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Camosun College presented the inaugural President’s Award for International Partnership to Her Imperial Highness Princess Ayako of Takamado in a special ceremony on Monday, July 17, 2017.

Princess Ayako studied at Camosun from 2013 to 2015 and has maintained close ties to the college. The award acknowledges Princess Ayako’s role in deepening the relationship between Japan and Canada.

She was introduced to Camosun on two study abroad visits while she was a student at Josai International University, Camosun’s first international post-secondary partner. In September 2013, Princess Ayako returned to Victoria to study full time and perfect her English in Camosun’s English Language Development program, which she completed in 2015.

“We’re happy that Princess Ayako had a good experience here and that Victoria has become a second home,” said Sherri Bell, President of Camosun College, as she presented the award. “We’re so pleased that she has come back to visit us two years after graduation.”

After completing her studies at Camosun, Princess Ayako spent a month at UBC doing research work towards a Master’s degree in Social Work at Josai International University and returned to Japan in the summer of 2015. Upon her return, she assumed royal duties for the Imperial Family. She recently accepted a position as researcher at Josai International University where she currently works on issues of social welfare.

Camosun President Sherri Bell presents Princess Ayako with the inaugural President's Award for International Partnership.

Princess Ayako is the daughter of the late Prince Takamado, who is an alumnus of Queen’s University, and H.I.H. Princess Hisako of Takamado. Her grandfather was the brother of Emperor Hirohito. She is second cousin to the current emperor and her family resides at the Akasaka Palace in Tokyo.

Her visit to Victoria was a private one to visit old friends after an official visit to Alberta rededicating a Japanese garden in Lethbridge and attending the Calgary Stampede.

Last updated: July 19, 2017 9:07 am

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