New Delhi: Congress President Sonia Gandhi today congratulated former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh upon being awarded Japan's high civilian order - The Grand Cordon of the Order of the Paulownia Flowers.
"A rare and well-deserved recognition of a Statesman by the Government of Japan, the award to Dr Singh makes us, as indeed the entire nation proud," she said. Sonia said that the award rightly recognises Singh's distinguished and significant contributions towards enhancement of relations and the promotion of friendship between Japan and India for 35 years.
Manmohan Singh and Sonia Gandhi
The former Prime Minister will be awarded 'The Grand Cordon of the Order of the Paulownia Flowers' for his "significant contribution to the enhancement of relations and promotion of friendship" between Japan and India for about 35 years. It is a "high level National Order" and a rare honour awarded to those who are recognised for their distinguished contribution, a statement from the Japanese Embassy had said, adding, "Manmohan Singh is the first Indian recipient of this Order.
" Singh had said he was truly honoured and felt "humbled by the love and affection showered upon me by the people and Government of Japan." He had said it had been his dream to see India-Japan relationship grow and prosper and "this is an objective towards which I have worked, not only in my tenure as the Prime Minister of India, but across the larger part of my career in public service".
Singh, who served as the Prime Minister for 10 years from 2004, had said he was heartened to witness the transformation in India-Japan relations into a durable partnership. He is among 57 foreign recipients named for the 2014 Autumn Imperial Decorations.