On 3 November 2018, the Government of Japan announced that Mr. Vytautas Grubliauskas was conferred with The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette for his contribution as the Mayor of Klaipėda City to building friendly relationship between Japan and Lithuania, especially in the fields of cultural and defence exchanges, a press release from the Japanese embassy states.
Vytautas Grubliauskas

The Details of the Conferment are as follows:

1. The Name and Title of the Recipient

Vytautas Grubliauskas

The Mayor of Klaipėda City

  1. Meritorious Service for Japan:

(1) Achievements in promoting exchange between Japan and Lithuania.

After becoming the Mayor in April 2011, Mr. Vytautas Grubliauskas immediately started working on providing assistance such as donation to the sister city of Kuji in Iwate prefecture which was affected by the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake the same year. During his official visit to Japan in 2014, together with the Embassy of Lithuania in Japan Mr. V.Grubliauskas opened a photo exhibition about the 20th anniversary of diplomatic relation between Japan and Lithuania and the reconstruction works after the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake. During the visit he met with Lithuanian community living in Japan, had meetings with the representatives of Kuji city, as well as visited the places affected by the great earthquake and tsunami and expressed support for the victims, thus strengthening the ties between Klaipėda and Kuji cities. In addition to fostering the relationship between Klaipėda and Kuji, Mr. V.Grubliauskas is keeping good relationship between Japan and Lithuania by welcoming the members of Internatioanl Youth Development exchange program of Japan Cabinet Office in 2016, inviting Japanese jazz and other music performers to the events in Klaipėda, planting sakura trees and creating sakura park, etc.

(2) Contribution to defense exchange between Japan and Lithuania

During the visit of Japan's maritime self defence force training squadron in August 2016, in collaboration with the President's Office of the Republic of Lithuania, Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. V.Grubliauskas as the Mayor of Klaipėda played one of the key roles in succesfully welcoming Japanese training squadron for the first time in the history of Lithuania. The welcoming ceremony was organized together with Lithuanian Naval Forces at the Harbour of Klaipėda, Mr. V.Grubliauskas contributed in providing the venue for the welcoming ceremony, as well as supporting the dissemination of the information to the media, therefore, many Lithuanian people came to greet the squadron. During the welcome reception, which was attended by the Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr Linas Linkevičius, the Minister of Defence Mr Juozas Olekas, the President Dalia Grybauskaitė greeted the guests through a video message, Mr. V.Grubliauskas as the former professional troumpet player organized a joint performance with the squadron band, thus strenthtening the friendship between Japan and Lithuania. This way Mr. V.Grubliauskas contributed to a successfull visit of Japan's self defence force training squadron, which had a big impact not only on the defense and security fields, but also on bilateral renationship between the two countries.

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