Abul Kalam Azad to be conferred with Japan’s second-highest civilian award

Prime Minister of Japan Fumio Kishida has announced Md. Abul Kalam Azad, a senior bureaucrat of Bangladesh, will receive the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star award.

Azad contributed to the historic development trajectory of Bangladesh in his roles as Bangladesh’s power secretary and subsequently as secretary of the Economic Relations Division (ERD), secretary of the Prime Minister’s Office, principal secretary and later, principal SDG coordinator.

Currently, as the Commissioner to the Global Commission on BiodiverCities of the World Economic Forum and Special Envoy of the Climate Vulnerable Forum Presidency of Bangladesh appointed by the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, he is advocating for climate change and environmental awareness.

The order of the Rising Sun is generally the second highest civilian award conferred by Japan, following the Order of the Chrysanthemum, mostly given to politicians.

The Order of the Rising Sun is awarded by the Emperor of Japan to individuals, in recognition of long and/or specially meritorious service, according to a release.

The ceremonial presentation of the award will be graced by the Emperor of Japan on 10 May at the Imperial Palace in Japan.

The Japanese government recognised Azad’s lifetime contributions in Japan-Bangladesh friendship.

When he served as the power secretary of Bangladesh, he facilitated JICA’s support to Bangladesh for developing Power Sector Master Plan 2010. He co-chaired Japan-Bangladesh Private Economic Dialogue (PPED) along with Secretary METI of Japan from 2014 to 2019.

PPED public sector and private sector leaders from both Bangladesh and Japan joined several meetings held in Tokyo and Dhaka during this time.

Owing to his leadership, PPED led to enhanced public and private investment, and Japan acknowledged Bangladesh as the appropriate place for investment.

Azad’s leadership was fundamental for the Moheshkhali Matarbari Integrated Development Initiative (MIDI).

Once MIDI was formed in 2018, his role as the Chairman of MIDI was key in further investments of Japan in Power, Energy, Deep-Sea port and Economic Zone.

He closely led the execution of Araihajar Japanese Economic Zone of Narayanganj.

Japan and Bangladesh Scouts worked closely for about two decades from 2001-2018 during the term when he was a volunteer National Commissioner, Chief National Commissioner and President of Bangladesh Scouts.

Azad played an important role in extending support and trust-building with Japan after the July 2016 Holy Artisan attack – contributing to smooth continuity of Japan-Bangladesh bilateral relations.

The government of Japan has announced the foreign recipients of the 2022 “Spring Imperial Decorations” and three Bangladeshi nationals have been honored.

Md. Abdul Haque, former president of Japan-Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JBCCI), Managing Director of Haq’s Bay Automobiles, will receive “the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette.”

The conferral recognizes his outstanding contribution to promoting economic relations and mutual understanding between Japan and Bangladesh.

He contributed to developing Japan-Bangladesh economic relations by tirelessly working to improve the business environment for Japanese companies in Bangladesh and built wide networks with Bangladeshi companies.

Dr. Md.Ekhlasur Rahman, the director of Yamagata-Dhaka Friendship General Hospital, will receive “the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Rays.

The conferral is in recognition of his great contribution to promoting friendly relationship in medical field between Japan and Bangladesh.

He completed his PhD at Graduate School of Medicine, University of Yamagata.

He worked for several hospitals in Japan, which motivated him to introduce the Japanese-style medical system to Bangladesh.

After returning to Bangladesh, he established his hospital and trained many young Bangladeshi physicians.

He has also devoted himself to providing medical care to many Japanese patients in the hospital, which is greatly appreciated by the Japanese community in this county.

Source: United News of Bangladesh