Since my last message, there have been a number of events at the Embassy and my Residence reflecting different aspects of Japan-UK relations. These occasions have included the decoration of three Britons by the Government of Japan for their contributions to friendship and mutual understanding between our two countries, three concerts featuring Japanese musicians, a gathering to promote Japanese cuisine and an unusual exhibition at the Houses of Parliament.
On Tuesday 3 June, in a ceremony at the Embassy I bestowed the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star upon Mr Roger Godsiff MP
, who has chaired the British-Japanese Parliamentary Group for the past 15 years. During this period he has visited Japan many times and has done much to assist his fellow MPs in deepening their understanding of Japan’s political and economic situation as well as its culture and technology.
Exactly two weeks later there was a similar celebration at my Residence, this time for Professor Janet Hunter
, who was awarded the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon in recognition of her longstanding academic work in the field of Japanese economic and social history, especially gender issues. She was also commended as one of the driving forces in the Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines (STICERD), established by those two companies at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) in 1978.
At the third such gathering at the Embassy, on Thursday 26 June I conferred the same decoration upon Sir John Beddington
to honour his tremendous contribution to Japan-UK cooperation in the field of science and technology. As Government Chief Scientific Adviser (GCSA) and Head of the Government Office for Science between 2008 and 2013, Sir John played a hugely significant role in the aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami of 11 March 2011 by reminding the British community in Japan as well as the wider public of the need to react to the crisis with cool heads on the basis of scientific data, facts and figures rather than emotion, fears and rumours. Sir John’s actions helped very much to calm people’s emotions and prevent panic.