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Staff Changes at the JF London Japanese Language Department

Last month, we said sayounara to Yuko Murata, Deputy Director of the Japan Foundation London and head of the Languages department for over five years, who has been transferred to the Japan Foundation headquarters in Tokyo.

In her place, we are delighted to welcome Tomoki Akazawa, who was formerly a student at the University of Warwick.

Here are some messages from Yuko Murata and Tomoki Akazawa:

From Yuko Murata: “First of all, I would like to say a big “thank you” to all of you who warmly supported and shared pleasant times with me for these years.

I remember I was very nervous when I arrived in the UK five years ago as it was the first time for me to work at the Japan Foundation’s overseas office. To my surprise, my anxiety soon became a hopeful outlook for the future and it actually was the brightest time in my life.

During my entire period in London, I had been involved in Japanese language education as well as office management. Although this was tough and challenging, everyone and everything I have met and encountered was enthusiastic and impressive and it was definitely a fruitful time for me.
I have just taken a new position at the Asia Centre within the Japan Foundation Head Office. Thought I will be mainly involved in projects with Asian countries for the next couple of years, the UK will be always in my heart and I hope we cross paths again in the future.”

From Tomoki Akazawa: "I would like to offer my greetings as Deputy Director of the Japan Foundation, London, succeeding Ms. Yuko Murata. As I had spent a year at the University of Warwick back in 2000-2001, this is my second opportunity to live and work in the UK, and also my second stint abroad (the last time was at the Japan Foundation’s Center for Global Partnership in New York, 2005-2010.) 

I am mainly responsible for our Japanese language programs and resources. I would really appreciate it if you could continuously come and join our events as well as to keep on with the incredible support that my predecessors had enjoyed. For those who are new to the Japan Foundation, please don’t be shy to contact us. Your curiosity could change someone’s life, which might lead to a huge leap from where we are. 

I am looking forward to working with you closely down the road."