The Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBEs) awards celebrate the close partnership between the UK and Japan in the run-up to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, as well as the enduring educational, cultural and business links between the two countries.
Norihiko Fukuda MBE
As Mayor of Kawasaki City, Norihiko Fukuda successfully bid for Kawasaki City to be one of the Host Cities for UK athletes during the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympic Games. With the Mayor of Yokohama and President of Keio University he developed the GO GB partnership which not only ensured access for athletes to top class facilities but also promoted deeper ties with the UK through a series of activities and events.
As a champion of rights for people with disabilities, Mayor Fukuda also used the Games to raise awareness of diversity and inclusion through partnerships with the British Council and UK arts organisations. This included giving local students with Special Educational Needs the opportunity to work with professional musicians to create a piece of original music, which premiered in Kawasaki on the eve of the Paralympics to a packed concert hall and considerable critical acclaim.
Akira Haseyama MBE
Akira Haseyama is a renowned Japanese legal expert and academic leader. During his four years as President of Keio University he was instrumental in fostering a close and collaborative relationship between the university and the UK. Under his leadership, Keio went to extraordinary lengths to ensure GB Olympics and Paralympics teams had the best preparation camps available to them ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Games in 2021. Seeing an opportunity to create a lasting legacy for inclusion, the President also put forward university funding to overhaul the accessibility of the university’s facilities to create a barrier-free environment.
Beyond support to the GB sports teams, President Haseyama’s vision of closer collaboration with the UK led to the signing of a three-way MOU in 2018 with Royal Holloway University and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County to focus on the protection of Critical National Infrastructure.
Fumiko Hayashi MBE
Mayor Fumiko represented Japan’s second city for over two decades from 2009 to 2021. During this time, she championed collaboration with and promotion of the UK, culminating in the city of Yokohama becoming a crucial base for the British Olympic and Paralympic Associations to prepare for the Tokyo 2020 Games. The Mayor used the Games as a hook to promote greater awareness of and collaboration with the UK, and used the GO GB Partnership as an umbrella for a series of public-facing activities and events. These included British museums being invited to perform at the Two- and One-Year to go city celebrations and seminars on the UK’s inclusive society. Mayor Hayashi’s support of the UK has extended beyond the sporting world.
In 2018, she signed a declaration of collaboration with Fiona Hyslop to link Yokohama and Scotland. Through the agreement, Scotland and Yokohama have developed an increasingly strong relationship in education, culture, tourism, marine industries and sports.
Yasuhisa Shiozaki MBE
Mr Shiozaki has a long career in banking and Japanese politics, including serving as Chief Cabinet Secretary in the Government of Japan. As a committed participant from 1997 and then Co-Chair (2002-2011 and 2012-2021) of the UK-Japan 21st Century Group, he has worked tirelessly to promote UK-Japan relations for almost a quarter of a century. Established in 1984 at the joint recommendation of the British and Japanese Prime Ministers, Margaret Thatcher and Yasuhiro Nakasone, the 21st Century Group brings together private sector, public sector and civil society leaders to promote dialogue and cooperation between the two countries.
Takashi Tsukamoto MBE
Takashi Tsukamoto has made a significant contribution to UK-Japan cultural relations as Chair (since 2016) of the Japan British Society. In addition to leading the Society’s tireless efforts to promote bilateral ties, he played a leading part in the goodwill drive by the Japanese community in the UK launched in 2017 to plant thousands of Japanese cherry blossoms all around Britain. Modelled on the famous cherry blossom planting along the Potomac River in Washington DC, the blossoms will form a long term and very visible symbol of the strength of the friendship between the two countries. Previously as CEO of Mizuho Bank’s London HQ, and later as the bank’s global President, he also strongly promoted UK-Japan financial and business links.
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