The Japanese government has honoured Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed for promoting economic relations between Nairobi and Tokyo.
Ms Mohamed is among 105 foreign nationals and 4,080 Japanese honoured by the Japanese government for their achievements in business, culture, arts and international relations.
A bulletin by the Japanese Foreign Ministry said Kenya’s top diplomat was being honoured for her role in improving relations between Kenya and Japan.
“[She] contributed to reinforcement of economic relations and promoting friendly relations between Japan and the Republic of Kenya,” the statement said.
HEALTH CARE FUNDS
The Kenyan Foreign minister was co-Chair of the Sixth Tokyo International Conference on African Development Summit (Ticad VI) held in Nairobi last August.
At that meeting, Japanese Premier Shinzo Abe pledged an additional $30 billion (Sh3tn) for Africa over the next three years.
For Kenya, Tokyo pledged $100 million (Sh1tn) to fund health care.
Ms Mohamed, for her role as convener of the conference’s preparatory meeting for foreign ministers, will now be granted a special badge and insignia known as the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun.
It is awarded to those who have made distinguished achievements in the following international relations, promotion of Japanese culture, advancements in their fields of specialty, development in welfare or conservation of the environment.
ORDER OF RISING SUN
The Grand Cordon is a Japanese special badge with a silver star of eight points, each with three alternating silver rays with a central emblem.
Normally, the honoured person wears it on the left side of the chest.
The Order of the Rising Sun was established in 1875 but it was not until 2003 that women were given.
It features rays of sunlight radiating from the rising sun, symbolising energy of the sun.
Among the 105 recipients is Ugandan Foreign Minister Sam Kahamba Kutesa, 68, who was honoured for enhancing the Japanese image within the United Nations.
Ms Mohamed and Mr Kutesa are among six people to receive this category of honour.
JAPAN AND UN RELATIONS
[He] contributed to the enhancement of Japan’s position at the United Nations as well as the strengthening of the relationship between Japan and the United Nations,” the Japanese Foreign Ministry said.
Mr Kutesa served as the President of the UN General Assembly in 2015, around the same time Japan vouched for major reforms within the UN, including expanding the UN Security Council.
The recipients include Sydney Brenner, 90, a Nobel laureate in physiology or medicine, Guinean diplomat and TV personality Ousmane Sankhon, 68, and Brazilian football pundit Sergio Echigo, 71.
The award ceremony will be held on May 9 at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo and Japanese Emperor Akihito and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe are expected to attend.