In appreciation of his contribution to promoting judo in Lebanon, the head of the Lebanese Judo Federation, Francois Saade, has been awarded Japan’s “Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Rays.”
The Japanese Ambassador to Lebanon, Takeshi Okubo, presented the national order to Saade at the former’s home in Baabda, Mount Lebanon, during a symbolic, COVID-19-safe ceremony, the National News Agency reported.
The ceremony included the display of a short film about Saade and his long career in judo, which spans many years that saw him reach the top of the sport’s ranks as a coach and an administrator in Lebanon and the region.
Ambassador Okubo expressed deep appreciation to Saade for his “long-term contribution not only to strengthening bilateral relations through judo but to encouraging the Lebanese people in these difficult times as well.”
The ambassador also noted Saade’s long history in practicing the martial art.
Upon receiving it, Saade, who is also the vice-president of the Lebanese Olympic Committee, expressed his gratitude for the decoration, stressing that it “embodies the depth of the bilateral relationship” between Japan and Lebanon.
The Order of the Rising Sun is a national decoration awarded by the Japanese government to individuals for distinguished achievements in international relations, promotion of Japanese culture, advancements in their field, development in welfare, or preservation of the environment.