Professor Ernst-Ludwig Winnacker, the former President of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation), has received the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon in Tokyo, in honour of his many years of service to scientific cooperation between Japan and Germany and to the internationalisation of science and research. Professor Winnacker received the Order, together with other Japanese and foreign citizens, from Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso. Following the dignified and stately award ceremony at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo, Winnacker, together with the other new recipients of the Order, attended an audience with Emperor Akihito.
The DFG congratulated its former president on receiving the Order. "This is a well-deserved accolade for one of the most highly respected representatives of German science and research funding worldwide," said the current President of the DFG, Professor Matthias Kleiner. "Expanding and maintaining bilateral contacts in science and research depend critically on the dedication of individuals. Ernst-Ludwig Winnacker did a great deal during his time as president of the DFG to promote the intensification of international scientific cooperation, including with Japan." Maintaining and expanding Japanese-German contacts in the field of science and the humanities remains an important matter for the DFG and its research funding, the President of the DFG continued, as was very clearly demonstrated by the opening of the DFG office in Tokyo in mid-April this year.
The Order of the Rising Sun is the second most prestigious Japanese award and the highest national award that can be bestowed upon non-Japanese recipients. The Order, which was established in 1875 and is conferred in different classes, takes the form of rays of sunlight from the rising sun, symbolising the Japanese flag "hi no maru". The rising sun is attributed great power in Japan, meaning that the Order, and the merit that acco
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