The Japanese government has awarded a Japanese national for promoting mutual understanding between Japan and Pakistan through her work in the remote Kalash valleys of Chitral. The Japanese Foreign Affairs Ministry earlier in the week announced its Japanese Foreign Minister’s Commendations for 2020. The annual awards are handed to individuals and groups who have made outstanding achievements in international fields and to acknowledge their contributions to the promotion of friendship between Japan and other countries and areas. This year, the Commendations will be awarded to 172 individuals and 65 groups (20 individuals and 11 groups reside in Japan, and 152 individuals and 54 groups reside overseas). Japanese national Wada Akiko, the president of the Rumbur Development Welfare and Conservation Society - which works in Chitral - was awarded. Akiko has worked for the welfare of the Kalash people in Chitral and has been cooperating with the local people to improve their living environment and to preserve their traditional culture for more than 30 years.