Dr Mahathir Mohamad arrived in Tokyo on Monday for a packed three-day working visit to Japan, his third trip to the country after taking office as Malaysia's seventh prime minister in May.
The highlight for his three-day visit is the ceremony of Imperial Conferment of Decoration Investiture ”The Grand Cordon of the Order of the Paulownia Flowers” by the Emperor of Japan on Tuesday at Imperial Palace.
The aircraft carrying the prime minister touched down at Haneda International Airport at about 4pm local time. Mahathir is being accompanied by his wife Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali.
On hand to welcome him and the delegation at the airport were Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah, Japan’s Foreign Affairs State Minister Toshiko Abe, Japanese ambassador to Malaysia Makio Miyagawa as well as Malaysian ambassador to Japan Ahmad Izlan Idris.
The conferment of Japan’s highest award by Akihito follows the huge contributions by the prime minister in strengthening bilateral ties.
Another highlight of Mahathir's visit is his meeting with his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe at the Prime Minister’s Office, which will be held after the conferment.
On the second day, Mahathir is scheduled to attend the 36th Japan-Malaysia Economic Association (Jameca)-Malaysia-Japan Economic Association (Majeca) Joint Conference and Malaysian Business Forum in Tokyo.
The prime minister will deliver his keynote address on the current situation in Malaysia and the expected investment from Japan to about 600 corporate figures and captain of industries.
Before that, just a few hours after his arrival, he will be conferred an honorary doctorate by Tsukuba University at the university’s Tokyo campus, which is the highest recognition by the university for his contributions to advance international exchange in the field of research and education.
On the third day, Mahathir will deliver a keynote address at Toyo University and interact with students of the university.
Mahathir will leave for Putrajaya Wednesday afternoon.