On 16 December 2008, a ceremony was held at the Ambassador's Residence on the occasion of the conferal of the Foreign Minister's Certificate of Commendation to Captain Robert Guy, Mr.Victor Harris and Dr Hisashi Nakamura, for their outstanding contributions to Japan-UK relations. H.E. Ambassador Shin Ebihara presented the certificates on behalf of Minister Hirofumi Nakasone, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
In 1998, Captain Robert Guy became Director of The Japan Society, and in the ensuing 10 years devoted himself to its development. His tireless efforts to attract corporate members and individuals to the Japan Society were rewarded as membership swelled, and corporate members became increasingly involved in the Society's activities. He also steadily built up the Society's links with regional Japan Societies and other organisations dedicated to fostering the Japan-UK friendship, thereby helping to boost Japan-UK exchange throughout the United Kingdom.
Mr Victor Harris, Keeper of the Japanese Collection at the British Museum for 6 of his 26 years at the museum, made a tremendous contribution to promoting understanding of traditional Japanese culture in the United Kingdom. Mr. Harris was not only responsible for planning and curating a number of Japanese exhibitions at the museum but played a prominent role in the creation and opening of the Museum's Japanese Galleries in 1990. President of Tokenkai of Great Britain, he is an expert on Japanese swords, authoring numerous publications on the subject and translating Gorinsho, a classic work on bushido by Miyamoto Musashi, into English.
Dr Hisashi Nakamura has been the Japan Projects Officer at York St John University since 1998. In this role he has promoted links between his university and its counterparts in Japan, proposed and brought to fruition a wide variety of cultural events, and been the central figure in nurturing Japan-UK cultural and educational exchange in York. In addition, as a keen and eminent tanka practitioner, he has been promoting Japan-UK exchange through the medium of tanka and in 2005 established the Anglo-Japanese Tanka Society.
Embassy of Japan