Foreign Ministry of Japan Honors Clark with Imperial Decoration
DENVER – Attorney Richard “Dick” Clark received one of Japan’s highest honors, The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette, in a special presentation from the Foreign Ministry of Japan.
Clark, a partner with Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie LLP, was honored for his longtime commitment to facilitating successful business relationships between Colorado and Japan. He is credited with helping Denver land its nonstop United Airlines flight between the city and Narita International Airport in Japan, among other successes.
Presentation of the Imperial Decoration was held before business and political leaders, family and friends Jan. 17 at the private residence of Makoto Ito, Consul General Japan (Denver).
“I am honored to receive such a prestigious decoration from the Emperor of Japan. In addition, the dignitaries who attended the event including friends from Japan, made it even more special,” said Clark.
With more than 40 years of experience as a business lawyer emphasizing international trade, investment and finance, Clark offers legal advice to public and private companies of all sizes, both domestic and foreign.
He remains deeply involved in coordinating mutual VIP visits and contributing to Japan-U.S. exchanges in Colorado. He has acted as legal advisor to more than 50 Japanese companies and serves as Senior Vice President and a Director of the Japan America Society of Colorado.
“This is a very prestigious and deserved honor, and we are all proud of him. He is truly one of our best ambassadors,” said Kenneth Van Winkle Jr., managing partner at Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie.
Clark’s Imperial Decoration was announced in late 2016 during the Japan America Society of Colorado’s annual banquet. The JASC promotes mutual understanding between the people of Japan and Colorado by serving as a resource and providing opportunities for personal and business exchanges, and learning about each other’s culture, history, language, arts, and education.
“For a long time, he has contributed to Japan and Colorado relations. When Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko visited Colorado in 1994, Clark-san helped coordinate the VIP visit. He’s very skilled and supports Japanese companies,” stated Ito in a local media account of the banquet.
Clark noted his interest in Japan began in the early 1980s while a young partner at the law firm. His success working with Sumitomo Corporation led to other Japanese companies seeking his counsel. With numerous trips between Denver and Japan, his experience led to assisting with the inauguration of the nonstop flight between Denver International Airport and Tokyo.
James Lyons, a longtime friend and colleague at Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie, cited Clark’s conscientiousness in serving clients as a keystone in his ability to handle complicated international business transactions.
“Dick saw the opportunities for Japanese companies in the Rocky Mountain region in the 1980s and worked hard to make them a reality. Along the way he developed a deep respect and affection for the people of Japan and their ancient culture. This award recognizes his unique contributions,” said Lyons.
Past recipients of the Imperial Decoration include Baseball Hall of Famers Hank Aaron and Tommy Lasorda, and actor George Takei.