Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad will be conferred ”The Grand Cordon of the Order of the Paulownia Flowers” by the Emperor of Japan during his three-day working visit to the “Land of the Rising Sun” beginning Monday, Nov 5.
Malaysian Ambassador to Japan Datuk Ahmad Izlan Idris said the conferment of Japan’s highest award by Emperor Akihito which will take place at the Imperial Palace here Tuesday follows the huge contributions by the Prime Minister in strengthening bilateral ties.
“Traditionally this award is given to foreign leaders like prime ministers and statesmen from within and outside Japan,” he told Malaysian journalists here Sunday.
Dr Mahathir is the third leader from Asia to be conferred the prestigious award after former Singapore prime Minister the late Lee Kuan Yew and former Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh.
“The Prime Minister and wife Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali are also scheduled to attend a luncheon with the Emperor and Empress of Japan on Wednesday at the Imperial Palace,” he said.
This will be Dr Mahathir’s third visit to Japan after becoming Malaysia’s prime minister for the second time following the country’s 14th General Election on May 9. The first was in June and the second in August.
Ahmad Izlan said that after receiving the award on the second day of his visit, the Prime Minister and his delegation were scheduled to have a meeting with his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe at the latter’s office.
“Both prime ministers will discuss bilateral ties and regional and international issues of common interest,” he said.
He said that on the second day, Dr Mahathir is also scheduled to attend the 36th Japan-Malaysia Economic Association (Jameca)-Malaysia-Japan Economic Association (Majeca) Meeting and Malaysian Business Forum here.
Before that, on the first day of his visit, the Prime Minister will be conferred an honorary doctorate by Tsukuba Universiti of Tokyo, which is the highest recognition by the university for his contributions to advance international exchange in the field of research and education.
Source : BERNAMA