Our Trustees

David Warren (Chairman)
David Warren was British Ambassador to Japan from 2008 to 2012, after a career in the British Diplomatic Service that focused on East Asian affairs, in which he served three times in the British Embassy in Tokyo as well as two years as head of the China Hong Kong Department in the Foreign Office in London (1998-2000). He retired from the Diplomatic Service in January 2013.

In addition to being Chair of the Japan Society from 2012, he is an Associate Fellow of the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House), a Visiting Professor at Sheffield and De Montfort Universities, a member of the Advisory Board of Migration Matters Trust, a pro-legal migration campaigning group, and an adviser to various companies.

He is also a member of the Management Board of the Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures, the Advisory Board of the London Symphony Orchestra, and the UK-Japan 21st Century Group. In August 2014, he became Chair of the Council of the University of Kent.

Tom Burn
Tom Burn is Deputy Head of Pacific Department in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Pacific Department manages the UK’s relations with Japan, the Republic of Korea, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Mongolia, Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Island states. His current role takes him far and wide, everywhere from the Southern Gobi Desert to the islands of the South Pacific.

Tom was born in Shropshire. He graduated from Durham University with a degree in Arabic with Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies in 1999, joining the Foreign Office the same year. His London career has been varied, with roles on the Middle East Peace Process, Afghanistan and EU foreign policy. His overseas postings have both been to Japan. His first started with two years Japanese language training, in London and Kamakura, followed by three years in Tokyo from 2002. This sparked a passion for Japan and Asia more broadly. His second was from 2010 to 2014, serving as Political and Media Counsellor in Tokyo, overseeing increasingly close cooperation with Japan on a foreign and security issues, and work to promote the UK in Japan.

Tom’s interests include food and travel and his Japan-related passions range from manzai and theatre to ceramics and shochu.

Lydia Gomersall
Lydia Gomersall first went to Japan in 1970 to work at the Osaka Expo, while still a student of Japanese studies at Sheffield University. After graduating and a period working for the director of JETRO in London she returned to Japan in 1973 to help open the British Export Marketing Centre in Tokyo. There she met her British diplomat husband and over the next three decades spent a total of 14 years in Japan, the final of their three postings being as British Ambassador. Apart from their Japanese postings they also served in Washington DC in the 1980s and at the United Nations in New York in the 1990s.

Whenever possible Lydia has worked in media, communications and public relations. She was Press Coordinator for the Japan Festival 1991, working with the media in the UK and on facility trips to Japan and subsequently established, and was Executive Director of, the Japan Festival Fund, which grew out of the 1991 Festival. During that time she also edited the Proceedings of the Japan Society. For most of her four years in New York she was Director of Promotion and Publications at The Japan Society of New York, a highlight of her time there being conceiving and staging the first Japan Society Matsuri on East 47th Street.

More recently her professional interests have broadened to include humanitarian aid and development issues, and from 2004-08 she was Media and Communications Officer at the International Rescue Committee UK.

Lydia is on the boards of The Hattori Foundation and The Young Person’s Concert Foundation and is a member of the University College London (UCL) Research Ethics Committee.

Since joining the board in 2011, Lydia has chaired the small grants and awards committees.

Tetsuro Hama
Tetsuro Hama moved to the UK in 1973 after graduating from Chuo University.

In September of that year, he established one of the first Japanese restaurants in London. He continues to be active in the culinary world, opening So Restaurant in Piccadilly in 2006. The restaurant came top in an Eat Japan poll of the most popular restaurants among the Japanese community. In February 2013, he went on to establish SOZAI, the first Japanese cooking school in the UK.

In September 1979, Tetsuro started Japan & Europe Motors (later JEM) to sell motor vehicles to Japanese ex-patriates. Jemca, a new company set up in May 1991, was the first Japanese-owned Toyota Motor Dealer in London. In 1994, Jemca became the largest volume dealer in the UK and kept its position until the business was sold to Toyota Tsusho in 2003.

