A coronation ceremony was held on 30 October at the residence of the Japanese Ambassador to Egypt Oka Hiroshi in Garden City to celebrate the great contributions made by Moussa in developing relations and strengthening friendship between Japan and Egypt, Japan and the Arab countries, with the Emperor of Japan granting him Grand Ribbon of the Order of the Rising Sun.
The conferment ceremony was attended by an array of diplomats and senior state officials, including Ahmed Abul-Gheit, Arab league secretary-general; Ambassador Fayza Abul-Naga, presidential national security advisor; Ali El-Moselhi, minister of supply and internal trade; Mounir Fakhry Abdel-Nour, former minister of tourism; Ambassadors Nabil Fahmy and Mohamed El-Orabi, former ministers of foreign affairs; Mostafa El-Feki, political thinker and former director of Bibliotheca Alexandria; Hisham Badr, former Egyptian ambassador in Japan; and their wives.
Political, economic, and cultural efforts
During his 10-year tenure as foreign minister, Moussa visited Japan four times, where he actively promoted bilateral discussions on politics, economic cooperation, culture, trade, and investment, which significantly developed friendly relations between Japan and Egypt.
During his term as the LAS secretary-general, he made huge efforts to strengthen relations between Japan and the Arab countries, specifically through the Arab-Japan Economic Forum, which was established to strengthen relations and economic development between both parties and later became a comprehensive cooperation mechanism.
In his welcome speech, Hiroshi said: "It is a great pleasure and honour to have the privilege of inviting HE Mr. and Mrs. Amr Moussa with us today for the conferment ceremony. I am so honoured and delighted to convey to HE Amr Moussa the decoration of Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun, on behalf of the Government of Japan.”
Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun is the highest-ranking decoration awarded by the emperor of Japan to foreigners who have made outstanding achievements in relations with Japan.
"Moussa had been at the helm of Egyptian and Arab diplomacy for as many as twenty years and had greatly contributed to the stability and prosperity of the region and successfully raised the voices of Arabs in the international arenas. For his achievement, he is greatly respected by many distinguished people around the world, as you can see from the guests gathered here today," Hiroshi said.
"In fact, I am among such admirers of HE Amr Moussa. Coming back to Cairo after 40 years ... I am thrilled and excited by the opportunity to get acquainted with HE Amr Moussa in Cairo. In the light of the strategic importance of the Arab region and Egypt in particular, strengthening diplomatic relations with this region has always been a priority of Japanese diplomacy,” he added.
Hiroshi continued: “Whenever there was a challenge in promoting cooperation between us, he had always worked tirelessly to coordinate with the parties concerned and bring about a solution. It is none other than HE Mr. Amr Moussa who has made Egypt-Japan relations and Japan-Arab cooperation what they are today.”
The Japanese ambassador also hailed the progress of Japan's major cooperation projects with Egypt during Moussa’s tenure as foreign minister, including the construction of the Suez Canal Peace Bridge, connecting the Asian and African continents, and the support for the Cairo University Pediatric Hospital (CUSPH) to improve maternal and child health care.
Devotion to the Arab-Japan Economic Forum
"On the occasion of the visit of Prime Minister Kishida Fumio to Egypt in April this year, he and President El-Sisi agreed to upgrade the bilateral relations to a strategic partnership. It would not be an exaggeration to state that the solid basis of this strategic partnership had been laid during his tenure as foreign minister,” Hiroshi stressed.
In his visit to Cairo this year, PM Fumio visited the headquarters of the LAS for the first time, meeting with Abul-Gheit, and delivered a speech emphasizing his eagerness to strengthen the partnership between Japan and LAS, which resulted in substantive progress in relations between both parties.
Following up on this visit, Foreign Minister Hayashi visited LAS headquarters in September to attend the 3rd Japan-Arab Political Dialogue, which produced a joint statement affirming the partnership between Japan and Arabs to work for stability and prosperity in the region, Hiroshi added.
The Japan-Arab Political Dialogue is based on a memorandum of cooperation (MOC) between the government of Japan and the LAS, signed 10 years ago.
In 2009, before this MOC, Moussa had devoted himself to the establishment of the Arab-Japan Economic Forum. This forum has been held five times, and preparations are underway for the sixth forum to be held in Japan next year, according to Hiroshi.
The Japanese ambassador also praised the development of a comprehensive partnership between Japan and the LAS under this MOC, which also covers political and cultural fields, adding that by means of this forum, “Moussa had opened a new horizon for Japan-Arabs cooperation.”