Sir Graham Holbrook Fry KCMG
The Government of Japan has decided to confer the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun on Sir Graham Holbrook Fry in recognition of his significant contribution to promoting friendly relations, mutual understanding and economic relations between Japan and the United Kingdom.
Sir Graham has made a significant contribution to promoting Japan-UK relations through his long diplomatic service as well as his various activities following his retirement. Throughout his diplomatic career, he was continuously engaged in promoting Japan-UK relations, from starting his career as a Japan specialist, his service at the British Embassy in Japan three times for a total of 12 years, his engagement at various Japan-related positions in the UK government and completing his career as British Ambassador to Japan from 2004 to 2008. Of his many contributions as ambassador, some of the most remarkable were being instrumental in the UK visit of Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress of Japan in 2007, three visits by Japanese Prime Ministers in 2005, 2007 and 2008, and the UK Prime Minister’s visit to Japan in 2008.
After retiring from the diplomatic service, he was engaged in supporting the development of Japanese studies in the UK as a member of the governing body of the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, from 2008 to 2015. As a high-level educational and research institution, SOAS specialises in Asian and African area studies and its Japan study centre is well-known in this field. From a managerial position, he supported the activities of the Japan study centre and assisted in launching the annual lectures at SOAS. During his tenure, SOAS and Ritsumeikan University in Japan established a global partnership.
From 2009, Sir Graham’s activities expanded to support Japanese business and investment in the UK. He contributed to Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. as a corporate adviser from 2009 to present, and to Sumitomo Corporation Europe Ltd, which is based in the UK, as an adviser. Furthermore, he was appointed as the single foreign national board member of Eisai Co Ltd from 2012 to 2017. Both Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Eisai are selected members of strategic relations companies, which the UK government recognises.
In view of his exemplary work, the Government of Japan considers that Sir Graham fully deserves to be honoured for his outstanding contribution to the promotion of Japan-UK relations.
Mr Kazuo Ishiguro OBE FRSA FRSL
The Government of Japan has decided to confer the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star upon Mr Kazuo Ishiguro, novelist and Nobel Laureate in Literature 2017, in recognition of his significant contribution to promoting Japan in the United Kingdom as well as encouraging cultural exchange and mutual understanding between our two countries.
Mr Ishiguro is one of the most popular novelists in the world. He began writing in the 1980s and published his debut work, A Pale View of Hills, in 1982, for which he won the Winifred Holtby Memorial Prize. In the same year, he was named among the “20 Best Young British Novelists”.
He won the prestigious Booker Prize for his third novel, The Remains of the Day, which firmly established his standing as a writer of the first rank. After his novel When We Were Orphans became a bestseller; he published several other works, including Never Let Me Go, which captured the hearts and minds of millions of readers worldwide.
Mr Ishiguro’s achievements as a novelist have been highly recognised not only in the UK but all around the world. This acclaim culminated in him being awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2017.
Through his works which were set in Japan, Mr Ishiguro has contributed to the further understanding of and interest in Japan and its people. At the same time, many Japanese readers have found his works to be a gateway to English literature. He has also conducted lectures and seminars with prominent Japanese novelists, and through such means has helped enhance cultural exchange.
The Government of Japan recognises Mr Ishiguro’s outstanding contribution to the development of literature both in the UK and throughout the world and for promoting deeper mutual understanding between the UK and Japan. In view of his sterling work, he greatly deserves to be honoured with this decoration.
Mr Peter Heginbotham OBE
The Government of Japan has decided to confer the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon upon Mr Peter Heginbotham OBE, in recognition of his remarkable contribution to promoting friendly relations and exchange between Japan and the United Kingdom.
Mr Heginbotham is a distinguished solicitor respected by both the public and private sectors of the Greater Manchester area. Over the years, he has held many important positions in several economic development organisations and served as President of Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce. These roles included many economic-centric activities such as economic analysis, strategic formulation and implementation of economic development, which have had a positive impact on the development of the local area.
During his tenure as Honorary Consul of Japan in Manchester over the last 10 years, Mr Heginbotham served as a bridge between North West England and Japan and continuously contributed to inspiring economic exchange between Japan and the UK, whilst also encouraging public awareness and understanding of Japan and its culture.
He actively promoted the advancement of Japanese businesses within the UK and used his vast network to address enquiries from Japanese companies, while also allowing them to cooperate with UK-related businesses. He provided economic guidance to both Japanese and UK businesses, which in turn contributed greatly to the revitalisation and development of economic exchange between the two countries.
Mr Heginbotham assisted in launching the ‘Deloitte Japanese Business Dinner’, now held annually in Manchester with his continued participation. The event is an invaluable opportunity for UK and Japanese organisations to form and further strengthen their business relationships, and his contribution to improving the presence of Japanese companies within North West England is highly appreciated.
In his role as Honorary Consul, he not only provided support for Japanese companies but also actively participated in Japan-related events, cultural festivals and assisted Japanese citizens in emergencies.
In view of his sterling work, the Government of Japan considers that Peter Heginbotham greatly deserves to be honoured for his outstanding contribution to supporting Japanese companies in the UK and strengthening mutual understanding between the peoples of Japan and North West England.