On November 3, 2023, the Government of Japan announced the foreign recipients of the 2023 Autumn Conferment of Decorations. Within the jurisdiction of the Consulate General of Japan in Atlanta, the following distinguished person will be honored:
· The Honorable Nathan Deal, 82nd Governor of Georgia
In recognition of his significant contributions in promoting regional exchanges and mutual understanding between Japan and the United States, he will receive the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star.
MOFA link: Conferment of Decorations on Foreign Nationals | Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan (mofa.go.jp)
For further information on Japanese Decorations, see https://www8.cao.go.jp/shokun/en/index-e.html.
The recipient’s meritorious service towards Japan is as follows:
1. Developed economic relations with Japan
Governor Deal implemented policies to actively attract foreign investment, and personally encouraged Japanese companies to invest in Georgia during his visits to Japan. As a result, the number of Japanese companies in the state significantly increased, and many Japanese companies made additional investments.
In September 2012, he visited Japan for nine days to attend the 35th Southeast U.S. / Japan Associations (SEUS – Japan) Conference held in Tokyo to serve as Georgia’s official Head of Delegation. The conference was attended by government officials, business executives, and community stakeholders from Japan and the southeastern states of the United States, to discuss the development of economic relations between the two countries. Governor Deal appealed for investment in Georgia at the conference as well as at the companies he visited. This was the first visit to Japan by a Georgia governor in five years.
He also led economic missions to Japan in August 2013 and September 2017, meeting with Japanese companies and government agencies, to foster trade and investment opportunities within the state.
Governor Deal celebrated the establishment of Japanese companies, and attended numerous ceremonies, including groundbreaking ceremonies for new facilities. In addition, by actively exchanging opinions with Japanese companies and incorporating their opinions into his own policies, he created a favorable investment environment, and contributed to forming positive relations with the Japanese community.
2. Promoted friendly relations with Japan
Governor Deal strengthened relations with Japan by attending Japan related events, including the Emperor’s birthday reception. In addition, in March 2011, in response to the Great East Japan Earthquake, he sent a letter of condolence to the Consul General in Atlanta, expressing his readiness to provide support. Furthermore, on March 22nd of the same year, he visited the Consulate General of Japan in Atlanta and signed the Book of Condolence and Encouragement for those affected by the earthquake, demonstrating his solidarity with the Japanese people.
On March 1, 2012, Governor and Mrs. Deal hosted Consul General and Mrs. Hanatani at the Governor’s Mansion for the official cherry tree planting ceremony as a symbol of a strong Japan-U.S. friendship. As a result, many visitors to the mansion are able to enjoy Japanese cherry blossoms for years to come.