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21 June 2023

War Studies Academic honoured for Strengthening UK-Japan defence ties

Professor Alessio Patalano is the first academic to receive the prestigious Ambassador's Commendation from the Japanese government for enhancing security and defence ties between United Kingdom and Japan.

Japan Commendation 1

In a ceremony on 15 June, Ambassador Hajime Hayashi awarded the Ambassador's Commendation to Professor Alessio Patalano, one of three official Japanese government recognitions for outstanding contributions to advance bilateral ties between Japan and the UK.  

"This is an incredible honour, especially as it underwrites a long-standing effort of my work to place Japan's military experience in the 20th century into a broader context, and why such an effort is essential to understand how Japan is reintegrating military power within the tools of statecraft"

Professor Alessio Patalano

At the ceremony, Ambassador Hayashi praised Professor Patalano for his significant role in advancing understanding of Japan's security and defence landscape and his enduring commitment to share this knowledge with young professionals, which he acknowledged holds significance for the future of the bilateral partnership.  

“Professor Patalano has been at the forefront of advancing European countries' understanding of the Indo-Pacific region. His academic influence played a significant role in the UK Government's launch of the "Indo Pacific tilt" as part of the Integrated Review in 2021, and its subsequent reinforcement in the Integrated Review Refresh this March, solidifying the region as a permanent pillar of the UK's international policy”

Ambassador Hajime Hayashi

Professor Patalano’s research on the Indo Pacific supported the UK integrated review process, that sets out the government’s national security and international policy. He also established the Japan programme at King’s College London in 2016, which was the first university-based initiatives that sought to integrate the study of Japanese modern history within the disciplines of international security, strategic studies, and military and diplomatic history.  

"I like to think that challenges are opportunities in camouflage. That is certainly true in regard to Anglo-Japanese defence and security ties. In this respect, we stand on the cusp of a significant upgrade of bilateral ties, with both countries sharing an approach to the role of values in the international order and the centrality of maritime stability and connectivity. In turn, this informs how the two countries look at the role of science and tech in national security, how future air and maritime capabilities remain central for both countries to underwrite their role in international affairs"

Professor Alessio Patalano

In his speech at the ceremony, Professor Patalano also highlighted the Japan Programme's achievements over the past eight years, including the appointment of Dr Eitan Oren as the first permanent lecturer on Japanese security, the graduation of the first PhD student at the programme, and the upcoming projected enrolment of 160 students to study the security of the Indo-Pacific across three educational levels. For him, the next most significant opportunity and challenge is creating the Global Combat Air Programme (GCAP) generation, by creating professional education opportunities for officials and experts to help deliver stronger ties linking the UK, Japan, and Italy, as the three countries develop the next generation of fighter jets.

Japan Commendation 2

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Alessio Patalano

Professor of War & Strategy in East Asia