Conferral Ceremony of Decoration on Mr. Pedro Silva Pereira, Vice-President of the European Parliament, followed by a reception

1. On February 5 2020, The conferral ceremony of the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon (for the first year of Reiwa, or Autumn 2019) on Mr. Pedro Silva Pereira, Vice-President of the European Parliament was held at the official residence of Ambassador Kodama. The ceremony was followed by a reception, hosted by Ambassador Kodama, in honour of Vice-President Silva Pereira. Both events were attended by his family as well as many of his friends and colleagues, including Ms. Elisa Ferreira, EU Commissioner from Portugal, that is, a compatriot of Vice-President Silva Pereira, as well as other members of the European Parliament who have worked with Vice-President Silva Pereira.

2. In his opening speech, Ambassador Kodama lauded Vice-President Silva Pereira’s outstanding achievements as the standing rapporteur for the Japan –EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), which led to the conclusion and the approval by the European Parliament of the agreement. Ambassador Kodama also praised Vice-President Silva Pereira’s integrity and warm-hearted personality, which earned him the trust and appreciation of those around, and without which the entry into force of the EPA would not have been possible. Ambassador Kodama also praised the contribution to the overall enhancement of partnership and exchanges between Japan and the EU made by Vice-President Silva Pereira, who is also a member of the Delegation for Relations with Japan of the European Parliament. After the Ambassador’s speech, the patent of decoration was read by Ambassador Kodama, which was followed by the conferral of the decoration on Vice-President Silva Pereira. All those present at the occasion, including Commissioner Ferreira who delivered some remarks to the attending guests, congratulated Vice-President Silva Pereira, and praised his outstanding work and integrity.

3. In his remarks at the end of the ceremony, Vice-President Silva Pereira stressed the importance of the Japan-EU EPA as extending beyond the domain of trade. He also mentioned the history of exchange between Japan and his native Portugal, which goes as far back as to the 16th century, and his appreciation for having had the opportunity to work, as a Portuguese citizen, to bring the Japan-EU partnership, with a significance of global scale, to a new level of strength.

4. During the reception that followed the ceremony, a “paring experience” of Japanese sake and European cheese was prepared for the guests, as a way to celebrate the 1st anniversary of the Japan-EU EPA. Our guests, including Vice-President Silva Pereira, fully enjoyed this “pairing experience”, which was also appreciated by our guests to the new-year/Japan-EU-EPA-first-anniversary reception, which was held at our mission on January 23rd.