Former University of Alaska Anchorage Chancellor Thomas Case is being celebrated for his contributions to strengthening mutual understanding and promoting academic exchanges between Japan and the United States.

Case is one of 100 worldwide recipients of the Order of the Rising Sun, a Japanese order that recognizes exemplary contributions to Japanese relations. 

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Case is known internationally for his contributions leading to the Japan Exchange and Teaching Program and his role in establishing the UAA Montgomery Dickson Center for Japanese Language and Culture, with the goal of expanding appreciation for Japanese language and culture.

Case says he saw how important it was to connect Alaska and Japan.

"Cultural and educational partnership is very important,” Case said at a ceremony Thursday. "All the connections our universities make, university-to-university, study the language, study the culture here. Things like the tea ceremony and helping students really understand on a person-to-person basis the history and the culture and the language of Japan. It’s an important part of their education."

Case served as UAA Chancellor from 2011-2017.

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