On November 1, the Washington Foreign Law Society co-hosted its annual reception with Harold Koh, the Legal Adviser for the U.S. Department of State, in the historic Diplomatic Reception Rooms at the Department of State. The honoree for the 2011 reception was Japan, and Ambassador Ichiro Fujisaki accepted the honors in a keynote address to the more than 250 people in attendance. Sam Witten, President of WFLS, Harold Koh, and Mary McLeod, Koh’s principal deputy, also delivered remarks, praising the collaboration between Japan and the United States on legal issues including the aftermath of the March 11 Great East Japan Earthquake, the International Criminal Court Review Conference, and the coordination of donor oversight of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal. In addition to the spectacular surroundings of the reception rooms, the Law Library of Congress displayed a special selection of works from the Rare Book Collection relating to the legal and constitutional history of Japan. As another special treat, guests watched a traditional Kagami-Biraki ceremony, during which the dignitaries broke a barrel of sake with mallets and shared the sake with the crowd.
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