November 4, 2009 Sheikh Jaber arrives in Tokyo to be honored by Emperor

Kuwaiti First Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah arrived here on Wednesday and is scheduled to attend a medal conferment ceremony at the Imperial Palace on Thursday, where Emperor Akihito will bestow on him the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun, Japan's highest-ranked decoration conferred on foreigners.
Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama will confer the certificate in the ceremony.
The Imperial Order is awarded twice a year, and Sheikh Jaber is the only Arab who receives the most prestigious honor in this fall's commemoration.
According to the Japanese government, the decision demonstrates its acknowledgement of Sheikh Jaber's significant contribution to promoting political, economic, and environmental exchange and mutual understanding between Kuwait and Japan.
Established in 1875, the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun is Japan's oldest award and bestowed by the Emperor to outstanding individuals who have made notable contributions to promoting ties with Japan.
The Japanese monarchy is the world's oldest continuous hereditary monarchy still in existence, which can be traced back some 1600 years.
Upon arrival, Sheikh Jaber was received by Kuwaiti Ambassador to Japan Abdulrahman Al-Otaibi and other diplomats from the Kuwaiti embassy, as well as Japanese Ambassador to Kuwait Masatoshi Muto.
Al-Otaibi is expected to host a luncheon in honor of Sheikh Jaber and his delegation.
From March 2004 to December 2008, the Japanese air force, with 200 personnel and three C-130 transport planes, was stationed at Ali Al-Salem Air Base in Kuwait and engaged in a non-combat airlift mission as part of Japan's efforts to help Iraq rebuild.
During its nearly five-year deployment, the air force carried out more than 800 separate airlifts to Baghdad and elsewhere in Iraq without a single accident.
The Kuwaiti leadership and people extended the strategic cooperation and hospitality to Japanese troops in executing its humanitarian mission in Iraq smoothly.
Sheikh Jaber last visited Japan in November 2004, when he also promoted cooperation with Japan in environmental areas as President of the High Council for environment.