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December 2017


At the Society’s Annual Dinner on 6th December, H.I.H. Princess Akiko of Mikasa presented inscribed silverware to Mr. David Atkinson and Mr. Keisaku (Sandy) Sano, the recipients of this year’s Japan-British Society Awards, for their contributions to the furthering of Anglo-Japanese relations.
Mr. David Atkinson Prior to joining Konishi Decorative Arts and Crafts Co., Ltd., Mr. Atkinson worked as a financial services consultant for Andersen Consulting (London and New York) for three years, followed by two years at Salomon Brothers Tokyo as a bank analyst. He joined Goldman Sachs as a bank analyst in 1992, and was made a partner in 2006. He was born in the UK and holds an MA in Japanese Studies from the University of Oxford.
Book publications (Japanese): Japan’s Bad Debt Problems (October 1994), Protecting Japan’s National Treasures (October 2014), New Tourist Strategy (June 2015), which won the Yamamoto Shichihei Prize (September 2015), and Strengths and Weaknesses of the Japanese Economy (June 2015). He has served on a number of government committees, including Olympic Events, Japan Heritage, Kimono Industry, Savor Japan, English Guidance for Heritage, and the Project to Fully Enjoy National Parks.

Mr. Keisaku (Sandy) Sano was a director of the Japan Society in the UK and is Chairman of Japan Association of the UK, which is an important source of support for the Japanese community in the UK. He has been instrumental in organizing the Japan Matsuri in London, which takes place annually and has attracted tens of thousands of Londoners, who have, through its activities, been exposed to a little slice of Japanese life in London, and which has generally helped to raise the profile of Japan for the ordinary people of London and the UK. In 2012, he was head of the Japanese Community Supporters Group for the Japanese Olympic and Paralympic teams competing in the London Olympics that year.
He was presented with the Japan Society Award in 2012, and in 2015 he was awarded the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Rays in recognition of his many years of service to the Japanese community and his outstanding contribution to mutual understanding between Japan and the UK.
Although Mr. Sano is normally resident in the UK, he is a frequent visitor to Japan and spends much time here. He would not normally qualify for a JBS award, as it is usually meant for Japanese and UK nationals who are resident in Japan, but given his considerable contribution to Japan-UK relations, the Awards Committee believed that there was a strong case to be made for an exception in his case.

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