Our Century

Wolverhampton's ambassador to Japan

Sir David Wright
Born 1944

Sir David Wright

"Every week I logged on to the Internet to see how Wolves have got on. I go and see the team when I have the chance.

"Of course, at the moment, the team isn't doing so well. Over the years there's always been this problem do you buy yourself out of trouble or do you develop young talent? Sir Jack Hayward has been very generous but it hasn't produced the result we wanted.

"It isn't just a club with a history, it's a club with a huge following, not just in this country, but globally.

"I've spent 13 years in Japan, and can speak the language fluently. Being British Ambassador was a tremendously varied job. A lot of the time I was dealing with visitors from the UK who came to Japan for several days.

"Important people like cabinet ministers, members of the Royal Family, I would go round and accompany them on various visits. I hosted lunches, dinners and receptions for British events and British visitors.

"The job of ambassador is to promote this country in every way possible. Our economy, heritage arts, culture, food. We always served up British food, with English wine.

"The Japanese are interested primarily in what I might describe as the rather conventional stylised view of Britain: Shakespeare, thatched cottages, the changing of the guard, old-fashioned democracy. We have to try very hard not to lose that image because it's a positive image. But they are also interested in a more contemporary image of the UK.

"Since my teens, I have always wanted to travel and work abroad, and before long I had set my sights on a career in the Foreign Office. It's hard work but I love the job.

"I haven't forgotten Wolverhampton though, and always enjoy returning to the town."