Former U.S. defense secretaries Chuck Hagel and Ashton Carter, and former Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn will be among the 142 foreigners recognized in this year's spring awards for making notable contributions to relations between Japan and their countries, the government said Tuesday.
The list of recipients for the annual decorations was announced a month later than usual to allow for Emperor Naruhito's ascension to the throne early this month.
The 142 foreign recipients come from 61 countries and regions.
Hagel, 72, and Carter, 64, who served in U.S. President Barack Obama's administration, and Hailemariam, 53, will receive the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun.
(From L) former U.S. defense secretaries Chuck Hage and Ashton B. Carter, and former Ethiopean Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn)
Of 4,225 Japanese recipients of decorations, 401 are women and 1,984 are from the private sector, both the highest numbers since the honors system was reformed in 2003.
Itsuro Terada, 71, a former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, will be bestowed with the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Paulownia Flowers which is the highest decoration to be given at the ceremony.
Jazz trumpeter Terumasa Hino, 76, will receive the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette.
Former financial services minister Shizuka Kamei, 82, and the chairman of the Nippon Foundation, Yohei Sasakawa, 80, are among those who will receive the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun.
The award ceremony will be held at the Imperial Palace on Thursday, with the emperor and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in attendance.