Japanese Government honours Ms Heidi Caroline Potter OBE

On 13 September 2016, Ambassador Koji Tsuruoka conferred upon Ms Heidi Caroline Potter OBE, the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Rays, which had been awarded by the Government of Japan in recognition of her sterling work in enhancing the bilateral friendship by promoting Japan-related cultural and educational activities in the UK.
 
Ambassador Tsuruoka outlined Ms Potter’s dedication to the Japan-UK relationship, especially in the educational field, from the time she joined the British English Teachers Scheme (BETS), which was the forerunner of the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) programme.  She contributed greatly in this regard when she was the Executive Director of Japan 21, before it was merged with the Japan Society, promoting teaching about Japan at primary and secondary schools in the UK as well as supplying information related to Japan. Her subsequent appointment as Chief Executive of the Japan Society added impetus to her education-focused mission.

In his remarks, Ambassador Tsuruoka noted that it was particularly appropriate to celebrate her contribution to the Japan-UK relationship throughout her professional life on this occasion as this year marked the 125th anniversary of the Japan Society’s foundation.  He paid tribute to Ms Potter’s longstanding contribution to the strengthening of friendship and mutual understanding between Japan and the United Kingdom, and expressed his confidence that she would continue to feature prominently in efforts to promote UK-Japan relations further.
 
For her part, Ms Potter expressed her deep appreciation for the decision to award her the decoration and thanked all of the colleagues who had worked with her in various organisations for the important part they had played in her achievement.  She stressed how grateful she was to Ambassador Tsuruoka and the Japanese Government for the importance they clearly placed on education and cultural interaction.  In concluding her remarks, she declared that, as Japan took centre stage in the sporting field in 2019 and 2020, there would be many new opportunities to develop partnerships between the two countries.
 
The Embassy of Japan