Tokyo– Former U.S. Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy, the daughter of former U.S. President John F. Kennedy, is one of 124 foreigners recognized in this year’s fall decorations for enhancing friendship with Japan, the Japanese government said Wednesday.
Kennedy, 63, who served as U.S. envoy from 2013 to 2017, will be bestowed with the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun, the highest honor to be conferred in the fall commendations.
“Most of all, I will always treasure the warm welcome I received from the Japanese people, their friendship and willingness to teach me about their beautiful country, its dazzling culture, and ancient traditions,” Kennedy said in a statement.
She also said she will “forever be grateful for the privilege of serving as the United States Ambassador, and for the chance to strengthen relations between two close allies who share a fundamental commitment to democracy, human rights, and the rule of law.”
Kennedy is also an attorney and the editor of 11 best-selling books on constitutional law, American history, politics and poetry, according to the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum.
Among the 124 recipients, hailing from 53 countries and regions, 22 are women.
Four other foreigners besides Kennedy will be granted the highest honor, including the former head of Taiwan’s legislature Wang Jin-pyng, 80, who headed the island’s delegation to Japan following the 2011 quake-tsunami disaster.
British-born Australian singer and actress Olivia Newton-John, 73, will receive the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette.
In addition, 4,036 Japanese nationals will be recognized this fall, with 1,948, or 48.3 percent, from the private sector.
Nobuo Kuroyanagi, 79, former president of the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, now MUFG Bank, and Hiroaki Takahashi, 80, former president of Tohoku Electric Power Co., will be bestowed with the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun.
Katsuyo Aikawa, an 81-year-old professor emeritus at Nagasaki University, is one of 401 female honorees, or 9.9 percent of the total Japanese awardees. She will receive the Order of the Sacred Treasure, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon.
Actor Isao Hashizume, 80, script writer Shizuka Oishi, 70, and poet Takayuki Saigusa, 77, are among those set to receive the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette.
Hiroshi Matsumoto, a 78-year-old former president of Kyoto University, is the sole recipient of the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Sacred Treasure this fall.
Takao Kondo, a 73-year-old professor emeritus at Nagoya University known for his work on biological rhythm and the circadian clock, will be honored with the Order of the Sacred Treasure, Gold and Silver Star, in the field of academic research.
Yoshio Haga, 71, former president of Nippon Paper Industries Co., and Masatoshi Ito, 74, former president of Ajinomoto Co., are among the recipients of the Order of Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star, for industry promotion.
The decorations will be conferred at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo next Tuesday, with Emperor Naruhito bestowing the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun and the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Sacred Treasure.
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida will hand out the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star, and the Order of the Sacred Treasure, Gold and Silver Star.
This year’s conferment ceremony for spring decorations, postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, will also be conducted on Tuesday.
[The following is a list of American recipients of the autumn decorations. It was compiled by JMH based on the list published on page 21 of the Asahi Shimbun morning edition on Nov. 3, 2021.]
The Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun
- Caroline Bouvier Kennedy, former ambassador of the United States to Japan (63 years old)
The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star
- Shelley Moore Capito, former co-chair of the Congressional study group on Japan (67 years old)
- Mazie Keiko Hirono, co-chair of the Congressional study group on Japan (74 years old)
- Scott Pace, former executive secretary of the National Space Council and former deputy assistant to the President (62 years old)
- Steve Beshear, former governor of the Commonwealth of Kentucky (77 years old)
The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon
- Alan Jeffrey Auerbach, Robert D. Burch professor of economics and law, department of economics and school of law, University of California, Berkeley (70 years old)
- David A. Gross, former ambassador, U.S. coordinator for international communications and information policy, Department of State (67 years old)
- Don Eliot Cheramie, former director for intelligence, United States Forces, Japan (52 years old)
- Kristopher W. Struve, former commander of the 35th Fighter Wing (47 years old)
- Keith Matthew Henry, former deputy and chief of staff, commander, U.S. Naval Forces Japan (53 years old)
- Christopher J. Mahoney, former deputy commander of the United States Forces Japan (56 years old)
- Alice Kishiye Murata, vice president, Chicago Japanese American Council (81 years old)
- Bradley House Roberts Jr., former deputy assistant secretary of defense (67 years old)
- Marvin Edward Thompson III, deputy commander, expeditionary strike group 7 and task force 76 (53 years old)
The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette
- David Ono, journalist (58 years old)
- Ron Carter, jazz musician (84 years old)
- Louise Allison Cort, curator emerita, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution (77 years old)
- Keith Alan Norden, chairman of Florida delegation, Southeast U.S. Japan Association (69 years old)
The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Rays
- Brian Takeda, president of Nikkei Federation (66 years old)
- Richard M. Hashimoto, president of Japantown Merchants Association of San Francisco (63 years old)
- Calvin Taro Hada, president of Nikkeijin Kai of Colorado (67 years old)
- Ann Yonemura, former senior associate curator of Japanese Art, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution (74 years old)
The Order of the Rising Sun, Silver Rays 旭日単光章
- Donna Fujimoto Cole, former president, Japan-America Society of Houston (69 years old)
- Frank S. N. Shimizu, chairman, Guam Nikkei Association (82 years old)