National

Government selects 4,185 people for spring honors

Kyodo

This year’s spring decorations will recognize 4,080 Japanese and 105 foreign nationals for their achievements in business, culture and the arts, the government said Saturday.

Former Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori, 79, will be given the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Paulownia Flowers, the highest honor in this spring’s commendations.

Ballad singer Miyako Otsuki, 71, whose real name is Setsuko Wakita, and writer Aiko Sato, 93, will receive the Grand Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette.

Women will account for 398, or 9.8 percent, of the Japanese recipients, and 1,839 (45.1 percent) will be from the private sector. Both ratios are the highest since the decoration system was reformed in 2003.

The foreign recipients hail from 45 nations or regions and include Sydney Brenner, 90, a Nobel laureate in physiology or medicine, who, along with six others, will receive the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun. Guinean TV personality Ousmane Sankhon, 68, and Brazilian soccer critic Sergio Echigo, 71, were selected to receive the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Rays.

The awards ceremony will be held on May 9 at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo with Emperor Akihito and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in attendance.