Embassy of Japan
Press Release
October 3, 2017

Illinois Favorite Son and U.S. Diplomat John Malott
Receives High Honor from Japan

Order of the Rising Sun Awarded to Malott for 'Significant Contributions' to U.S.-Japan Relations


Ambassador of Japan to the United States Kenichiro Sasae today conferred the Order of the Rising Sun upon Ambassador John Malott, former Director of Japanese Affairs at the U.S. State Department. Honored for his tireless efforts on behalf of stronger U.S.-Japan relations, Ambassador Malott was presented the award during a reception at Ambassador Sasae’s residence in Washington, D.C. Born in Kankakee, Illinois, Ambassador Malott attended public school in nearby Manteno.


“Throughout his long and distinguished career, Ambassador Malott worked to strengthen diplomatic, security and cultural ties between the United States and Japan,” said Ambassador Sasae. “His upbringing in North-Central Illinois informed his success. Ambassador Malott consistently brought the Midwestern values of hard work and discipline to the task of representing U.S. interests in Japan.”


Ambassador Malott’s career included service as the American Consul in Kobe, Japan, Consul General in Osaka, Japan, as well as both Director and Deputy Director of the State Department's Office of Japanese Affairs. He was one of the first Foreign Service Officers to specialize in Japanese and Asian economic affairs. His work to promote understanding of Japanese culture and society in the United States continued after his retirement from the Foreign Service. From 2006 to 2012, he was President and CEO of the Japan-America Society of Washington DC, where he continues as President of the Society and as a member of its Board of Trustees.


Japan, the world’s second-largest developed country, is a strong economic partner for Illinois. Japanese businesses operating in Illinois directly employ more than 44,000 Illinois workers, and the Prairie State exports more than $4 billion in goods and services to Japan. Japanese companies pay, on average, $80,000 per person, per year to U.S. workers. Learn more about the partnership here.


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