Japan Awards Lee Kuan Yew With Highest Honours For Foreign Leaders

Japan awards Singapore’s first Prime Minister posthumously

The Japanese government revealed that it has conferred the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew with one of Japan’s top honours, the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Paulownia Flowers. The award will be backdated to 23 Mar 2015, the day he died.

“Mr Lee strived to strengthen relations with Japan and was successful in building a friendship between the two nations,” said the Japanese government.


When former Prime Minister Lee passed, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe referred to him as “one of the greatest leaders of modern times that Asia has produced”.

The late Mr Lee is the 19th foreign leader to receive the award. Traditionally, the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Paulownia Flower was given to prominent statesmen, former prime ministers and senior cabinet ministers. It is the highest regularly conferred honor in the Japanese honors system. Since 2013, only 20 people were given the award. It is not given annually.

Previously, former Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and former United States Secretary of State George Shultz received the awards.

India’s former PM Manmohan Singh received his award in 2014.


In Japan, LKY is highly respected and was always consulted for his honest critiques. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that Singapore is “deeply honoured” by the award decision.

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With reference to TODAY
Featured image via Wikimedia

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