The Japanese government will bestow decorations this autumn on 3,964 of the country’s most distinguished citizens and separately confer orders on a record 89 foreigners from 38 countries and territories including former U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, the government said Tuesday.
Rumsfeld, 83, and former European Council President Herman Van Rompuy, 68, will receive the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun. Other foreign recipients include retired American Major League Baseball player Hank Aaron, 81, awarded the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette.
The Grand Cordon of the Order of the Paulownia Flowers, the highest decoration to be awarded this fall, will be awarded to Hironobu Takesaki, 71, a former chief justice of the Supreme Court.
Actor Kinya Kitaoji, 72, and professional golfer Isao Aoki, 73, will receive the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette, while former farm minister Seiichi Ota, 70, former Sankei Shimbun Co. President Takehiko Kiyohara, 78, and former Tohoku Electric Power Co. President Keiichi Makuta, 80, are among the recipients of the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun.
Among all the Japanese recipients, 361 are women, comprising 9.1 percent of the total. People from the private sector number 1,751 or 44.2 percent, a record-high percentage since the current decoration system was adopted in 2003.
In the realm of art and culture, traditional Yaeyama folk song performer Kosei Miyara, 75, and Japanese chess player Nobuyuki Ouchi, 74, were chosen to receive the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Rays.
From the world of academia, Yoshiyuki Sakaki, 73, emeritus professor of the University of Tokyo, known for his research on the human genome, will receive the Order of the Sacred Treasure, Gold and Silver Star.
The award ceremony will be held on Nov 5 at the Imperial Palace, with Emperor Akihito and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in attendance.