Derartu Tulu
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Japan Honers Derartu Tulu with Order of the Rising Sun Gold Rays

ADDIS ABABA – The legendary Ethiopian women athlete Derartu Tulu has been honored with the Japanese Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette.

On Friday, the government of Japan announced the recipient of the 2023 Spring Imperial Decoration awarded to individuals with outstanding achievements in international fields.

The decoration also aims to promote the understanding and support of the Japanese public for the activities of the recipients.

Derartu, the first black African woman to win an Olympic gold medal and current President of the Ethiopian Athletics Federation, is among this year’s foreign recipients.

The 2023 World Athletics Plaque of Merit recipient will get Japan’s Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette.

The honor is in recognition of Derartu’s outstanding contribution towards strengthening the bilateral relationship between Japan and Ethiopia in the field of sports diplomacy and exchange.

According to the embassy of Japan in Addis Ababa, Derartu’s first contribution to sports diplomacy began when the late Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo visited Ethiopia nine years ago. Abe kicked off the visit by meeting Ethiopian elite women runners and Derartu assisted in organizing the gathering.

in 2019, Derartu also met with Commissioner of the Japan Sports Agency Suzuki Daichi, and the then Minister in charge of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, Ms. Hashimoto Seiko, and shared her experience to contribute to the success of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics

In the same year, Derartu sent Abebe Mekonnen – known in Japan for his three consecutive wins in the Tokyo Marathon – to Kasama city of Japan as a coach for the city’s Athletics academy..

The Order of the Rising Sun, established in 1875, is the Japanese Government’s oldest honor.