Erna Hennicot-Schoepges is presented with the Order of the Rising Sun Gold and Silver by Japan's ambassador to Luxembourg, Shigeji Suzuki
Luxembourg’s former culture minister has been awarded the Order of the Rising Sun Gold and Silver by the Japanese ambassador to Luxembourg.
Erna Hennicot-Schoepges received the award from ambassador Shigeji Suzuki at a reception hosted at his residence on Thursday to mark the birthday of the emperor of Japan.
Suzuki said the award recognised Hennicot-Schoepges’s “great contribution toward the relationship between Japan and Luxembourg”.
He said: “As former minister of culture she enthusiastically supported an association which promotes Japanese culture when the embassy of Japan was opened in Luxembourg.”
He further added that the politician had promoted exchange programmes between the Lycée Classique de Diekirch and a Japanese high school as well as the University of Luxembourg and numerous Japanese universities. Hennicot also served as vice president of “Promotion Culturelle Japan Luxembourg ‘95” initiative, promoting Japanese culture.
Hennicot-Schoepges said she accepted the honour on behalf of all cultural actors with whom she had worked. Referring to the recent economic delegation to Japan, she said: “Culture has a place in the world of business. It transcends all human activity into giving oneself in harmony with nature.”
Hennicot-Schoepges first became a member of parliament in 1979 and later became the first woman president of Luxembourg’s parliament, culture minister and then minister for higher education and research. She contributed to the creation of the University of Luxembourg and the Luxembourg Philharmonie, among others. She served as an MEP until 2009.