|Ambassador Orita presents Professor Ewart with his Commendation
The Ambassador's Commendations were introduced in 2000 in order to recognise the contributions of those who had made outstanding efforts to promote grassroots exchange between the UK and Japan.
On 6 September 2004, Professor Wallace Ewart, former vice-chancellor of Ulster University, was awarded the Ambassador's Commendation for his outstanding contribution to the promotion of the friendly relationship between Japan and Northern Ireland, in particular at grass roots level.
Professor Ewart was presented with a certificate by Ambassador Masaki Orita at an award ceremony which took place in Belfast.
Professor Wallace Ewart's involvement with Japan dates back to the early 1980s when he worked with United Nations University in Japan on their Microelectronics Project for Developing Countries.
As Dean of Business and Management at Ulster University, he introduced a BA degree in Japanese Business Studies in 1988, which provided the opportunity for students to spend one year in Japan. The Faculty then offered an International MBA which attracted a number of Japanese students.
Professor Ewart served as chairman of the Japan Festival 1991 Education Committee in Northern Ireland. He initiated and conducted innovative exchange projects between Northern Irish and Japanese high schools via the internet, which are on-going even today.
Furthermore, Professor Ewart served as regional coordinator of Northern Ireland during Japan 2001 when he made tireless efforts to manage the entire festival, especially in fund-raising activities and the co-ordination of major events in the region. Without his hard work, the festival in Northern Ireland would not have been such a great success.
Professor Ewart has also been instrumental in projecting Northern Ireland as an investment location for Japanese companies.
In his acceptance speech Professor Ewart said, "amongst the many things we have learned is that two cultures can be different and yet equal, and, as increasingly we are being called upon to become international citizens, so we need to find that balance between living in a global economy while at the same time retaining and preserving the essential elements of our own cultural identity...If our young people grow up to understand and experience mutual understanding of each others culture, then we may be better equipped to cooperate in peace and harmony...Thank you for the honour you have bestowed on me. I accept it in all humility, being mindful of the many others, here in Northern Ireland and Japan, who are working towards the same goal.”Full text of Ambassador Orita's speech
Full text of Professor Ewart's speech