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Ex-U.S. defense, state chiefs among decoration recipients in Japan

TOKYO – The Japanese government said Friday it will bestow decorations on a record 149 foreign nationals this autumn, including former U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, as well as 4,103 Japanese for their achievements across a wide variety of fields.


Gates, 74, joined the Central Intelligence Agency in 1966 and spent nearly 27 years as an intelligence professional before serving as defense secretary from December 2006 to July 2011 under presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama. Obama was the eighth president Gates served.


Rice, 62, became the first African-American woman to serve as secretary of state when she assumed office on January 2005 under George W. Bush. She served for four years until January 2009.


Both former U.S. officials will be decorated with the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun, the highest order in this fall’s commendations.


Former popular masked wrestler Richard Beyer, known by his ring name the Destroyer, 87, will receive the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Rays among other foreign nationals from 63 countries and regions.


Among Japanese recipients, Wataru Aso, 78, a former Fukuoka governor who also served as president of the National Governors’ Association, was named as a recipient of the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun with four other recipients.


Of the Japanese recipients, 381, or 9.3 percent, were women, and 46.4 percent, or 1,903, were from the private sector, the highest number since the decoration system was reformed in 2003.


In the art, culture and other fields, comedian and actor Kon Omura, 86, whose real name is Mutsuji Okamura, and composer Shigeaki Saegusa, 75, will receive the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette.


Photographer Eiko Hosoe, 84, whose real name is Toshihiro Hosoe, will receive the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star.


The award ceremony will be held at the Imperial Palace on Nov. 7, with Emperor Akihito and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in attendance.


[Following is a list of American recipients of the spring decorations. It is compiled by JMH based on the list published on page 36 of the Asahi Shimbun morning edition on Nov. 3, 2017.]


The Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun

  • Robert M. Gates, 74, Former Secretary of Defense
  • Stephen J. Hadley, 70, Former Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs
  • Ernest J. Moniz, 72, Former Secretary of Energy
  • Condoleezza Rice, 62, Former Secretary of State


The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star

  • Leo Melamed, 85, The Founder of Financial Futures and Chairman Emeritus of the CME Group
  • Jonathan Dorfan, 70, Former CEO/President, Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University


The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon

  • Loren Wilber Acton, 81, Former astronaut
  • Satoru Izutsu, 89, Vice Dean, University of Hawaii School of Medicine
  • Anil K. Kashyap, 57, Professor, Booth School of Business, University of Chicago
  • Jerome Alan Cohen, 87, Professor of Law, New York University School of Law
  • Michael M. Gottesman, 71, Deputy Director for Intramural Research of National Institutes of Health (NIH)
  • Jerry L. Jacobson, 56, Former Director for Intelligence, U.S. Forces Japan
  • Theodore C. Bestor, 66, Reischauer Institute Professor of Social Anthropology, Harvard University
  • Paul Y. Watanabe, 66, Professor of Political Science, University of Massachusetts, Boston
  • Raaj Kumar Sah, 65, Professor, Harris School of Public Policy, University of Chicago


The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette

  • Tetsuden Kashima, 77, Professor Emeritus, University of Washington
  • Loraine Sievers, 68, Former Chief, Security Council Secretariat Branch, Security Council Affairs Division, Department of Political Affairs, United Nations
  • Robert Brown, 68, Chair of Japan/America Society of Kentucky
  • Jack O. Bovender, Jr., 72, Former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Hospital Corporation of America
  • Colbert Masayuki Matsumoto, 64, Former Director, Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii


The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Rays

  • Donald Alan Wood, 65, Former Curator of Oriental Art of New Orleans Museum of Art
  • Allen Okamoto, 74, Co-Chair, San Francisco Osaka Sister City Association
  • Kitty Sankey, 70, Former President of Japanese Chamber of Commerce of Southern California
  • Benh Koreyoshi Nakajo, 75, Chair of the Northern California Cherry Blossom Queen Program
  • Judith Setsuko Hata, 92, Adviser, Ikebana International, New York Chapter
  • Kerry Steven Hada, 67, Former Board Member of Japanese American National Museum
  • Thelma Press, 90, Vice President of the Board of Japanese Friendship Garden Society of San Diego
  • The Destroyer (Richard John Beyer), 87, Former Professional Wrestler
  • Jean M. Mishima, 81, Former President of the Chicago Japanese American Council
  • Gary Mukai, 62, Director, Stanford Program on International and Cross-Cultural Education
  • Donald Takeshi Yoshino, 74, Former President of the Board, Morikami Museum & Japanese Gardens


The Order of the Sacred Treasure, Silver Rays

  • Humayun Pervez, 72, former local employee of the Embassy of Japan in the United States of America 
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