The Japanese government has announced on Thursday that it will award Takao Saito, the creator of the Golgo 13 assassin manga, with The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette (pictured at right). Saito had made his professional debut as a manga creator almost 55 years ago when he was only 19. Other honorees in this spring's Order of the Rising Sun induction include former Supreme Court Chief Justice Nirō Shimada and former Speaker of the House of Representatives Tamisuke Watanuki.
On Wednesday, the government announced the 677 individuals and 20 organizations who will receive this spring's Medals of Honour. Among the 24 recipients of the Medals of Honor with Purple Ribbon (pictured at left) were Sunset on Third Street (San-chōme no Yūhi - Yūyake no Uta) manga creator Ryohei Saigan, singer Harumi Miyako (Only Yesterday), director Kichitarō Negishi (Villon's Wife), and optical fiber communications pioneer Masataka Nakazawa.
In all, 876 people will receive The Order of the Rising Sun this spring, and 3,143 will receive The Orders of the Sacred Treasure. 357 of the recipients are female, and 1,641 of them are non-government civilians. Among the 62 foreigners from 35 countries and regions are former U.S. Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert and the five members of The Ventures rock band.
Last year, Studio Ghibli film composer Joe Hisaishi and Square Enix Holdings chairman Yasuhiro Fukushima won Medals of Honor, while director Nobuhiko Obayashi (1983's Toki o Kakeru Shōjo, Shōnen Keniya) and manga translator and scholar Frederik L. Schodt received The Order of the Rising Sun honors.
Sources: Mainichi Shimbun, 47 News
Update: Typo fixed. Thanks. nadir-seen-fire.