CAIRO: Japanese Ambassador to Egypt Noki Masaki this week awarded Abdel Fattah Ragab, the honorary consul of the State of Japan in Alexandria, the Order of the Rising Sun.
Ragab received the award for his role in developing bilateral relations and his contributions to consolidating trade and encouraging investment between the two countries since 2004.
The event was held at the Hilton King’s Ranch Hotel in the city of Alexandria.
The Japanese ambassador expressed his gratitude for the efforts of the honorary consul in the governorate of Alexandria.
Representatives from the Japanese Embassy in Cairo and the Honorary Consulate attended the event, and the consul and his entourage were given memorial shields bearing pharaonic drawings.
Ragab said that he was told about the award several months ago but was unable to meet and receive the medal due to the coronavirus.
He was hailed at the event as one of the consuls distinguished for his efforts throughout his years of work. His role contributed to the strengthening of bilateral relations and economic relations, the event was told.
Ragab thanked Japan for the honor and said that it would not have happened without the efforts of a number of leaders on both the Egyptian and Japanese sides.
He said that these leaders played an important role in helping him to carry out his work and highlighted their role in strengthening relations at the social, commercial and economic level.
“At the time of my appointment as an honorary consul in 2004, there was a strong motive, which is that dealing with the Japanese is a catalyst for success,” Ragab said.
“. . . Despite the changing global conditions in recent years, I was keen to be a representative of the Japanese in Alexandria, to convey a true picture of them to the Alexandrians, who do not know much about Japan, its people and culture,” Ragab said.
He said that he felt proud to represent his country as the ambassador had informed him that the emperor of Japan granted the award to those who had made important contributions in various fields.
Ragab was recognized for his contribution to cooperation between Cairo and Tokyo. He worked on explaining the Egyptian economic situation and government laws and introducing the steps required to enter the Egyptian market, as well as overcoming any investment obstacles.
He also played a role in establishing the Egyptian-Japanese University, attending all the founding meetings and coordinating with the higher education minister until the project came to fruition.
Cooperation between Ragab and Tokyo at the government level began in 2002 when Japan announced that it needed an honorary consul in Alexandria to represent it in Egypt.
Ragab, a businessman who owns a number of companies, was chosen to take over the task after two years of research and consultation.
Japan has also awarded the Order of the Rising Sun to other prominent Egyptians. They include Ambassador Fayza Abul-Naga, adviser to the president for national security, Nabil Fahmy, former Egyptian foreign minister, Hisham El-Zamiti, former Egyptian ambassador to Japan, and Egyptian athlete Mohammed Rashwan.
Egypt will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the history of modern relations between the two countries next year.
Relations were established in 1922 when Japan recognized the independence of Egypt and have continued on friendly terms, as seen in the many visits by senior diplomats from both countries since 1922.
Egyptian-Japanese relations extend beyond official borders and traditional aspects of cooperation to include jcultural, scientific and economic ties.