On 20 February 2018, Ambassador Koji Tsuruoka bestowed the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun upon The Rt Hon the Lord Hague of Richmond, in recognition of his significant contribution to strengthening and developing relations between Japan and the United Kingdom.
In his remarks, Ambassador Tsuruoka expressed the Japanese Government’s deepest appreciation for Lord Hague’s “outstanding” contribution to the Japan-UK bilateral relationship. As Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs from 2010 to 2014, Lord Hague advocated close security and defence cooperation between the two countries. He also promoted economic ties between the UK and Japan, including when he was Secretary of State for Wales from 1995 to 1997. Lord Hague has continued to play an active role in the area of diplomacy after leaving his role as Foreign Secretary, and Ambassador Tsuruoka made clear his, and Japan’s, appreciation for Lord Hague's continued efforts.
On receiving his decoration, Lord Hague said it was “a great honour” to receive the award. He said he held “a deep affection” for Japan and its people, and had developed a “life-long friendship” with the country. Lord Hague also stated his view that it was in Britain’s interests to have a “strong and influential Japan,” as he reiterated the importance of defence, security, and diplomatic links, as well as economic and cultural links between the two countries.
The Embassy of Japan