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Speech made by Ambassador Nogami on the occasion of the bestowal of the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon on Professor JAA Stockwin


18 Nov 04

Ambassador Nogami with Professor Stockwin
Ambassador Nogami with Professor Stockwin

Professor Stockwin, Dr Waswo, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

I would like to extend a heartfelt welcome to you all. Today we have the pleasant duty of bestowing upon Professor Stockwin the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon in recognition of his tireless efforts to promote Japanese Studies in the United Kingdom as well as friendship and mutual understanding between the Japanese and British peoples.

This is actually the first time I have had the pleasure of meeting Professor Stockwin. However, everything I have heard and read about him confirms me in the view that he is a very worthy recipient of this decoration.

Professor Stockwin has devoted most of his adult life to making Japan, especially its modern history and politics, accessible and understandable to the outside world. His mission has been based upon a profound affection for Japan, which was nurtured and strengthened when he had the opportunity in 1962 to spend a year at the Tokyo University Social Science Research Centre.

His long association with Oxford goes back to his undergraduate days, when he was a student at Exeter College. After spending the best part of twenty years at the Australian National University in Canberra, he ����ame home�ߡ�in 1982 when he was appointed Nissan Professor of Modern Japanese Studies, specialising in Political Science, and Director of the Nissan Institute of Japanese Studies at Oxford University.

Among the fruits of his dedication and hard work, he has helped to open up Japanese Studies to specialists in other fields such as economics, finance, anthropology and labour relations. Moreover, the establishment of a BA degree in Japanese Studies at Oxford University, in collaboration with the Nissan Institute, owes much to his efforts.

Professor Stockwin is said to possess an almost encyclopaedic knowledge of the Japanese political scene, which extends to the minutiae of each post-war election. Notwithstanding such rare expertise, his monumental achievements at the Nissan Institute, his accomplishments as an author and his many other contributions to the promotion of Japanese Studies, people that know him well have found him to be modest and self-effacing, with no apparent relish for fame or glory. A wry sense of humour is another attribute much appreciated by his acquaintances.

An important aspect of Professor Stockwin's legacy must surely be the relaxed, informal atmosphere that prevails at the Nissan Institute. This is an endearing quality which has drawn uniformly favourable comment from scholars and other visitors ? British, Japanese and other nationalities alike.

To sum up, Professor Stockwin has done a tremendous amount to help people in the United Kingdom, elsewhere in Europe and in every English-speaking country make sense of modern Japan. Though he deserves all the accolades that come his way, it is up to other people to ensure that he receives them. It is therefore a great pleasure and honour for me, as a representative of His Majesty The Emperor Of Japan, to confer upon Professor James Arthur Ainscow Stockwin the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon.

Thank you.



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