The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan has awarded the Japanese Foreign Minister’s
Commendations to two Pakistani individuals and a Japanese in recognition of their
significant contribution to the promotion of friendly relations between Japan and
Pakistan in their respective fields.
The FM Commendations 2018 recipients are Mr. Zafar Mahmood, Visiting Professor,
Japanese Language Department, National University of Modern Languages, Islamabad,
Ms. Toshiko Orita, Vice President, Pakistan Japan Cultural Association, Islamabad and
Mr. Mahmood A. Jilani, Ex. Deputy Resident Representative, JICA Pakistan Office.
The commendations conferment ceremony was held today at the official residence of
H.E. Mr. Takashi Kurai, Ambassador of Japan to Pakistan, which was attended by the
friends, former colleagues and family members of the commendations recipients. At the
ceremony, Ambassador Kurai presented the commendation certificates to the three
individuals on behalf of the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan.
Ambassador Kurai, while congratulating the commendation recipients, said that they
made invaluable contribution to raising the level of exchanges of culture or business
between our two countries. Ambassador said further that the friendship between Japan
and Pakistan is based on mutual trust, cooperation and understanding but it is not
possible without the untiring efforts made by those including the three recipients who
work so hard for it.
Summary of Contributions:
Mr. Zafar Mahmood, Visiting Professor, National University of Modern Languages
Achievements: Promotion of Japanese Language Education in Pakistan
He continuously contributes to promote Japanese Language by launching and managing
JLCT(Japanese Language Certificate Test) in Pakistan and teaching Japanese language
as a visiting Professor at NUML(National University of Modern Language). He holds
Level1 of JLPT(Japanese Language Proficiency Test) which is one of the most difficult
Japanese language certificates.
He has been in the executive member of MAAP(Monbukagakusho Alumni Association
of Pakistan) which is the association of Pakistan alumni’s of Japanese universities.
When he was President of MAAP, he showed his leadership to promote educational
relationship between Japan and Pakistan. He is still active as Advisor of MAAP
executive member to promote people to people exchange project between Japan and
Ms. Toshiko Orita, Vice Presidednt, Pakistan Japan Cultural Association
Achievements: Promotion of Japanese Culture in Pakistan
Ms. Orita has been promoting Japanese culture as an Ikebana teacher. She was
promoting fabric flower art from 1975 to 1978 in Lahore. It was a first attempt to
introduce fabric art to Pakistan and held a fabric flower exhibition.
Since 2006, she has been holding various Japanese cultural events as a vice President of
PJCA(Pakistan Japan Cultural Association). During her entire life in Pakistan, she has
been contributing to promote Japanese culture to enhance friendship between Japan and
Mr. Mahmood A. Jilani (Ex. Deputy Resident Representative, JICA Pakistan Office).
Achievements: Promotion of Mutual understanding between Japan and Pakistan
Mr. Jilani served in JICA(Japan International Cooperation Agency) Pakistan office from
1988 to 2016. During his 30 years tenure of service, he contributed to smooth
implementation of Japanese economic cooperation aid projects in Pakistan. His
achievement includes about 30 various Grant Aid and Technical Cooperation projects
and more than 10 development studies, primarily in disaster management. He made
smooth interaction with Pakistani government that helped to introduce various
economic cooperation schemes in the country. He showed strong dedication to promote
economic ties between Pakistan and Japan. In 2011, he was decorated with Tamgha-i-
Imtiaz from the Government of Pakistan for his service in receiving the Japan Disaster
Relief Team, when Pakistan experienced two of the worst natural disasters in its history,
namely the Earthquake in 2005 and Flood in 2010.