Estonian Ambassador Presented Order of the Cross of Terra Mariana to Economic Figure and Patron of the Arts Sadayuki Sakakibara
At the Estonian Embassy in Tokyo, Japan on Monday, 25 June, Estonian Ambassador to Japan Toivo Tasa presented the Order of the Cross of Terra Mariana III Class to economic figure, patron of the arts, and developer of Estonia-Japan relations Dr. Sadayuki Sakakibara. Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves recognised Sadayuki Sakakibara in February of this year for strengthening Estonia-Japan relations.
In 2011 Sakakibara, as the vice president of the Japanese Business Confederation NIPPON KEIDANREN and chairman of the board of the chemical industry company Toray Industries, Inc., was also the chairman of the Japanese partner of the European Capitals of Culture, the EU-Japan Fest Japan Committee. Regardless of the complicated time caused by the tragic disaster in north-eastern Japan on 11 March, opportunities were found to carry out all the scheduled Estonia-Japan cultural projects, including a choir trip to Estonia for youth choirs from the region affected by the disaster.
While presenting the order, Estonian Ambassador to Japan Toivo Tasa emphasised Sakakibara’s ability to incorporate the human dimension into Japan-Estonia relations in 2011. “For the Japanese youths that had lost family and loved ones in the tsunami, the choir trip to Estonia was part of the long journey back to everyday life,” stated Ambassador Tasa. Sadayuki Sakakibara also recognised the contribution of president of Mitsui Fudosan Co. Ltd. Hiromichi Iwasa.
When thanking Estonia for the decoration, Sakakibara emphasised the importance of the strong ties between Estonian and Japanese people in overcoming a difficult time in 2011. “Ties formed in such extraordinary circumstances are strong, and co-operation with Estonia supported by current and future partners will continue – this decoration is recognition for us all,” he stated.
In his speech, Deputy Foreign Minister of Japan Masato Kitera expressed satisfaction over Japan-Estonia relations growing stronger. Kitera noted that the very good relations between Japan and Estonia will also help to strengthen the relations between Japan and the European Union.
The presentation of the Order to Sakakibara at the Estonian Embassy in Tokyo was attended by cultural figures, directors of Japanese businesses, and embassy partners from state institutions. The national anthems of Estonia and Japan were sung in Estonian and Japanese by singers from the Miyagi Sanjo OG youth choir from the Tohoku region.