Japan Foreign Minister's Commendation Awarded to Conference Centre Chairperson

Teruko Iwanaga OBE, Chairperson of Lane End Conference Centre and Managing Director of EJEF Study Centre, has been awarded the Japanese Foreign Minister’s Commendation for her contribution to building positive, long-lasting relations between Japan and the UK.  

Ms Iwanaga received the certificate of commendation on behalf of Japan’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Fumio Kishida, at a special ceremony at the Japanese Embassy in London on 6 October.

On receiving the commendation Ms Iwanaga said: “It is a great honour to receive this commendation from the Japanese Government.

“I have enjoyed a rich and varied career and am delighted that my contribution to promote a mutual understanding between Japan and the United Kingdom has been recognised at this level.”

Ms Iwanaga has a long history of strengthening ties between the UK and Japan.

After joining HTS Management Holdings Limited in 1973, Ms Iwanaga was instrumental in establishing the Euro-Japanese Exchange Foundation, commonly known as EJEF.

Headquartered at Lane End Conference Centre Buckinghamshire, EJEF’s primary purpose is to improve communications and understanding between Japan and the UK through specialist education and training courses. Principal activities include teaching business and diplomatic English and introducing British business culture to Japanese business people and Ministry officials including diplomats.

To date, EJEF has delivered training to over 500 global organisations, including government agencies, academic and financial institutions and several of the world’s biggest private companies.    

Ms Iwanaga was appointed to Chairperson of Lane End Conference Centre in 2012. Located in the same grounds as EJEF, Lane End Conference Centre has an international reputation for providing outstanding residential conference facilities and experiential learning facilities.     

The commendation is the second award Ms Iwanaga has received acknowledging her work to support closer links between the UK and Japan.

In 1989 Ms Iwanaga was awarded an OBE in recognition of her voluntary work on behalf of the British Museum to raise funds to build a permanent Japanese Gallery at the Museum.

During her role as Appeal Organiser from 1985 to 1991, Ms Iwanaga garnered substantial support for the Appeal Campaign, including backing from the Keidanren (Japanese Business Federation) and leading industrialists including the late Mr Akio Morita, founder and former Chairman of Sony.

The British Museum Japanese Gallery Appeal was the biggest and most successful appeal in the British Museum history achieving its target amount of £5 million through generosity of 27 Japanese industrial associations involving 1,020 member companies, 66 Japanese and British companies and 61 private individuals. The Japanese Gallery was opened in 1990.