Foreign dignitaries honored with spring decorations

Kyodo

Former French Prime Minister Francois Fillon, former Namibian Premier Theo-Ben Gurirab and Edgardo Angara, a former Philippine Senate president, received state decorations Thursday along with 20 Japanese from the Emperor at the Imperial Palace.

Fillon, 59, Gurirab, 75, and Angara, 78, were selected for the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun. This year’s only recipient of the highest award — the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Paulownia Flowers — is former Prime Minister Tsutomu Hata, 77.

Among Japanese recipients of the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun are Yasuko Ikenobo, 71, former senior vice minister of the education ministry, and Haruo Uematsu, 81, ex-chairman of the Japan Medical Association. Japanese recipients of the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette included TV director Yasuo Tsuruhashi, 73, actress Chieko Baisho, 71, Kabuki actor Sawamura Tanosuke, 80, and poet Gozo Yoshimasu, 74.