Sen. Dan Inouye to Marry Irene Hirano of JANM

Kenji Taguna, English editor of the Nichi Bei Times, the paper that carries our column, just sent us an email that Hawai’i Sen. Daniel Inouye got engaged to Irene Hirano, president and CEO of the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles.

Here’s the Honolulu Star-Bulletin’s breaking news story:

U.S. Sen. Daniel K. Inouye announced today that he is engaged to Irene Hirano, the president and CEO of the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles.

Inouye, 83, said the couple will marry May 24 in a private ceremony at a church in Los Angeles.

“Irene is an extraordinary woman of grace, intelligence, and accomplishment,” Inouye said. “She is a rare gem in our society. Without question, I am a very fortunate and lucky man.”

Inouye’s first wife, Margaret “Maggie” Awamura Inouye, died on March 13, 2006. The couple had been married for almost 57 years.

The Hawaii Democrat said in a press release that Hirano is also chairwoman of the American Association of Museums, and serves on the Ford Foundation Board of Trustees, and the Kresge Foundation Board of Trustees.

According to a press release issued from the Japanese American National Museum, Hirano announced today that she would conclude her tenure in June 2009 after 21 years of service with the museum. She was appointed executive director in April 1988 and named president and chief executive in 1999.

Inouye is chairman of the museum’s board of governors, according to the institution’s Web site.

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