Nitto Tire and Tomo Mizutani Honored by Japan America Society of Southern California

President of Toyo Tire Holdings of Americas Inc. and former President of Nitto Tire U.S.A. Inc. receives the JASSC's International Citizen Award at its annual Gala.

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| Source: Nitto Tire
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From right to left: Mr. Terry Hara (Deputy Chief, LAPD), Keiko Brockel (President, Nitto Tire), Tomo Mizutani, Douglas Montgomery (Chairman of the Japan America Society of Southern California)

Tomo Mizutani giving his speech at the Japan America Society of Southern California's 105th Anniversary Dinner & Gala Celebration after accepting the International Citizen Award

Cypress, Calif., June 25, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Nitto Tire U.S.A. Inc., a leading manufacturer of off-road and street performance tires, was recognized by the Japan America Society of Southern California (JASSC) at its 105th Anniversary Dinner & Gala Celebration this past Tuesday night in Beverly Hills, Calif. Tomo Mizutani was presented with the organization's Kokusai Shimin Sho (International Citizens Award) in recognition of his business leadership, community involvement, and stewardship to strengthen Japanese-American relations.

The Japan American Society of Southern California 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. With Tuesday's award, Nitto Tire and Tomo Mizutani have joined the ranks of the many esteemed 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," said Tomo Mizutani, "but also for the outreach that we have done with the Japanese-American community."

During Tomo Mizutani's tenure as President of Nitto Tire, he increased the company's revenue three-fold while also doubling the number of tires sold by positioning Nitto as an original and creative force in the automotive industry. 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. Through his efforts, Nitto solidified itself as a brand Fueled by Enthusiasts and as a leader in tire manufacturing and technology in the United States.

Mizutani's contributions didn't stop at his business and marketing achievements. He knew that having a successful business in the U.S. was not only about sales and profit, but also about giving back to the community. Under this philosophy, 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.

The International Citizen's award was presented to Tomo Mizutani by Mr. Terry Hara, Deputy Chief, LAPD, Chairman of the JASSC and Mr. Douglas Montgomery, Anniversary Dinner Committee Chair for the JASSC. The evening closed with a surprise cake and song to celebrate Mizutani's birthday, which was the following day.

To learn more about Nitto tires, please visit www.nittotire.com. Join Nitto Tire on Facebook at www.facebook.com/NittoTire  and on Twitter at @NittoTire.

About Nitto Tire                                                                         

Nitto Tire (www.nittotire.com) develops performance tires for all uses, including racing, off-road and street. Using state-of-the-art manufacturing and testing facilities in both Japan and the United States, Nitto provides innovative and high-quality performance tires for the most demanding automotive enthusiasts. For more information about Nitto or its products, visit the company's web site or contact the company directly.  Nitto is a registered trademark of Nitto Tire U.S.A. Inc., located at 5665 Plaza Drive, Ste. 250, Cypress, CA 90630.

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Jon Barrett - Kahn Media
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