On January 29, Ambassador Nogami presented Ms Angela Davies, a lecturer in the Japanese language at John Moores University and Broad Green Sixth Form College in Liverpool, with a Certificate of Commendation. The award was made in recognition of her distinguished contribution to fostering mutual understanding between the peoples of Japan and the UK.
Ms Davies has been active in Japan-UK exchange since the early 1980s. Her long association with Japan runs across many different areas, ranging from culture and education to business.
A common theme throughout Ms Davies�� varied career has been her passion for gardens. In 1983-84 she worked at the International Garden Festival in Liverpool and was centrally involved in arranging the construction of a Japanese garden for that event. In March 1990 she was an ��international liaison officer�� at the International Garden and Greenery Exposition in Osaka in 1990. A more recent project in which she took part was the refurbishment of the Chokushi Mon gateway and the construction of a Japanese garden at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Then in 2001 she was involved in the construction of the award-winning Japanese garden at the Chelsea Flower Show, after which she helped to arrange its transfer to the National Botanic Gardens of Wales.
Ms Davies also helped to get the JET Programme under way by serving as the first Co-ordinator for International Relations from the UK in 1987-88. Based in Kagawa Prefecture, she developed links with that part of Japan that have flourished over the years. In fact, since 2003 she has functioned as ��goodwill ambassador�� on behalf of Kagawa Prefecture.
Meanwhile, Ms Davies also serves as Vice-Chairman of the Japan Society North West. That organisation was the driving force behind Manchester Japan Day last October, a highly successful event which attracted more than 1,000 visitors.
At the ceremony, Ambassador Nogami expressed admiration for everything Ms Davies had done to further Japan-UK relations over more than two decades. The award was, he said, richly deserved.