Since selling his main business, Tetsuro has become increasingly involved in the Japanese community. He is an active member of the Japanese Chamber of Commerce & Industry, chairing the Locally Established business division between 2000-02, as well as of the Nippon Club and Japan Association.

He is on the executive committee of Japan Matsuri as well as being a sponsor and co-ordinator of Hyper Japan.

Graham Holman (Vice Chairman)
Graham Holman is a Director and the Company Secretary of Sumitomo Corporation Europe Ltd., with responsibility for the legal affairs of Sumitomo Corporation Europe Group in the Europe, Middle East, Africa & Russia CIS regions.

He qualified as a Solicitor in 1991 and went to Japan the same year, joining the law firm Yamagami & Yamagami (now Yodoyabashi & Yamagami LPC) and remaining with the firm for seven years. From 1993, he was also seconded to the Osaka Head Office of Nissho Iwai Corporation (now Sojitz Corporation) as Legal Counsel. He returned to the UK in 1998 to join Sumitomo Corporation Europe.

After returning to the UK, he joined the Committee of the newly established British Japanese Law Association, serving for over ten years. In February 2009 the Association received a Certificate of Commendation from the Ambassador of Japan in recognition of its contribution to deepening the understanding and friendship between Japan and the UK.

He maintains an interest in the Japanese language and was a prize winner at the 2010 ‘Sir Peter Parker Awards for Spoken Business Japanese’ organised by JETRO and SOAS.

He is currently Chairman of the Japan Society’s Membership Committee and a Council Member of the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House).

Sumitomo Corporation Europe is a member of the Platinum Circle of the Japan Society.

Janet Hunter
Janet Hunter took her BSc at the University of Sheffield and her DPhil. at Oxford University. She has taught at the London School of Economics since 1984, and has since 2003 been Saji Professor of Economic History.

She has published widely on the development of the female labour market in Japan, the history of Anglo-Japanese economic relations and the development of communications. Her books include History of Anglo-Japanese Relations, 1600-2000, vol.4, Economic and Business Relations (jointly edited with S. Sugiyama, Palgrave, 2002); Women and the Labour Market in Industrialising Japan: the Textile Industry before the Pacific War (Routledge, 2003); The Historical Consumer: Consumption and Everyday Life in Japan since 1850 (jointly edited with Penelope Francks, Palgrave, 2012).

She is currently working on attitudes to commercial morality in late 19th to early 20th century Japan, and a monograph on the economic impact of the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923. Her paper ‘“Extreme Confusion and Disorder”? The Japanese Economy in the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923’ appeared in the Journal of Asian Studies in 2014. She has served as President of the British Association for Japanese Studies, and has just taken up the post of co-editor of the Journal of Japanese Studies.

She is an academic member of the Council (governing body) of LSE, and a trustee of the Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation. She received the Order of the Rising Sun from the Japanese Government in 2014.

Shinichi Iida

Jason James
Jason James has been Director General of the Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation since 2011. Having been fascinated by Japan on a choir tour at the age of 13, he read Japanese Studies at King’s College, Cambridge, graduating First Class with Distinction.

Subsequently he worked for many years in the financial industry, mostly specialising in Japanese equities, becoming Head of Research in the Tokyo office of HSBC Securities, and eventually Head of Global Equity Strategy at HSBC’s London headquarters. From 2007-2011 Jason was Director of the British Council in Japan, during which time he also served as Cultural Counsellor at the British Embassy, Chair of the European Union National Institutes of Culture (EUNIC) Japan cluster, a Board Member of the Japan-British Society (and Chair of its Awards Committee), and a Board Member of United World Colleges Japan.

He is currently a member of the UK-Japan 21st Century Group, a Councillor of the Ueno Gakuen Educational Foundation, and a member of the International Advisory Board of the White Rose East Asia Centre. Having lived in Japan for 15 years, and with a Japanese wife, Jason’s interest in the country is broad, covering the economy, financial markets and tax, as well as Japanese literature and arts, and the relationship between the UK and Japan. Publications range from The Political Economy of Japanese Financial Markets (co-author, Macmillan 1999), to Edmund Blunden and Japan (Asiatic Society, 2010).

