November 5, 2009 Kuwaiti Defense Minister conferred Japan''s highest decoration

Japanese Emperor Akihito on Thursday bestowed Imperial Decoration of "Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun" on Kuwaiti First Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah in a ceremony at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo. Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama handed Sheikh Jaber the certificate of the order.
The award demonstrates Japan's acknowledgement of his significant contribution to promoting political, diplomatic, and environmental exchange and mutual understanding between Kuwait and Japan.
The Imperial Order is awarded twice a year, and Sheikh Jaber is the only Arab who receives the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun, Japan's highest-ranked decoration conferred on foreigners, in this fall's commemoration.
"I deeply appreciate the honor. It is not only for me, but also for the entire Kuwaiti armed forces and the Kuwaiti people," after the ceremony, and renewed his commitment to promoting better understanding and elevating the bilateral cooperation.
In a cordial conversation with Hatoyama, Sheikh Jaber conveyed the message from His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah that extends an invitation to the Japanese premier to visit Kuwait. Hatoyama responded that he will make the appropriate arrangements for this trip.
Sheikh Jaber was accompanied by his party and Kuwaiti Ambassador to Japan Abdulrahman Al-Otaibi and Major General Al-Humaidhi.
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 significant 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.
From March 2004 to December 2008, Air Self-Defense Force (ASDF), with 200 personnel and transport planes, was stationed at Kuwait's Ali Al-Salem Air Base and engaged in a non-combat airlift mission as part of Japan's efforts to help Iraq rebuild.
During its nearly five-year deployment, ASDF carried out more than 800 separate airlifts to Iraq without a single accident.
The Kuwaiti leadership and people extended the required strategic cooperation and hospitality to the air force in executing its humanitarian mission in Iraq smoothly.