Picture of me receiving a Certificate of Commendation from the Ambassador of Japan
Having become interested in Japan while I was at Concord College near Shrewsbury, I went on to study Japanese Studies and Business Studies at the School of East Asian Studies, University of Sheffield. Then, after a year on the JET Programme, I returned to Sheffield to do a PhD. Since 2000 I have been at Cardiff University, where I am a Reader in Japanese Studies. From 1999 to 2009 I was also an Associate Fellow at Chatham House. I am the author of five academic books (Education Reform in Japan: Nakasone's Legacy (2001), Shinkansen: From Bullet Train to Symbol of Modern Japan (2006), Dealing With Disaster in Japan: Responses to the Flight JL123 Crash (2011), Osutaka: : A Chronicle of Loss in the World's Largest Single Plane Crash (2014), and Japan: The Basics (2014)), have edited two other titles (Doing Business with the Japanese (2003), co-editor with Prof G. Bownas and D. Powers, and the 4 volume The Politics of Modern Japan (2008)), and am currently working on my first novel. In 2016 I received a Certificate of Commendation from the Ambassador of Japan in recognition of distinguished service to contributing to the deepening of mutual understanding and friendship between Japan and UK.
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