JICA President Shinichi Kitaoka received a National Order of Merit (Grand Cross) from the Government of Paraguay in recognition of JICA's contributions to development cooperation in the Republic of Paraguay spanning over 40 years. The medal was established in 1865. This historically significant medal is awarded for a person/organization who made a distinct contribution to the Republic of Paraguay based on his/her wisdom, excellent leadership and virtue, in the fields of politics, legislation, diplomacy, justice, administration, military affairs, science and culture.
H.E. Mr. Antonio Rivas Palacios, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Paraguay, noted that the Paraguayan people had come to appreciate the diligence and sincerity of Japanese people over more than 40 years history of cooperation. He also stressed that both countries should continue to walk the path of development as trusting partners. He honored JICA's achievement in building a foundation of trust between two countries and awarded the honor of the Grand Cross medal.
In response, Dr. Kitaoka said he deeply appreciated the honor of the medal. He stated that during his visit to Paraguay he was able to recognize JICA's prominence despite Japan's distance from Paraguay, even compared with other countries, and this gave him pride and pleasure. He wished to share his celebration of the medal with the agencies of the Government of Paraguay, which had helped in JICA's activities to the present, and with all Japanese immigrants and their descendants who had made unremitting efforts in Paraguay. He also mentioned the necessity of upgrading JICA's cooperation with Paraguay, and took this opportunity of conferment to renew JICA's commitment to further development of the relationship between two countries.
Source: Japan International Cooperation Agency