Howard Baker, former U.S. Senator and ambassador to Japan, has been honored by Japanese Emperor Akihito for his service to that country.
Baker has been bestowed with the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Paulownia Flowers, Japan's highest honor for civilians. Ryozo Kato, Japan's ambassador to the United States, will present him with the decoration May 22 in Washington, D.C.
"My diplomatic service in Japan and continued friendship with many there has been one of the highlights of my career," Baker said in a statement.
Baker, ambassador to Japan from 2001 to 2005, was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 1966 and served there until 1985. He subsequently served as President Reagan's chief of staff for 17 months and is now senior counsel at Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz.
Baker joins financier Ed Nelson in being honored by the Japanese government. Nelson's trade relations work was recognized with the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon.
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