Japan govt confers prestigious award on teacher of Japanese language at NUML

Zubair Qureshi

The Government of Japan has conferred the 2020 Autumn Imperial Decorations, “The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Rays” on Pakistan’s professor of Japanese language Zafar Mahmood, member of the visiting faculty at the Department of Japanese Language, National University of Modern Languages (NUML).

The award has been given in recognition of his contribution towards the promotion of Japanese language in Pakistan and strengthening friendly relations between Japan and Pakistan. Ambassador of Japan Matsuda Kuninori on behalf of the Government of Japan conferred the imperial decoration “The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Rays” upon Prof Zafar Mahmood. The ceremony was held at the ambass ador’s official residence with limited participants of family and close friends of the decoration recipient, while taking infection prevention measures against COVID-19.

Zafar Mahmood’s ties with Japan began when he started his studies in Nagoya University through a scholarship programme offered by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) of Japan in 1979. fter graduation, he extended his stay for over 10 years working for NEC. In 2000, he joined the MEXT Alumni Association of Pakistan (MAAP) and has been working to promote educational exchanges between Japan and Pakistan. He also assisted the Embassy of Japan select talented Pakistani youth for future MEXT scholarship students and provided pre-departure sessions for the selected students.
He also contributed greatly to the promotion of the Japanese language in Pakistan. As a visiting professor, he taught at the Japanese Language Department of the NUML. His venture has now taken more popularity as he has begun conducting the Japanese Language Capability Test (JLCT) exam in different cities of Pakistan after becoming Pakistan’s only official agent in 2018. His relentless determination has already begun to bear fruits as number of Japanese language learners in Pakistan is increasing with passage of time.

Ambassador Matsuda congratulated Zafar Mahmood on receiving this prestigious imperial decoration by the Government of Japan. While appreciating the dedicated efforts by Prof Zafar, the ambassador said he had been doing a great job over the years by teaching Japanese language to Pakistani people as a visiting professor at the Japanese language department of NUML.

Expressing his gratitude Zafar Mahmood paid his sincere gratitude to His Majesty the Emperor and the Government of Japan for “honoring me with this prestigious award. I have a passion for teaching and transferring Japanese language skills to our younger generation”