RIGA - The renowned Latvian composer Raimonds Pauls received a Japanese state award in a ceremony at the Japanese Embassy in Riga on Wednesday, the embassy informed LETA.
Japanese Ambassador to Latvia Yasuhiro Kawaguchi presented The Order of the Rising Sun and Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon to Pauls as Japan's recognition of his contribution to cultural exchange and promoting understanding between Latvia and Japan.
Pauls expressed gratitude to the Japanese Emperor, the Japanese government and people. He noted that Japan is a unique country from which the rest of the world can learn a lot and especially praised Japan for preserving its ancient culture.
During the ceremony, the Latvian maestro received congratulations from representatives of the Saeima, the president's office as well as the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Culture.