Malaysia's Mahathir visits Tokyo, meets Japan's Emperor and PM Abe

File photo of Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad. Photograph:( Reuters )

Reuters Tokyo, Japan Nov 06, 2018, 11.53 AM (IST)

Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad was one of ten people in Tokyo on Tuesday (November 6) to receive one of Japan's most prestigious awards from Emperor Akihito.

The 93-year-old, who is on his third trip to Japan since taking office in May, received the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Paulownia Flowers, traditionally conferred on politicians, former prime ministers, ministers, diplomats and judges at the Imperial palace and directly from the Emperor.

Other foreign statesmen to receive the prize included Singapore's founding father, the late Lee Kuan Yew, and India's former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

It was expected to be the last award ceremony conducted by Akihito before he abdicates on April 30, 2019.

After the ceremony, Mahathir sat down for talks with his Japanese counterpart, Shinzo Abe. The pair reportedly discussed the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement, as well as various investments and regional issues.

Mahathir later told media he felt honoured to receive the award, and added that he is looking to enhance his "Look East" policy, which aims to strengthen ties with east Asia, with the cooperation of Japan, particularly in the field of education.

Story highlights

The 93-year-old, who is on his third trip to Japan since taking office in May, received the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Paulownia Flowers.