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Former Minister Ashwani Kumar named for Japanese honour 

Japan has named former Union Minister Ashwani Kumar for its prestigious 'Order of the Rising Sun' award for his contribution to fostering Japan-India ties, an official statement said on Saturday.

Kumar has been selected for the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun, which is the highest category of decoration, in recognition of distinguished accomplishments of individuals. Ratan Tata was also conferred the decoration in the past, a statement from the Japanese embassy said.

Kumar served as Special Envoy of then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to Japan during the visit of the Emperor and Empress of Japan to India in December 2013, and contributed significantly to the success of the visit. He was also the Accompanying Minister to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe when he visited India in 2007, and was Chairman of the FICCI India-Japan Forum of Parliamentarians established during the visit of former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi to India in 2005. Kumar has also been contributing to the promotion of Japan-India relations in the field of Science and Technology, as Council member of the STS Forum, the statement said.

The award will be conferred at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo on May 9.