Associate Fellow, Asia Programme
Contact information
+44 (0)79 8297 5832


Sir David was British ambassador to Japan from 2008 to 2012, having served twice before in the British embassy in Tokyo during his career with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO). He was also head of the FCO's China Hong Kong department from 1998 to 2000, and a member of the FCO's board of management (as director of human resources) from 2004 to 2007. He retired from the FCO in January 2013. 

He is now visiting professor at Sheffield University, and chair of the council of the University of Kent. He is also chairman of the Japan Society, the leading independent body in the United Kingdom dedicated to UK-Japanese cultural, educational and business contacts, a member of the advisory board of Migration Matters, the campaigning group highlighting the benefits of legal migration, and a director of Aberdeen Japan Investment Trust.


  • Japan: domestic politics
  • Japanese economy
  • Japan’s international relations
  • East Asian security


2008-12British Ambassador to Japan (third assignment in Tokyo during a 38-year diplomatic career)

Broadcast experience

Substantial media experience in the UK and Japan.


  • Japanese
  • Does Britain Matter in East Asia? Research Paper, September 2014
  • K/Japan Links and Foreign Policy, Asia-Pacific Review, Volume 20, Issue 1, 2013
  • Foreword to The Diaries of Sir Ernest Mason Satow, 1861-1869 (Eureka Press, 2013)