Hitoshi Abe, professor of architecture and urban design at UCLA, has received a commendation from the foreign minister of Japan. The foreign minister’s commendations are awarded to individuals and groups to acknowledge their contribution to the promotion of friendship between Japan and other countries. The commendation also aims to promote the understanding and support of the Japanese public for their activities.

Abe, who is the Paul I. and Hisako Terasaki Professor of Contemporary Japanese Studies, received this honor along with Kimiko Fujita, president of Orange County Japanese American Association.

Abe, who has been the director of the Paul I. and Hisako Terasaki Center for Japanese Studies since 2010, was recognized by the Japanese government for his contributions to mutual understanding, friendship and goodwill between Japan and the United States through his support of Japanese studies and academic exchanges. Serving as a member of the Japan America Society of Southern California’s Board of Governors (2012- ), chairman of the Steering Committee of Little Tokyo Design Week (2011, 2013) and Japan House Los Angeles adviser (2016-2018), Abe has contributed to Japanese and Japanese American communities.

In 1992, Abe won first prize in the Miyagi Stadium competition, and since then he has maintained an active international design practice based in Sendai, Japan, and Los Angeles. Known for architecture that is spatially complex and structurally innovative, the work of Atelier Hitoshi Abe has been published and received numerous awards in Japan and internationally. In 2017, he established xLAB, an international think tank initiative that examines architecture’s elastic boundaries and considers new possibilities through interdisciplinary collaboration in the study of the future built environment.