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Taiwanese woman receives prestigious Japanese decoration

2012/05/11 17:41:11

Taipei, May 11 (CNA) A Taiwanese entrepreneur was decorated by the Japanese government Friday for her efforts to promote relations between Taiwan and Japan for more than two decades.

Tsai Hsueh-ni, the first Taiwanese woman to receive The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette, was cited for her efforts to push for exchanges between Taiwan and Japan’s Ryukyu Islands.

Sumio Tarui, Japan’s top envoy to Taiwan, said at the award ceremony that Tsai helped poor families in Ryukyu, where he was stationed before assuming the position of head of Japan’s representative office in Taipei last month.

The 70-year-old Tsai is president of the Sino-Ryukyuan Cultural and Economic Association and a national policy advisor to President Ma Ying-jeou.

She is a person full of vitality and goodwill,” Ma said at the ceremony.

Dubbing her as “the number one civil diplomat,” Ma said she deserves the honor because of her philanthropic acts in both Japanand Taiwan.

The president said that he has known Tsai since the late 1990s, when she was advocating educational exchanges between Taiwan and Japan.

Tsai also donated many ambulances and buses to help minorities in Taipei, he added.

The Order of the Rising Sun was established in 1875 to honor people who have made distinguished contributions to Japan in various fields, including international relations and the promotion of Japanese culture.

On May 8, Tsai also received a gold medal from the Japanese Red Cross Society, becoming the only non-Japanese person to be granted the award this year.

(By Nancy Liu)