Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe awarded former U.S. House Speaker and Squire Patton Boggs Senior Strategic Advisor John Boehner (R-OH) with the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun in recognition of Boehner’s significant contributions to the Japan-U.S. relationship, including his role in making a reality Prime Minister Abe’s historic address as the first Japanese Prime Minister to speak in front of a Joint Meeting of U.S. Congress.
Prime Minister Abe conferred the honor at a ceremony in at the Prime Minister’s Office on Tuesday, March 14, 2017.
In April 2015, Speaker Boehner invited Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to address a Joint Meeting of U.S. Congress. More than 110 Joint Meeting Addresses had been delivered by foreign dignitaries up until that point, but none by a dignitary from Japan, as the Embassy of Japan noted in its November announcement of its plans to confer the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun upon the former Speaker.
"With his invitation, Speaker Boehner allowed Prime Minister Abe to become the first Japanese Prime Minister in history to ever address a Joint Meeting of the U.S. Congress," the Japanese Embassy commented in its announcement. "As a man who deeply understands the importance of the Japan-U.S. Alliance, Speaker Boehner chose a fitting year—the 70th Year Anniversary of the End of World War II—to invite the Prime Minister."
The Embassy also praised Boehner's work on trade agreements during his nearly five years as Speaker, work that had "strategic significance for strengthening the Japan-U.S. alliance, a cornerstone in the Asia Pacific region."
Boehner’s statement last November after being chosen to receive the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun can be seen here. He joined Squire Patton Boggs in November 2016 as a strategic advisor to clients in the U.S. and abroad, focusing on global business development.