Sir Graham has had an extensive career in the British Diplomatic service with over 12 years of his career spent in Japan. First as a Third Secretary (Information) in 1975, then as Second Secretary (Commercial) in 1976 followed by a return in 1989 as Political Counsellor and finally culminating with his return in 2004 as British Ambassador to Japan until 2008.
During his time as British Ambassador in Tokyo, Sir Graham played an important role in the successful visit by Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress of Japan to the UK in 2007, the visits of three Japanese Prime Ministers to the UK in 2005, 2007 and 2008 and a visit by Gordon Brown, the then British Prime Minister to Japan in 2008.
Since retirement, Sir Graham has been a member of the Governing Body of the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) and helped establish its Japan Study Centre through attracting prominent speakers and lecturers to visit. . Sir Graham’s work at SOAS can also be seen through his role in the establishment of a global partnership between the University and Ritsumeikan University in Japan in 2011. He has given speeches at a number of Japanese Universities including Keio, Tokyo University and ICU.
Aside from academia, Sir Graham has been a corporate advisor to Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd since 2009 and as an advisor to Sumitomo Corporation Europe. Sir Graham was also appointed as the single foreign national board member of Eisai Co Ltd between 2012 and 2017.
Ambassador Tsuruoka said it was a rare privilege for a serving Ambassador to be able to honour a past Ambassador in such a way and offered his sincere congratulations to Sir Graham.
The Embassy of Japan