Press Release
May 6, 2013


Senator Edgardo J. Angara is set to leave for Japan to receive a rare imperial honor.

The Japanese government will confer on Angara the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun, one of the highest honors it bestows on foreigners.

Emperor Akihito will preside over the conferment at the Imperial Palace.

Angara joins a prestigious roster of international figures who have been given the same award, including former Singapore Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, former British Prime Minister Sir John Major, former U.S. Senator Daniel Inouye, and former UNICEF Executive Director Carol Bellamy.

Previous Filipino awardees include Carlos P. Romulo and Ambassador Alfonso T. Yuchengco.

The Japanese government said Angara is being recognized for promoting friendly relations and developing economic cooperation between Japan and the Philippines.

In 1988, Angara became the founding president of the Philippines-Japan Parliamentarians Association (PJPA). He also headed the first PJPA delegation to Japan. He assumed its presidency anew in 1993 and is currently serving as its Secretary General.

Angara's invaluable role in enhancing bilateral economic relations through his support for the ratification of the Japan Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement (JPEPA), among others, was also cited.

"I am deeply grateful for such a signal honor for myself and our country. It is proof of how far we have come together as genuine partners in development," said Angara.

Angara said, "The ratification of the JPEPA is the strongest evidence of the strength and dynamism of our bilateral relations. It was fitting that our first free trade agreement in more than 50 years was with such dependable partner."

"Japan has been investing in our country's development through aid and trade for decades. As we continue to strengthen these areas of our relations, we hope to further deepen linkages especially through education and culture.

"Japan is one of the most culturally rich and technologically innovative nations in the world. We have much to learn from it and, equally, much to share with it," said Angara.

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