On July 13th, 2016, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan announced the recipients of the Foreign Minister's Commendation for FY 2016. From within the jurisdiction of the Consulate-General of Japan in Denver, Dr. Van C. Gessel, Professor of Japanese, Department of Asian and Near Eastern Languages at Brigham Young University, was named a recipient for outstanding achievements in promoting understanding between Japan and the United States.
Dr. Gessel has been teaching Japanese literature and related subjects as an educator for more than thirty five years, promoting deeper understanding of Japanese literature and culture. He has written dissertations and delivered lectures on modern Japanese literature, and is especially noted for translation and research on Mr. Shusaku Endo’s work, which led to cultural exchanges between Japan and the United States.
The Foreign Minister's Commendation is awarded to acknowledge individuals and organizations that have shown outstanding achievement and made significant contributions toward promoting friendly relations between Japan and other countries. The Commendation also seeks to encourage understanding and support for those efforts and activities from all local communities.
The Consulate extends its sincere congratulations to Dr. Gessel on receiving the Commendation this year, and expresses its deepest respect for his outstanding achievements and contributions.