Investiture Ceremony for the Right Honourable Brian Mulroney, PC, CC, GOQ
Former Prime Minister of Canada awarded one of Japan’s highest honours
On December 5, the Embassy of Japan was pleased to host an investiture ceremony in the official residence of Ambassador Kaoru Ishikawa in honour of the Right Honourable Brian Mulroney, recipient of the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun.
Mr. Mulroney was distressed to know that innocent Canadians of Japanese ancestry had suffered from being forced to leave their homes, had been put into internment camps, had their assets confiscated, their Canadian citizenship revoked, kicked out from school and university, etc., solely due to their Japanese ancestry.
Ever since Mr. Mulroney was a member of the Opposition Party, he was clearly determined to address this issue with a strong political will. After Mr. Mulroney became Prime Minister in 1984, he resolved that as leader of the Canadian Government he would tackle this issue in earnest.
As a result, a final agreement (the Redress Agreement) was reached to restore the honour of Canadians of Japanese ancestry and to provide them with compensation. On September 22, 1988, Mr. Mulroney delivered a speech in the House of Commons to restore the honour of the Canadians of Japanese ancestry. Echoing this speech, representatives of the then Opposition Parties, the Liberal Party and the NDP (led by then leader, the Honourable Edward Broadbent), lauded this Agreement as a historic decision.
The then Prime Minister Mulroney not only achieved the courageous and historic Redress Agreement, but also took the future- oriented leadership to strengthen Japan-Canada relations such as the Japan-Canada Science and Technology Cooperation Agreement, the Japan-Canada Working-Holiday Agreement, and the establishment of the Japan-Canada Forum 2000.
On November 3, 2011, in recognition of these great achievements by Mr. Mulroney, the Japanese Government announced they would be awarding him with the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun.
Mr. Mulroney was born in 1939 in Baie-Comeau, Quebec, and served as Prime Minister of Canada from 1984 to 1993. He is now a senior partner at the law firm Norton Rose.
At the investiture ceremony of the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun on December 5, congratulatory messages from the Right Honourable Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada; Mr. Yasuhiro Nakasone, former Prime Minister of Japan; and Mr. Koichiro Gemba, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan were introduced. The Ceremony was attended by distinguished guests including: the Honourable Beverley Oda, Minister of International Cooperation; the Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance; Co-Chairs of the Canada-Japan Inter-Parliamentary Group: the Honourable David Tkachuk, Senator; and Mr. Mike Wallace, M.P.; the Honourable Edward Broadbent, former leader of the NDP; Mr. Derek Burney, Former Chief of Staff of PMO and former Ambassador to the United States; and Canadians of Japanese ancestry in Ottawa.