Japanese scholar given Ramon Magsaysay Award for “selfless, steadfast service to the Cambodian people”

The results of this year’s Ramon Magsaysay’s Award, sometimes called the Asian Nobel Prize, are out – a notable recipient of the award this year is Prof. Yoshiaki Ishizawa of Sophia University, who is recognised for his long career in cultural heritage preservation of Angkor. Congratulations, Professor Ishizawa!

  • Ishizawa devoted fifty years of his life to help assure that Angkor Wat survives and remains a living monument for Cambodians.
  • Starting in 1980, Ishizawa worked side by side with Cambodians, networked with international experts and organizations, campaigned in the Japanese media to generate awareness and support, and devised programs for Angkor’s protection and conservation.
  • Ishizawa has been relentless in building local expertise and commitment to Angkor’s preservation. He quietly but adamantly insists, “The protection and restoration of the sites of Cambodia should be carried out by the Cambodians, for the Cambodians.”
  • In electing Yoshiaki Ishizawa to receive the 2017 Ramon Magsaysay Award, the board of trustees recognizes “his selfless, steadfast service to the Cambodian people, his inspiring leadership in empowering Cambodians to be proud stewards of their heritage, and his wisdom in reminding us all that cultural monuments like the Angkor Wat are shared treasures whose preservation is thus, also our shared global responsibility.”

Source: Ishizawa, Yoshiaki • The Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation • Honoring greatness of spirit and transformative leadership in Asia

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Author: Noel Tan

Dr Noel Hidalgo Tan is the Senior Specialist in Archaeology at SEAMEO-SPAFA, the Southeast Asian Regional Centre for Archaelogy and Fine Arts.

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