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Staff Changes at JF Language Centre

We've been saying a lot of sayonaras and konnichiwas at the Japan Foundation Language Centre, with two members leaving, and two new members arriving!

Yoko Udagawa, Chief Japanese Language Advisor, has been succeeded by Seiji Fukushima.

Kim Woodruff, Programme Officer, has been succeeded by Josephine Audigier.

Yoko UdagawaLeaving message from Yoko Udagawa:
"It’s been three years since I started working at the Japan Foundation London and it’s time to go. I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your support, encouragement and help. It has been great pleasure to meet and work with you all. 

My tasks here in the UK were mainly supporting Japanese language education and promoting Japanese language learning in the UK. I do hope I was able to contribute to both areas. 

I really enjoyed living in London. There are so many things that I will miss a lot, for example, walking and jogging in Hampstead Heath, going to see performing arts and museums, having a pint (or two) in a historical pub, etc…. I also enjoyed travelling all over the UK very much even though there are still many places I would like to go. 

Thank you again and I hope to see you again somewhere in the world."

Kim WoodruffLeaving message from Kim Woodruff
"I have had a fantastic 3 and a half years working at the Japan Foundation, and it’s been a pleasure to get to know so many enthusiastic and inspiring teachers of Japanese, and to have played a small part in supporting the fantastic work that you do. My new position is still within the field of education, and I’m very much hoping to keep up my Japanese and to attend lots of Japan-related events, so I do hope our paths may cross again. In particular, I may see you at this year’s Nihongo Cup when I hope to be in the audience!

Best wishes, and good luck with your Japanese teaching! 


Greetings from Seiji Fukushima

My name is Seiji Fukushima, the new Chief Japanese Language Advisor at the Japan Foundation London.

I started my career as a Japanese teacher in Mexico in1994.  After that I worked at Tashkent State Institute of Oriental Studies in Uzbekistan(1997-2000), Novosibirsk State University in Russia(2000-2001), the Uzbekistan-Japan Center for Human Development(2003-2006), the Japan Foundation Budapest in Hungary(2007-2010).

I have been very happy that I could meet a lot of people, from children to elderly people, learning Japanese in every country. And now I am very excited to be working in London and looking forward to seeing you soon. よろしくおねがいいたします。

Josy AudigierGreetings from Josephine Audigier

My name is Josephine Audigier and I have recently taken over from Kim Woodruff as Programme Officer at the Japan Foundation London Language Centre. I started to learn Japanese at sixth form as part of my International Baccalaureate, then continued to study Japanese and History at SOAS. After Graduating, I spent two years as a Coordinator for International Relations in the beautiful ancient city of Nara. Since returning to London, I have worked in several roles at a wide range of companies, including Pokémon UK, Nikkei Europe and EThames Graduate School.

Deciding to study Japanese has been one of the best decisions I ever made. It allowed me to get to know some lovely people, travel around Japan and Asia, learn about a new culture, and also encouraged me to think about my own language and culture.

I am delighted to have joined the Japan Foundation and look forward to supporting teachers and students of Japanese, so that more students will have the chance of personal enrichment and growth through learning Japanese. Douzo yoroshiku onegaishimasu!"