japanese entrepreneurs in Malaysia and is one of the founding members of the Perak Malaysian-Japanese Friendship Society (PMJFS). He started the Perak Japanese School in 1983 and is very committed in the education of the younger generation in the Japanese community.
Equally admirable is his effort at restoring the Japanese cemetery in Ipoh.
“Restoration requires tremendous efforts since the oldest grave dates back to 1896. Dato’ with his colleagues spent so many nights battling mosquitoes to retouch faded characters inscribed on each grave stone. Such work could not be carried out during daytime because it was not possible to read the inscription in the bright sunshine,” Ryuji remarked.
In his address, Ushiama thanked the committee members of PMJFS who are working full time yet spend most of their evenings and Sundays running Japanese classes and events.
Present at the joyous occasion were Datin Ushiama, Dato’ Lim Si Boon, Chairman of Kinta Properties, Hiroko Taniguchi, Deputy Consul-General, Dato’ Hew Choy Kon, Honorary Advisor of PMJFS, Lam Kim Yeap, Chairman of PMJFS and Kenzo Tamura, Deputy Chairman of Japan Club Ipoh.
“I enjoy the food here, especially curry. I first came to Ipoh in 1969. In half a year’s time, my weight increased by 5 kilos. Now that I am retired, I like to cook,” the amiable Ushiama told Ipoh Echo.