Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival Announces John V. Roos as the 2015 Cherry Blossom Festival Grand Marshal

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Former US Ambassador to Japan to lead the Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival Parade on April 19

John Roos represents what the heart of this festival is all about - giving through philanthropy and volunteerism in times of great need. It is our way of acknowledging and saying “Thank You” to Mr. Roos for his selfless actions and to sustain the goodwill

(JAPANTOWN, SAN FRANCISCO) March 11, 2015 - The 2015 Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival®, now celebrating its 48th year, is one of California’s most prominent celebrations of Asian traditions. This year we are honored to have John V. Roos, the former Ambassador to Japan as our 2015 Cherry Blossom Parade Grand Marshal.

Ambassador Roos was the United States Ambassador to Japan from August 2009 - August 2013. On Aug. 6, 2010, Ambassador Roos became the first sitting U.S. Ambassador ever to attend the commemoration ceremony of the atomic bombing in Hiroshima. Ambassador Roos' service in Tokyo coincided with the devastating 9.0 earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear crisis on March 11, 2011. Following this tragedy, Ambassador Roos led the American effort on the ground in support of Japan's response to the multi-dimensional and unprecedented disaster. After the crisis, Ambassador Roos also led the creation of the TOMODACHI Initiative, a public-private partnership that has raised more than thirty million dollars and established more than 40 exchange programs. Ambassador Roos is a member of the Board of Directors at Salesforce.com and Sony Corporation and the Global Advisory Board of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group.

“This year's festival is excited to have John Roos as this year’s Grand Marshal as he helped many people after the Tohoku Earthquake,” said Allen Okamoto, co-chair of the Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival.

“John Roos represents what the heart of this festival is all about - giving through philanthropy and volunteerism in times of great need. It is our way of acknowledging and saying 'Thank You' to Mr. Roos for his selfless actions and to sustain the goodwill relations between the two great nations,” said Richard Hashimoto, co-chair of the Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival.

Previously, Ambassador Roos served as Chief Executive Officer and Senior Partner at Wilson, Sonsini, Goodrich, & Rosati, the leading law firm in the United States in the representation of technology, life sciences, and emerging growth companies. Ambassador Roos is a graduate with honors and distinction from Stanford University and from Stanford Law School where he was Order of the Coif.

This year’s parade will be on April 19, 2015 at 1pm starting at SF City Hall and ending at Japantown.

The SF Cherry Blossom Festival will be held on the weekends of April 11-12 and April 18-19 and is free. Please join in the festivities to celebrate Japanese and Japanese American culture in San Francisco’s Historic Japantown! For more information, visit http://bit.ly/NCCBF.

About Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival:

The Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival, celebrating its 48th year, is operated by an all-volunteer executive committee and overseen by Sakura Matsuri, Inc. a 501(c)(3) charitable organization.

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