40 foreigners tapped to receive government’s spring decorations

Kyodo

Former French Prime Minister Francois Fillon and former Namibian Prime Minister Theo-Ben Gurirab and Edgardo Angara, a former Philippine Senate president and current senator, are among 40 foreign nationals named as recipients of Japan’s annual spring decorations, the government said Monday.

Fillon, 59, Gurirab, 75, and Angara, 78, were selected for the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun.

The 40, including seven women from 23 countries and regions, are among the 4,099 people chosen this year. The awards will be handed out May 9.

This year’s only recipient of the highest award — the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Paulownia Flowers — is former Japanese Prime Minister Tsutomu Hata, 77.

Among Japanese recipients of the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun are 71-year-old Yasuko Ikenobo, former senior vice minister of the Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry, and Haruo Uematsu, 81, former chairman of the Japan Medical Association.

Among Japanese recipients of the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette, are 73-year-old TV director Yasuo Tsuruhashi, actress Chieko Baisho, 71, Kabuki actor Sawamura Tanosuke, 80, and poet Gozo Yoshimasu, 74, the government said.

Among the academic recipients are Emiko Adachi, a 75-year-old professor emeritus of Chiba University who developed a new method for optic nerve transplants, who will get the Order of the Sacred Treasure, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon.

Women account for 364, or 8.9 percent, of the recipients.