NUR-SULTAN - The Embassy of Japan in the Republic of Kazakhstan held a solemn ceremony at the Residence of Japanese Ambassador to confer "The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon" upon Mr Absattar Derbisali, Director of Suleimenov Oriental Studies Institute.
During the ceremony, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to the Republic of Kazakhstan Mr Tatsuhiko Kasai said that Mr Derbisali made a great contribution to the development of Japanese language in Kazakhstan and multifaceted cooperation between Japan and Kazakhstan.
Japanese Ambassador expressed the hope that the high award will serve to strengthen relations, friendship and cooperation between Kazakhstan and Japan.
"Such an award testifies to the high recognition not only my modest merits in promoting mutual cooperation between Kazakhstan and Japan, but also Kazakh-Japanese relations in general. I hope that this award will serve as an incentive for further cooperation in all areas.
As it is known, in order to learn about another culture, you need to get to learn and understand it. One of the important tools in it are language and dialogue. Through language and other cultural elements, we discover new knowledge. I am honored to contribute to the rapprochement of Japanese culture, and making Japanese language understandable to Kazakhstanis. At early years of independence, working at al-Farabi Kazakh National University as Dean of the Eastern Faculty, then as Vice-Rector for Languages and International Relations, I was lucky to be one of the founders of Japanese Language and Literature Department. It was a difficult and happy time" the speaker says.
According to professor, the big challenge was the lack of qualified specialists in Japanese studies and founding new type university, which required trained staff. At that time, the country did not have its own qualified teachers in the field of Japanese language, history and culture. They had to look for teachers both in Kazakhstan and in other countries. Mr. Hiroshi Okawa and Mr. Sagaza were the first Japanese language teachers in the country. Mr. Okawa was fluent not only in Kazakh but also in Kyrgyz, Uzbek and Turkish. Mr. Okawa was the first one to teach Kazakh specialists in Japanese language.
"Mr. Okawa is the author of the first Kazakh-Japanese conversation book, so today I would like to specially note the merits of these teachers, because despite the difficulties of that time, they were able to bring new knowledge to Kazakhstani education. We all stood at the origins of oriental studies in Kazakhstan. Today it is a solid direction with established traditions. This involvement in history cannot but inspire us. This gives strength and makes us look at the history of the Kazakh-Japanese cooperation as an exceptionally important and significant component of modern development" Mr Derbisali said.
It is worth noting that Orders on behalf of the Emperor of Japan are awarded to foreign citizens who have made outstanding contributions to the strengthening of friendly relations with Japan and in other areas of human life. So far, five Kazakhstanis, including the First President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev have been awarded with orders.
142 foreign citizens all over the world were awarded with orders conferred by the Emperor of Japan for outstanding service in developing cooperation of Japan and with other countries.