Aleksandr Filippov, Head of the Department of Japanology and Chairman of the Board of the Russia–Japan Friendship Association, has been awarded Japan’s Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun (gold rays with neck ribbon). The Professor of St Petersburg University has received the award for his contribution to the development of Japanese studies in Russia and the humanitarian exchange between Japan and Russia. The award ceremony was held at the official residence of the Consul General of Japan in St Petersburg.
During the Decoration ceremony, Yasumasa Iijima, Consul General of Japan in St Petersburg, noted the significant contribution Aleksandr Filippov has made to the development of scientific and youth exchanges between Japan and Russia.
Currently St Petersburg University has cooperation agreements with 15 leading Japanese universities and five major international Japanese organisations. Aleksandr Filippov, as Professor and Head of the Department, has established strong relationships with these institutions.
Yasumasa Iijima, Consul General of Japan in St Petersburg
Aleksandr Filippov thanked the Consul General for the honour. The scholar noted the importance of the fact that the Order is awarded during the Russian–Japanese Bilateral Year. He also emphasised that he accepts the Order not only as a personal award, but also as a recognition of the achievements of all organisations in St Petersburg working to strengthen Russian–Japanese relations.
I believe this honour has been granted not only as a personal award. The Order is the recognition of the achievements of the Faculty of Asian and African Studies, Asian studies in St Petersburg, and the contribution of St Petersburg to the development of good neighbourly relations between our countries.
Aleksandr Filippov, Head of the Department of Japanology of St Petersburg University
The national decoration system of Japan was formed during the Meiji era in a manner similar to the European award system. The Order of the Rising Sun was the first national decoration, established on 10 April 1875. It is awarded in eight classes. Initially it was called the Imperial Order of Meiji, but was later renamed.
‘This award should be regarded as an appreciation of the work of the Russia–Japan Friendship Association. It is recognition of the contribution that higher educational institutions, scientific centres and museums have made to the development of cultural exchange,’ said Aleksandr Filippov.
‘With reverence I express my sincere thanks for such an unexpected and high appraisal of my work. I assure you that I will spare no effort and do my utmost to ensure cultural and other exchanges between our countries and establish mutual understanding between Japan and Russia,’ Aleksandr Filippov added.
The decision to confer the Order of the Rising Sun on Aleksandr Filippov was announced on 3 November 2018. Members of his family, friends, university colleagues, and journalists from St Petersburg attended the reception after the announcement.
The Order on behalf of the Emperor of Japan is awarded to foreign citizens for outstanding achievements in developing relations with Japan and in other fields. In 2016 Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan, conferred the Order of the Rising Sun (Gold and Silver Star) on Nikolay Kropachev, Rector of St Petersburg University.
In 2007 the Academician Mikhail Piotrovski, Dean of the Faculty of Asian and African Studies, Director of the State Hermitage Museum, received the award. In 2009 the Order was awarded to the Academician Mikhail Bogolubov, Dean of the Faculty of Asian and African Studies of Leningrad State University (St Petersburg University) from 1960 to 1995.