Motohiko Kato (Vice Chairman)

Shinichiro Masunaga
Since April 2012, Shinichiro Masunaga has been Managing Director in London of Dai-ichi Life International (Europe) Ltd.

After graduating from Keio University with an Economics degree in 1987, he joined the research department of Daiichi Life Insurance Company Limited. He has worked for the company in a variety of roles since then, and in 1992 obtained his MBA from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. Before being seconded to head up the London office, he was General Manager of the Corporate Social Responsibility Department.

Although his wife, two daughters and Shiba dog remain in Japan at their home in Chiba, Shinichiro has been making the most of his posting in London. Having played in rock bands during his school and college years, he is frequently to be found at concerts, ranging from classical to heavy metal, at venues around London. He also spends his free time exploring the UK and London, visiting historic buildings and enjoying the countryside, as well as watching his favourite British comedies, such as Monty Python. He is always keen to learn more about all aspects of British history and culture.

Dai-ichi Life International (Europe) Ltd is a Corporate Benefactor of the Japan Society.

Mami Mizutori
Mami Mizutori is Executive Director of the Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures. The Institute is affiliated with the University of East Anglia where she is the Special Advisor for Japanese Studies.

Previously, Mami worked for the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs where her last position was Budget Director. She also served as Director of the Japan Information and Culture Centre at the Embassy of Japan in London, Director of the National Security Policy Division, Director of the United Nations Policy Division, and Director of the Status of US Forces Agreement Division. In addition to London, Mami served in Washington DC and Mexico City.

Mami graduated in law from Hitotsubashi University, Tokyo and obtained a Masters Diploma in International Studies from the Diplomatic School of Spain. She has taught courses at Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University and at Waseda University, Tokyo. She frequently participates in international conferences relating to such themes as cultural policies and East Asian diplomacy hosted by the Ditchley Foundation and similar international organisations. She is a member of the UK-Japan 21st Century Group.

Mami writes on a wide variety of topics for contemporary Japanese media, including Monetary and Financial Affairs published by Jiji Press. Recently, her work on public diplomacy in the UK was published in a volume produced by PHP Research Institute. Mami is a Managing Trustee of the Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation and a Trustee of the Association for Aid and Relief Japan. She serves as a Director of Fidelity Japanese Values PLC.

Morihiko Okudaira
Morihiko Okudaira arrived in London in 2013 to serve as Chief Regional Representative for the EMEA region at the London Representative Office of Japan Post Bank Co., Ltd (JPB).

After graduating from the Faculty of Economics, Keio University, he joined the Industrial Bank of Japan Co., Ltd. (IBJ) in 1983. He was assigned to IBJ Houston Representative Office in Texas in 1992 and transferred to New York in 1995 where he was based until March 2002 when he assumed his position as Executive Vice President at Mizuho Trust & Banking Co. (USA).

Here, he took up a leading role in the planning and implementation of the consolidation project of the four legacy banks: Fuji Trust, Dai-ichi Kangyo Trust, Yasuda Trust and IBJ Trust. This was to form part of the Mizuho Financial Group (MHFG) consolidation project.

Moving back to Tokyo in 2002 in a Deputy General Manager role in charge of strategic planning, he similarly managed the consolidation project of two Japanese MHFG “Trust & Banking” companies. He returned to Mizuho Trust & Banking Co. (USA) as President & CEO in 2007, steering the company through the many and varied challenges amid the turbulent years of the Lehman crisis and global financial meltdown. He remained with MHFG until joining JPB in April 2013.

Morihiko Okudaira is a chartered member of the Security Analysts Association of Japan. He loves reading books and has a passion for travel. He lives with his wife, Kazuko, in central London.

