On 29 April 2015, the Government of Japan announced the 2015 Spring Conferment of Decorations on Foreign Nationals. The Decorations are conferred on those individuals or groups who have made outstanding contributions towards friendship and mutual understanding between Japan and their own countries.
Sir Stephen John Gomersall, KCMG
The Government of Japan bestowed the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun, upon Sir Stephen John Gomersall, KCMG, former Director, Hitachi Ltd, former Chairman, Hitachi Europe Ltd., and former British Ambassador to Japan, in recognition of his significant contribution to strengthening and developing economic relations between Japan and the United Kingdom for many years.
Over many years, Sir Stephen has played a critical role in promoting economic relations between Japan and the UK, especially since joining the Hitachi Group in October 2004. He took up the post of Chief Executive for Europe, and became the first non-Japanese Executive Officer at Hitachi, Ltd. in October 2006 before being appointed Group Chairman for Europe at Hitachi Europe Ltd. in April 2011. Sir Stephen has been actively involved in strengthening Hitachi’s global business operations, especially in the UK, where he has played an important role in Hitachi’s recent involvement in the railway infrastructure and nuclear power sectors.
Furthermore, as a leading global business figure Sir Stephen has been a vital presence at many international meetings. One such example is his participation in a round table discussion for the promotion of investment to the UK at 10 Downing Street in February 2014. His contributions have been vital to the enhancement of Japan-UK relations as well as Japanese industry’s international presence.
After Sir Stephen joined the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in 1970, his first foreign assignment was to Japan from 1972-77. He served there again from 1986-90, and as Ambassador from 1999-2004. Sir Stephen’s outstanding contribution as British Ambassador to Japan helped advance trade and investment between Japan and the UK and strengthen a bilateral strategic partnership in an international political context.
The Government of Japan highly appreciates the significant contribution Sir Stephen has made throughout his career. Sir Stephen therefore greatly deserves to be honoured for his outstanding contribution to Japan-UK relations.