The Government of Japan has conferred Brunei’s senior government official with the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun decoration in recognition of his achievements in strengthening bilateral relations and promoting friendship between Brunei and Japan.
Second Minister of Foreign Affairs Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Hj Erywan Pehin Datu Pekerma Jaya Hj Mohd Yusof received one of Japan’s oldest and most prestigious honours bestowed by Japan’s Emperor Naruhito.
The minister received the state decoration from His Excellency Maeda Toru, the Japanese ambassador to Brunei Darussalam on behalf of the emperor and government of Japan.
The Order of the Rising Sun was established in 1875 as Japan’s first decoration and is a prestigious Order that honours people in Japan and abroad who have made outstanding achievements in various fields of society.
YB Dato Erywan in his remarks expressed gratitude to His Majesty the Emperor of Japan, Prime Minister of Japan, the government and the people of Japan for the prestigious recognition.
“Brunei and Japan continue to enjoy excellent ties underpinned by strong cooperation in trade, energy and people-to-people exchange. Over the years, both countries have built a true friendship with each other,” he said.
He added: “This has been proven time and time again when we help each other such as the assistance extended by Brunei during the Fukushima earthquake in 2011 in securing the energy supplies and more recently Japan’s vaccine donation during the pandemic which we remain very grateful. Last year we celebrated 50 years of energy partnership which features an important pillar of our relations together.
The minister also said that there are more opportunities that both countries can explore especially celebrating another milestone for 40 years of diplomatic relations next year.
“As an important partner, Brunei values Japan’s friendship and steadfast support for ASEAN. We look forward to deeper engagement under the comprehensive strategic partnership at the 50th ASEAN-Japan Commemorative Summit later this year,” concluded the foreign minister.
YB Dato Erywan has played significant roles in fostering the relationship between the countries for the last three decades since his involvement in JICA’s Young Leaders Programme in 1992.
During his capacity as Director of the Department of International Trade in 2006, the minister was one of the key players in furthering negotiations for the Japan-Brunei Bilateral Economic Partnership Agreement.
In 2008, YB Dato Erywan, as the former permanent secretary at MFA, spearheaded discussions for long-term contracts on LNG supply to Japan.
Since assuming his role as the second foreign minister in 2018, he has built close friendships with three consecutive foreign ministers of Japan – Kono Taro, Motegi Toshimitsu and Hayashi Yoshimasa.
Moreover, during Brunei’s ASEAN chairmanship in 2021, he demonstrated excellent leadership in coordinating ASEAN policies and positions on various important and sensitive issues and contributed much to the ASEAN-Japan cooperation.
Also in attendance at the event hosted at the residence of Japanese ambassador were spouse and children of YB Dato Erywan as well as officers at MFA and the embassy.
THE BRUNEIAN | BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN