2013 Foreign Minister's Commendation - Professor Angela Davies

On 29 October 2013, Ambassador Keiichi Hayashi bestowed the Foreign Minister's Commendation upon Ms Angela Davies for her outstanding contribution to relations between Japan and the UK.

After being amongst the first intake of students on the first official modern Japanese language course at Sheffield University, followed by a brief stint with a Japanese company, she was sent to Kagawa in Shikoku where she served as the first Coordinator for International Relations (CIR) at the International Affairs Division from 1987 to 1988.
Gardens have often featured prominently in her role as a bridge between the UK and Japan. In 1983 she oversaw the creation of the Japanese Garden at the Liverpool International Garden Expo. She was subsequently invited by the Japanese Government to be an International Liaison Officer at Expo ’90 in Osaka, whose theme was gardens and greenery. There she attended members of royalty, government ministers and ambassadors, and she has continued to support projects involving the dissemination of Japanese Garden culture in the UK.

From 1991 to 2006 Angela coordinated the project for the construction and maintenance of the Japanese Garden at Kew as well as the project to establish at the same location a Minka (traditional rustic house).

Ambassador Keiichi Hayashi with Professor Angela Davies


Meanwhile, from 2000 to 2001 she was engaged in the construction of Japanese Gardens at the Chelsea Flower Show, where they received a Gold Medal and ‘Best in Show’ awards.

Angela has also been closely involved as a coordinator and interpreter concerning the maintenance of the Japanese Garden at Tatton Park, where the 100th anniversary of its establishment was celebrated in 2011.

A dedication to cultural exchange, both at the local community level and nationally, has been a key feature of Angela’s activities.  Between 2005 and 2011, as Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson of the Japan Society North West, she organised a biennial “Japan Day” Festival alternating between Manchester and Liverpool.  It has become one of the most prominent of such events outside London, enabling visitors to get a feel for Japan in an enjoyable and stimulating way.

In the reverse direction, reflecting her long association with Kagawa, in 2004 she was nominated as ‘Kagawa Ambassador’, since when she has extensively promoted the links between Kagawa and the UK, for instance by leading groups of British high school students to Japan and by participating as a commentator on tourism promotion at the Setouchi International Symposium in 2010.

Ambassador Hayashi said of Professor Davies: "Angela’s success in these roles reflects not only her enthusiasm and dedication but her extremely sociable nature, which enables her to establish rapport effortlessly with a wide range of Japanese people, armed with her excellent grasp of the Japanese language and her use of linguistic endeavours to bring people together."