Japan Society Awards 2012
The Japan Society Dinner on 1 October 2012 at the Hotel Russell was a great success. Thank you to everyone who came. The Japan Society Awards were presented to Keisaku ‘Sandy’ Sano and Lydia Morey for their outstanding contributions to UK-Japan relations and understanding.
Lydia Morey has been teaching Japanese for more than 20 years and has dedicated herself to promoting Japanese language education in the UK. In particular, she has been instrumental in developing teaching at the secondary level, and the success of Japanese, which is now taught in over 280 secondary schools across the UK, owes much to Lydia’s endeavours and expertise.
In addition to teaching Japanese at a number of different schools, Lydia is the chair of the Japanese Language Committee (JLC) within Association for Language Learning. JLC is a key organization in the field of secondary-level Japanese language education, and is run entirely by volunteers. JLC’s activities include the Nihongo Cup Japanese Speech Contest for Secondary School Students, which has been held successfully on nine occasions and has attracted the sponsorship of prominent Japanese companies including Japan Airlines, Ricoh and Toshiba. Lydia has played a central role in running this contest, particularly over the past four years. It has not only encouraged and inspired students throughout the UK to excel in their Japanese studies, but has also raised the profile of the Japanese language significantly within participating schools and within the wider community.
With her exceptional command of Japanese and intricate knowledge of Japanese language education, Lydia’s activities extend far beyond her work for JLC. For several years Lydia brought Japan to the UK organising total immersion language weekends for English students partnered by same aged students from Japan. She has also created a number of Japanese language resources and judged the Japanese Speech Contest for University Students for several years. She has also lead a number of workshops and seminars for Japanese teachers, including Edexcel’s training days for AS and A2 Japanese, and in doing so plays a vital role in the professional development of Japanese teachers and in maintaining a high standard of Japanese teaching in UK schools. Additionally, she has recently become the representative of secondary schools within the J-GAP project in Europe, which is designed to improve transition between secondary school level and university level Japanese in the UK.
Japanese is a minority language in the UK, and its continued presence within British secondary schools is reliant on the commitment of individuals who are prepared to go above and beyond their teaching duties to support its continuing growth. A leading figure in this field, Lydia’s enthusiasm, proactivity and passion are inspirational to all those involved in Japanese language education. It is clear that the untold hours she devotes to this work will continue to benefit Japanese teachers and learners in the UK for a long time to come.
Sandy Sano has been an outstanding member of the Japanese community in London and a major contributor to UK Japan relations for over four decades.
Over the last several years Sandy has been a driving force behind the Japan Matsuri. This tremendously successful annual event owes much to the combined efforts of a large team of dedicated individuals and organizations, to whom all those who enjoy it are extremely grateful. However, Sandy’s passion and determination combined with his ability to pull together so many talented individuals, has proved critical in realising this event and he has given enormously of his own time and resources to ensure its success. Under his chairmanship, the JCCI, Nippon Club, Japan Association and Japan Society have worked together to run this complicated venture with an extremely hard-working committee comprised largely of volunteers, both Japanese and British. Importantly, Sandy’s enthusiasm and networking skills have been instrumental in ensuring the full involvement of the wider Japan-related community.
Sandy is also currently serving his second term (having been elected in 2008) as Chairman of the Japan Association (formerly Japanese Residents’ Association) which serves long-term Japanese residents in the UK, particularly in relation to social welfare and end of life care. He was one of the organisation’s founding members when it was established in November 1996.
Sandy has also been immensely supportive of the initiative, which is still under discussion, to try to create a Japanese centre in London, and served for several years on the Board of Japan Arena, contributing advice and guidance. This is typical of his personal commitment to promoting links between Japan and the UK, to which he gives encouragement in his daily life drawing on experiences and contacts from over 30 years residence in the UK. His volunteer contribution to the work of the Japan Society is another example. In his professional life he has also been a pioneer in strengthening the relationship between the two countries, having established and now chairing the first Japanese-owned insurance broking company in London. We recognise through this award Sandy Sano’s long and until now unsung service to British-Japanese relations, and are happy to be recognising these achievements in this, his 70th year.
Nominate someone you know for a Japan Society Award
All members are encouraged to nominate individuals for an award, at any time of the year. If you know of someone deserving of a future Japan Society Award then please contact the Japan Society office at any time. Please click here for details. Awards are presented at the Society’s Annual Dinner.