TOKYO – Japan will be honoring 142 foreign personalities this year in its spring awards for significant contributions made to relations between Japan and their respective countries, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Tuesday.
The recipients of the honor, chosen from 61 countries and regions, come from various fields including politics, private enterprise and culture.
Notable names include former Defense Secretaries of the United States, Chuck Hagel and Ashton Carter, who both served under Barack Obama, former Paraguayan Foreign Minister, Eladio Loizaga and former Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn will all be honored with the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun.
Legendary Italian composer Ennio Morricone, 90, will also receive the Order of the Rising Sun for promoting cultural exchanges between Japan and Italy.
Another recipient of the same recognition is Cuban singer Omara Portuondo, 88, best known for her collaborations with the Buena Vista Social Club.
The list also includes 4,225 Japanese personalities who will be decorated with various honors.
The ceremony’s highest award, the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Paulownia Flowers, will be bestowed upon former Supreme Court Chief Justice of Japan, Itsuro Terada.
The award ceremony will take place on Thursday at the Imperial Palace and will be attended by Emperor Naruhito and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
The emperor will personally hand out the awards at the event.