2017 Foreign Minister’s Commendations – Professor Mark Williams

On the 3 August 2017, Ambassador Koji Tsuruoka awarded the Foreign Minister’s Commendation to Dr Mark Williams, professor of Japanese Studies at University of Leeds, for his contribution to promoting Japan research in the United Kingdom.

Professor Mark Williams has been involved in Japanese Studies at the University of Leeds since 1988 after participating in the British English Teachers’ Scheme, a forerunner of the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) programme, in Gunma Prefecture from 1979 to 1981.  He was instrumental in establishing a Japanese Studies department at the University of Leeds in 1990.  Professor Williams is well-known for his research on the author Endo Shusaku, and contributed to a wider understanding of Japan in the UK through his talks in various media on the occasion of the film adaptation of Endo's Silence in 2016.

He also raised the profile of Japanese Studies in the UK by serving as the President of British Association for Japanese Studies from 2006 to 2010.  From 2011 to 2014 he was Vice President for Academic Affairs at Akita International University. This month he is going to leave for Japan again to take up an appointment as a Vice President of International Christian University.

At the ceremony, Ambassador Tsuruoka, voicing his wish to Professor Williams’ further promoting Japan-UK relations, congratulated him heartily on being awarded the Foreign Minister’s Commendation. Professor Williams expressed his honour and declared that he would continue to work with Japanese people.
Embassy of Japan