Sarah Parsons
Sarah Parsons has had close links with Japan since going out on the JET Programme to Gunma prefecture in 1995. Upon her return in 1998, she worked at the Japan Local Government Centre, London. She is now the Founder and Managing Director of ‘Japan In Perspective’, a consultancy business working with British companies that want to connect with Japan by supporting their business development, and companies that have been acquired by a Japanese company by improving their understanding and communications. Sarah has also worked with her local UKTI office and Chambers of Commerce in the East Midlands helping local companies work successfully with Japan as well as with Japanese companies in the UK offering global communications development consultancy and other support packages.

On a part-time basis, she is an Associate Lecturer at Nottingham Trent University in their School of Management teaching on the EPAS accredited BA and MSc in International Business and sits on their course enhancement board for the MsC in International Business. She has also been out to Stockholm University to lecture on ‘Womenomics’ and is currently conducting research in that area.

She is a regular contributor to the British Chamber of Commerce and Industry Japan’s Acumen Magazine on Japanese Investment in the UK and has written articles and reports for Export to Japan and the HR Agenda Magazine, Japan.

In a voluntary capacity, Sarah is the Chair of JETAAUK where she works to further Japan UK links. She has been involved in organising many events with local Japan related businesses in the East Midlands and London to enable JETAA members to network professionally and carry on their ties to Japan upon their return to the UK.

Yoji Saito
Yoji Saito has spent much of his life abroad. Three years in New York from the age of six, were followed by time in Bangkok, Singapore, Dusseldorf and London as well as Japan. Having lived in London for over three years, he is particularly fond of this city.

He arrived in London in 2012 to take up the post of Product Marketing Director, Living Environment Systems at Mitsubishi Electric Europe B.V. and in 2015 was appointed President & CEO of the company and regional CEO for EMEA.

After graduating in English from Sophia University, Tokyo, he joined Mitsubishi Electric Corporation in 1983. After working in the Planning & Administration Division, Living Environment Systems at the Tokyo Head Office and in the Global Marketing Department at the Shizuoka Works, he was transferred to Mitsubishi Electric Consumer Products, Thailand in 2003 as Manager in the Marketing Division.

His time in Bangkok was followed by a posting in Singapore, before a return to Head Office in 2006. In 2010, he was appointed General Manager, Planning & Administration Division, Living Environment Systems, where he remained until his posting to London.

As well as loving county music, Yoji Saito is interested in all sport, but tennis and golf in particular. His biggest regret is not having enough time to play. His wife, Noriko, is based in Tokyo, but enjoys spending time on extended stays in London. They have three grown up daughters, all living and working in Japan.

Alison Scott (Honorary Editor)
Alison Scott graduated in Japanese and Economic History from Sheffield University in the 1970′s and has remained involved with Japan throughout her career. After completing post-graduate research at Kobe University she worked for the London office of Dentsu Inc., Japan’s largest advertising agency, where she managed marketing and sales promotions campaigns, sports sponsorships and cultural events for major Japanese corporations. In 1995 Alison moved to Tokyo to work on brand communications in the drinks industry with United Distillers, now part of Diageo. On her return to London in 1999 she joined the group of private sector ‘export promoters’ advising the Japan Unit of UK Trade and Investment. This role led on to her appointment in 2004 as First Secretary Commercial at the British Embassy in Tokyo, managing the team responsible for consumer goods, business services and the creative industries.

Alison has lived in Japan on three separate occasions for a total of eight years. She has a life-long love of the Japanese language and an ongoing interest in UK-Japan relations. She has edited the Proceedings of the Japan Society since 2013 and currently heads the Society’s Publications Committee.

Akihiro Tsuchiya
Akihiro Tsuchiya has spent his life between the UK, Portugal and Japan, while still keeping strong roots in his homeland. With an international career in media and web technology, he is presently the Founder and Managing Director of Streamhub, an internet TV venture providing information services to companies such as NHK.

