On May 22, 2015, at the residence of the Ambassador of Japan Kazuko Shiraishi, Mr. Rimantas Vaitkus, former director of Visaginas Nuclear Power Plant, was conferred with the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon for his contribution to promotion of mutual understanding, and economic and technical exchanges between Japan and Lithuania.
Rimantas Vaitkus
© DELFI / Valdas Kopūstas

Mr. Vaitkus’ family, Minister of Defence Juozas Olekas, Minister of Energy Rokas Masiulis, Deputy Speaker of the Seimas Algirdas Sysas, members of the Seimas, members of Lithuania-Japan friendship association, members of Japan alumni association and representatives of “Hitachi Ltd.” attended the ceremony.

Japanese Ambassador to Lithuania Ms. Kazuko Shiraishi greeted Vaitkus by remembering his merits in promoting Lithuania-Japan relations. The ambassador was thankful for Vaitkus’ personal efforts spreading Japanese culture, supporting various initiatives related to Japan and his help in creating Chiune Sugihara Sakura Park. "Thanks to this park, Japanese cherry tree became popular as "sakura" in Lithuania," the ambassador said in her speech. She also hopes that the Lithuanian Friendship Association, which was founded 20 years ago, and Japan's alumni Association, which was founded in 2011 by Mr. Vaitkus, will help deepen bilateral relations as well as stimulate economic and technological ties between Japan and Lithuania in the future.

Mr. Rimantas Vaitkus said he was deeply moved by the award and remembered his study and life experience in Japan. Vaitkus mentioned March 11 – the date which is important both to Japan and Lithuania, and thanked people he met in Japan for their friendship and without whom this important ceremony would not have happened.

Mr. Vaitkus expressed his gratitude to the ambassador of Japan for her hard work in Lithuania and expressed his wish to contribute to Japan-Lithuania relationship in the future. “I am determined to dedicate much more of my knowledge and efforts for a better mutual understanding between Japan and Lithuania,” Mr. Vaitkus finished his speech.

Minister of Defence Juozas Olekas and Minister of Energy Rokas Masiulis also greeted Mr. Vaitkus and expressed their gratitude to his efforts in order to strengthen relationship between Japan and Lithuania.

Rimantas Vaitkus and Ambassador of Japan Kazuko Shiraishi
Rimantas Vaitkus and Ambassador of Japan Kazuko Shiraishi
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