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Senator Edgardo J. Angara conferred the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun by Emperor Akihito in Tokyo

Senator Edgardo J. Angara (left) with Ambassador Manuel M. Lopez.

Tokyo, 9 May 2013 — Senator Edgardo J. Angara was decorated with the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun by His Majesty Emperor Akihito at solemn Conferment ceremonies held today at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo.

In attendance at the awarding rites was Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who presented the Senator with the decoration’s accompanying certificate.

Senator Angara was honoured for his valuable contributions to promoting friendly relations and developing economic cooperation between Japan and the Philippines.

“I am deeply humbled by this recognition from the Government of Japan,” said the Senator after the Conferment rites. “This honor is a testament to Japan’s abiding interest in the enhancement of their ties with the Philippines. I am resolved to continue my own long-standing advocacy of further strengthening the bonds of friendship and cooperation between our peoples.”

In 1988, Senator Angara led the establishment of the Philippines-Japan Parliamentarians Association (PJPA) and became its founding President. Shortly thereafter, he headed the first PJPA delegation to visit Japan for meetings with key members of the National Diet and other Government officials. The Senator is currently the organization’s Secretary General.

Senator Angara has been a vigorous supporter of the Philippines-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (PJEPA) which entered into force in 2008 and had served as a firm foundation for the two countries’ sustained and increasingly dynamic economic engagement.

The Order of the Rising Sun was created in April 1875 to recognize individuals with distinguished achievements in international relations, the promotion of Japanese culture, the preservation of the environment, and advances in development and various fields. It is presently awarded in seven classes, with the Grand Cordon being the Order’s highest class.

Previous recipients of the Grand Cordon include former Singaporean PM Lee Kuan Yew, former UNICEF Executive Director Carol Bellamy, former Brookings Institution President Michael H. Armacost, former Secretary of Foreign Affairs and UNGA President Carlos P. Romulo, and former Ambassador to Japan Alfonso T. Yuchengco.

Japan is one of the two most important strategic partners of the Philippines. Japan has consistently been the Philippines’ top export market and largest source of official development assistance. It also is the Philippines’ second largest source of foreign direct investments.