Dr Yushi Ito, Former Head of the Japanese Programme of Victoria University of Wellington was bestowed the Order of the Rising Sun, Silver Rays, on Thursday 30th May 2019, at a Conferral Ceremony of the 2019 Spring Imperial Decorations held at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo.
The award is in recognition of his contributions towards promoting the understanding and appreciation of the Japanese language and culture in New Zealand and Australia. Most notably as the Senior Lecturer of Japanese and Head of the Japanese Department of Victoria University of Wellington, Dr Ito has dedicated many years to teaching the Japanese language.
Along with these academic positions, Dr Ito has also taught Japanese to employees of New Zealand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and assisted with the running of the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) in Wellington over multiple years.
Following his retirement, Dr Ito continued to be a judge at high school Japanese speech competitions, and was awarded with the Japanese Foreign Minister’s Commendation in 2018 for his services and devotion to Japanese language education.