In his speech, Ambassador Tsuruoka touched upon some of the main elements of Lord Cunningham’s extraordinary contribution to the UK-Japan 21st Century Group, through which he helped strengthen mutual understanding and interactive dialogue between the two countries. When he was the UK Chair, he actively encouraged frank and open discussions and, with his Japanese counterpart, led the Group to address the need for the two countries to tackle global issues, such as the reconstruction efforts in Iraq, cooperation on development in Africa and climate change. After his resignation as the UK Co-Chair of the Group, he continued to contribute to its deliberations as a Director, while seeking to have the outcome of the Group’s annual meetings reflected in the thinking of the two governments. In view of the Government of Japan’s recognition of Lord Cunningham’s numerous achievements during his many years of service for the Group, the honour was extremely well-deserved.
Ambassador Tsuruoka concluded his remarks by expressing his sincere appreciation for Lord Cunningham’s longstanding friendship towards Japan and its people, and his confidence in the continuation of amicable ties between the two countries.
The Embassy of Japan