Assemblymember George Nakano, who represents the 53rd District, received The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette award from the Japanese government for his service to California and contributions to the Japanese American community.

“I am greatly honored by this award. I join other United States citizens who have been so graciously recognized for their contributions,” Nakano said.

Other recipients include three astronauts from the Apollo space program and George Olah, a Nobel Prize winner in chemistry.

As an elected official, Nakano helped secure funds for the establishment of the Japanese American National Museum and for public education programs aimed at teaching American students about the history of Japanese Americans.

He also helped preserve the legacy of the 100th Infantry Battalion, 442nd Regimental Combat Team, Military Intelligence Service — a unit of Japanese American soldiers who fought in World War II in North Africa and Italy.

Nakano also founded the Torrance Kendo Club, a martial arts club, in 1974 and has instructed many students since.

He received his award at a ceremony in Tokyo Tuesday, November 9th.

Nakano’s term in the Assembly ends in January, due to term limits.