Wellington Man Honoured for Building Japan Links

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Wellington Man Honoured for Building Japan Links

7 December 2005

The organiser of Wellington’s Festival of Japan is to receive thatcountry’s highest award open to foreigners for his long-standingcommitment to fostering links between Japan and New Zealand.

Douglas Milligan, the Wellington Convention Centre’s ComplianceManager, has been awarded the East Asian nation’s oldest decoration,the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Rays by His ImperialMajesty Akihito, the Emperor of Japan.

Scottish-born Mr Milligan has had a life-long love of Japanese culturedating back to his boyhood in Glasgow, and has been promoting linksbetween Japan and his new land for a couple of decades.

He says he was “amazed and humbled” to be told his efforts were being acknowledged by the Emperor of Japan.

“It came out of the blue. I do the work for the love of it and don’texpect to get something like this. There aren’t many times I’m lost forwords, but when I read the official letter I was blown away.”

Mr Milligan joined the Japan Society when he arrived in New Zealand in1968 and later spent 10 years as Chair of the Wellington-Sakai SisterCities Association. He is still on the board of the national sistercities organisation, which celebrates its 25th anniversary in thecapital next year.

The Convention Centre’s General Manager, Neville Brown, says the awardis a great honour and is thoroughly deserved, recognising thesignificant effort that Mr Milligan has invested in promoting relationsbetween the two cultures.

The Ambassador of Japan, His Excellency Mr Masaki Saito, will conferthe award on Mr Milligan at a ceremony on Tuesday 13 December. Hisachievement will also be acknowledged by his colleagues at theConvention Centre at a cocktail event.

The Order of the Rising Sun is Japan’s oldest decoration, established in 1875.



Wellington Convention Centre
Tel: +64-04-801 4231 / Fax: +64-04-801 4310
Freephone: 0800 20 23 24
111 Wakefield Street,
Wellington, New Zealand

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