OSAKA — Masaharu Matsushita, chairman of Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., was appointed June 3 a Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire for his contributions toward strengthening bilateral ties in business and other areas.

The order is the highest rank given to a non-Briton in the private sector, according to a Matsushita spokesman. Matsushita, 84, the son-in-law of Konosuke Matsushita, the late founder of the electronics giant, received the decoration from British Ambassador to Japan Sir David Wright on board the Royal Yacht Britannia in Kobe.

The firm makes products under the National, Panasonic and other labels. Matsushita played a key role in the appliance manufacturer’s factory and sales network expansion in Britain and in the development of the two countries’ relations in such fields as engineering and culture.

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