Creating Bridges of Friendship


Sen. Rui Matsukawa, a member of Japan’s Upper House, poses in front of the Shoseian Whispering Pine Japanese Tea House in Glendale.


By GWEN MURANAKA, Rafu Senior Editor

GLENDALE — Last month, Rui Matsukawa, a member of Japan’s Upper House representing Osaka, traveled to sister city Glendale to support relations between the two cities.

Matsukawa, 47, was elected to the Upper House in 2016 as a member of the Liberal Democratic Party. She received her Masters of Science in Foreign Services from Georgetown University and was a diplomat serving in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs before deciding to go into politics.

“I have two daughters who are 10 and 5, and when I decided to run for election, I was hesitant, to be honest,” Matsukawa said.

“The reason I decided to run was I had been in diplomacy for more than 20 years and I had experienced a really bad time during DPJ (Democratic Party of Japan) administration. I realized that politics does matter for diplomacy: you have to have good politics to have proper diplomatic policies. I thought, this is my destiny, this is my work. I could help make better policy for our diplomacy.”

Matsukawa’s diplomatic skills were on display during her trip to the Shoseian Whispering Pine Japanese Tea House in Glendale’