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Three Britons honoured by the government of Japan
15 Dec 04

On November 3, the Japanese government announced that it was to confer decorations on three Britons: The Rt. Hon Sir Richard Needham, Professor Arthur Stockwin and Geoffrey Hamilton MBE.

Sir Richard Needham (The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star)

Sir Richard NeedhamThe Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star was bestowed upon Sir Richard Needham in recognition of his vital role in setting up the UK-Japan 2000 Group (now UK-Japan 21 st Century Group). The group was established in 1985 in order to study bilateral co-operation, based on an agreement between the Prime Ministers of the day, Yasuhiro Nakasone and Margaret Thatcher. As a founding member of the Group, Sir Richard Needham stands out as the only person to have enthusiastically participated in all 20 Annual Meetings, his tireless devotion greatly adding to the constructive Group discussions on a number of practical issues. These include a bilateral working holiday visa and British participation in the 2005 Aichi Expo. In addition, during his time as Minister for Trade (1992-95), Sir Richard played a pivotal role in the 'Action Japan Campaign' by helping to promote mutual trade and investment between Japan and the UK.

Sir Richard Needham and Ambassador Nogami
Sir Richard received his decoration from Ambassador Nogami on 9 December

*Ambassador Nogami's speech

Professor Arthur Stockwin (The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon)

Professor JAA StockwinThe Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon was bestowed upon Professor Arthur Stockwin as a tribute to his energetic promotion of Japanese Studies in the UK. As Director of the Nissan Institute of Japanese Studies at Oxford University, he has tirelessly advanced the cause of Japanese Studies through his academic activities both within and outside the university. For over the past two decades he has been instrumental in the Institute's activities, inviting specialists to address seminars, initiating the Nissan Institute/Routledge Curzon Japanese Studies Series (which now runs to 63 volumes), opening the Bodleian Japanese Library and writing a number of books himself, about Japanese politics.

Professor Stockwin and Ambassador Nogami
Professor Stockwin received his award from Ambassador Nogami on 18 November

*Ambassador Nogami's speech

Geoffrey Hamilton MBE (The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon)

Geoffrey Hamilton MBEThe same decoration was conferred on Geoffrey Hamilton MBE in recognition of his devotion to the promotion of mutual understanding between Japan and the UK. During his time at the BBC he became the first member of staff to be seconded to NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation), where he contributed to introducing Japan to other countries through editing English news programmes and producing documentaries about Japan. Drawing upon almost 20 years of friendships and networks he cultivated as head of the Tokyo office of the British Tourist Authority, Geoffrey Hamilton has played an active role in the promotion of Japanese direct investment in Wales ever since he joined the Welsh Development Agency (WDA) in 1981. Even after his retirement in 1995, he has been actively involved in liaising between Japanese business communities and British public sectors as Senior Advisor to the Chairman of the WDA.

Geoffrey Hamilton MBE with his family and Ambassador & Madame Nogami
Geoffrey Hamilton MBE with his family and Ambassador & Madame Nogami
on 8 December

*Ambassador Nogami's speech



Japan-UK Relations
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  UK-Japan 21st Century Group