Japan-UK Relations


Announcement of conferment of the The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette for Sir Bobby Charlton

1 May 2012



On 29th April 2012, the Government of Japan announced the 2012 Spring Conferment of Decorations on Foreign Nationals.

Sir Robert (‘Bobby’) Charlton is conferred with The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette for his outstanding contribution to promoting cultural exchange between Japan and the United Kingdom, and to the development of football in Japan.

Sir Bobby, a director of Manchester United Football Club, played an important role in Japan’s successful bid to co-host the 2002 FIFA World Cup and for the last two decades has continued to support the Japanese Football Association in developing Japanese football. He was instrumental in the birth of the National Training Centre, better known as “J-Village”, as named by Sir Bobby himself. The “J-Village” has since been a centre for nurturing young Japanese footballers, and has also been used as a vital training camp for the Japanese men’s and women’s national teams.

Last November, Sir Bobby was involved in a special football match held at Wembley organised by the Embassy of Japan in support of the victims of the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami. 16 high school students from the stricken region were invited to the UK and given the opportunity to play at the stadium. Sir Bobby attended as a special guest, and at the opening ceremony not only offered them rousing words of encouragement but also presented them with souvenirs, leaving the students extremely moved.








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