Japan will recognize 4,136 people in spring honors including former Australian PM Julia Gillard, EU Council President Donald Tusk

The Japanese government has announced a list of 4,136 people to be awarded honors this spring for their services to the country or the public. The government said Thursday that it will recognize seven foreign nationals with the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun, including former European Council President Donald Tusk, 64, former Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, 59, in the current year’s spring honors.

Julia Gillard is one of 117 non-Japanese from 46 nations and domains to be improved. She will be awarded the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun.

Julia Gillard, Australia’s first female prime minister, was in office from 2010 to 2013.

In an online interview with NHK, Julia Gillard depicted the award as “a remarkable recognition.” While saying she feels “very honored,” she added that she considers it to be “an award for the people of Australia generally.”

Julia Gillard was the first foreign leader to visit zones hit by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami. In April of that year, she visited disaster victims at an evacuation center in Minamisanriku Town, Miyagi Prefecture, to empower them.

Looking back, Julia Gillard said she decided on her visit “as a visible way of saying that Japan was coming through this profound period of tragedy and was looking to reopen and reengage with the world.”

Julia Gillard said she thinks the stoicism and determination of the Japanese public to reconstruct and begin once more “has propelled Japan through the decade.” She said the sharpness of the memories of her visit will be with her for the rest of her life.

On bilateral relations, Julia Gillard said she thinks Australia and Japan share an essential outlook about issues concerning the region and the world. She added that the two nations can cooperate as friends on different issues, including the Covid pandemic, environmental change, peace, and prosperity, as well as education and development.

A similar honor will be granted to Yoshitake Yokokura, 76, former president of the Japan Medical Association, and Nobuo Katsumata, 78, former president of major trader Marubeni Corp.

Altogether, the government will perceive 4,136 people with different honorary awards. Shinichi Mori, whose real name is Kazuhiro Moriuchi, was picked for the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette. The 73-year-old singer is referred to for many hit songs, for example, “Erimomisaki.”

The government decided to give the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Sacred Treasure to Akira Shimazu, 77, who was CEO of the organizing committee for the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan, to former Japan Fair Trade Commission Chairman Kazuyuki Sugimoto, 70, and Reiichi Miyazaki, 75, former commissioner of the Cabinet Legislation Bureau.

In arts and culture, architect Toyoo Ito, 79, who is a Person of Cultural Merit, was selected to get the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star.

The government decided to give singer and actress Ayumi Ishida, whose real name is Yoshiko Ishida, 73, and others the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette.

Recipients of the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star incorporate Bungo Shirai, 93, former head of newspaper publisher Chunichi Shimbun, Takamasa Koshimune, 79, former head of another newspaper publisher Sanyo Shimbun, and Choe Okuno, 74, former head of the Central Union of Agricultural Cooperatives, or JA-Zenchu.

The Order of the Sacred Treasure, Gold, and Silver Star will be awarded to such people as Norio Munakata, 79, former superintending prosecutor at the Nagoya High Public Prosecutor’s Office.

A total of five individuals will be awarded the grand cordons, 45 the orders with gold and silver star, 363 the orders with gold rays with neck ribbon, 860 the orders with gold rays with rosette, 1,582 the orders with gold and silver rays, and 1,281 the orders with silver rays.

Of the total recipients, 428 are women, the highest figure since the honors system was changed to the current plan in autumn 2003.

A total of 117 people of 46 economies will be perceived as foreign honorees.

Honoring ceremonies, including one to bestow the grand cordons in person, were scheduled to be held at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo on May 7. Yet, they will be delayed because of the spread of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

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