After gaining a BSc in Microbiology from Imperial College, London, Aki moved to Tokyo where he launched MTV Japan and started his career as a channel controller. He later worked as a media sector research analyst at Nomura Research Institute, before returning to the UK where he gained an MSc in Media and Communication Regulation from the London School of Economics.
Prior to launching Streamhub, Aki was Director of Business Development at Joost, a global internet TV platform founded by the creators of Skype. In this role he was involved in developing the European, Chinese and Japanese markets.

Akihiro Tsuchiya has been a member and a committed supporter of the Japan Society since he was a student, with a particular interest in the promotion of cultural products, educational exchange, and the support of entrepreneurial opportunities for the furtherance of strong UK-Japan relations.

Eiji Wakiwaka
Born and raised in Japan, Eiji Wakiwaka earned an undergraduate degree in commerce from Waseda University, Japan and an MBA from Harvard University.

He joined Mitsui & Co. Ltd in the Accounting Department of their Tokyo Head Office in 1973, and then transferred to their New York Office after the Harvard MBA program in 1978. After 3 and half years in New York, he returned to Tokyo in charge of Mitsui’s global oil trading activities in 1982.

In 1985, he left Mitsui and joined BP’s trading team in London, and became BP’s global oil trading manager, followed by a series of management positions in the UK Retail, Rotterdam and Antwerp Refining, and the US downstream in Cleveland, USA. He came back to London in 1993 to work for BP Exploration and Production (upstream) in charge of gas strategy in Asia Pacific, and then became CFO for BP Asia Pacific in Singapore, before returning to London in 1998 to work for Russia, Central and Eastern Europe downstream business development. In 1999, he returned to Japan to develop Retail business (now divested) and later became in charge of BP‘s Gas business in Japan, Korea and Taiwan. He also became President of BP Japan in 2001.

He returned to London in June 2009, and joined the Clinton Foundation in the area of Carbon Capture and Storage projects in Europe for Clinton Climate Initiative. He now acts as advisor to Clinton Climate Initiative.

Nigel Wellings (Honorary Solicitor)

Jenny White (Vice Chairman)
Jenny White first went to Japan in 1989, to take up a post as Assistant Director and Arts Manager at the British Council. In this role over the subsequent ten years, she developed art projects and links with independent artists, creative partners and cultural organisations in both the UK and Japan. She also produced the arts and creative economy programme for two major festivals, UK90 and the year-long UK98.

Following postings in Thailand and London, as Head of Arts Development, Jenny was appointed Director of the British Council in Cuba in 2006. In this role she hosted in 2009 the first tour of the Royal Ballet to Cuba as well as producing the UK’s contribution to the Latin American Film Festival and the Havana Art Biennial. As  Environment Project Manager, she had a responsibility to develop sustainable cultural relations, implementing an Environmental Management System and designing an eLearning programme for 7,000 staff globally. Jenny is now Head of Visual Arts Programme for the British Council.

In 2013 Jenny took up the challenge of promoting and managing art and cultural events and communications and social media for the volunteer-run Japan400, which marked the anniversary of the first formal encounters in 1613. While celebrating the historical relationship, Jenny’s focus was the development of a framework for ongoing cultural exchange and exploration of the intersection between Japanese and British cultures

Satoru Yoshida (Honorary Treasurer)
Satoru Yoshida has been advising Japanese companies and entrepreneurs in the UK for many years. Since completing his law degree at Doshisha university in Kyoto in 1990, he has worked exclusively in accounting and taxation. He is the founding director of Japanese Financial Solutions Ltd and a partner of Japan Audit & Accounting LLP, chartered accountants. The organisations he worked for prior to establishing his practice were Ernst & Young LLP, Obayashi Corporation, Shimizu Corporation and JVC.

He believes the success of Japanese business in the UK will promote closer links between Japan and the UK. He provides pro bono work for non profit organisations to support this.

Satoru is married to an English sculptor who works in community art projects. As a father of a very young daughter with the double culture of Japan and Great Britain, he is keen on supporting educational projects linking British schools and Japanese schools together with promoting Japanese culture in the UK.

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