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His Excellency Mr. Herman Van Rompuy (former President of the European Council and Kobe University Advisory Board member) received the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun (25 January 2016)

  • February 12, 2016
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On 25 January 2016, His Excellency Mr. Herman Van Rompuy (former President of the European Council and Kobe University Advisory Board member) received the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun in a conferment ceremony held at the Official Residence of the Ambassador of Japan to the European Union in Brussels. His Excellency Mr. Keiichi Katakami (Ambassador of Japan to the European Union) conferred the Cordon to Mr. Van Rompuy. The ceremony was attended also by Dr. Michael Reiterer (Senior Advisor in the European External Action Service’s Asia-Pacific Department and a member of the Kobe University Advisory Board).

Mr. Van Rompuy was awarded the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun in the 2015 Autumn Conferment of Decorations on Foreign Nationals (3 November). The Conferment recognised Mr. Van Rompuy’s contributions to strengthening EU-Japan cooperation and fostering mutual understanding.

In the acceptance speech, Mr. Van Rompuy emphasized the fact that the EU and Japan share important values, and he stressed the significance of further strengthening the partnership between the EU and Japan in the current international situation complicated by such problems as terrorism and migration crisis. At the end of the speech, Mr. Van Rompuy, who serves as the Haiku Ambassador for Japan-EU Friendship, read the haiku below summarizing the content of his speech:

Friendship miracle
A rising sun, shining stars
In the same blue sky

Mr. Van Rompuy became a member of the Kobe University Advisory Board last year and attended the Board meeting on 19 October 2015 held in Kobe University Brussels European Centre. In the meeting Mr. Van Rompuy and representatives from Kobe University exchanged opinions on Kobe University’s research and international strategies.

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(International Affairs Planning Division)