On Wednesday, the Japanese Emperor Naruhito awarded the Slovak diplomat Miroslav Lajčák with the award of Grand Duke of the Council of the Rising Sun for his contribution to the deepening of relations between Slovakia and Japan. TASR was informed about this by the Japanese embassy in Bratislava.

The state awards ceremony took place at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo.

The Grand Order of the Council of the Rising Sun is the highest award among the six honors of the Council of the Rising Sun, and Lajčák is the first Slovak citizen ever to receive it. This year, apart from Lajčák, the same distinction was awarded to 12 other foreign nationals.

In the years 1994-1998, Lajčák worked as the Slovak ambassador to Japan, where he tried to make Slovakia more visible. As reported by the Japanese Embassy in Bratislava, he played a significant role in stimulating parliamentary relations and exchanges between the two countries.

He also contributed to the strengthening of friendly relations as Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Slovak Republic. His ministerial activities resulted in a number of visits by high-ranking representatives of Japan to the Slovak Republic, for example the visit of Japanese Princess Akishino or former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, which was the first ever visit of a Japanese Prime Minister to Slovakia.

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