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The Order of the Rising Sun is awarded by the Emperor of Japan to individuals, in recognition of his/her long and especially meritorious service.

The order of the Rising Sun is generally the second highest conferred order following the Order of the Chrysanthemum, mostly given to politicians.

The Japanese government recognized the lifetime contributions of Abul Kalam Azad, former principal secretary to the prime minister of Bangladesh, in Japan-Bangladesh friendship.

When he served as the Power Secretary of Bangladesh, he facilitated Japan International Cooperation Agency’s (JICA) support to Bangladesh for developing Power Sector Master Plan, 2010.

He co-chaired Japan-Bangladesh Public Private Economic Dialogue (PPED) along with Secretary METI of Japan from 2014 to 2019.

PPED public sector and private sector leaders from both Bangladesh and Japan joined several meetings held in Tokyo and Dhaka during this time.

Owing to his leadership, PPED led to enhanced public and private investment, and Japan acknowledged Bangladesh as the appropriate place for investment.

Azad’s leadership was fundamental for the Moheshkhali Matarbari Integrated Development Initiative (MIDI).

Once MIDI was formed in 2018, his role as the Chairman of MIDI was key in further investments of Japan in Power, Energy, Deep-Sea port and Economic Zone.

He closely led the execution of Araihajar Japanese Economic Zone of Narayanganj.

Japan and Bangladesh Scouts worked closely for about two decades from 2001 to 2018.

During the term, he was a volunteer National Commissioner, Chief National Commissioner and President of Bangladesh Scouts.

Azad also played an important role in extending support and trust-building with Japan after the July 2016 Holey Artisan attack - contributing to smooth continuity of Japan-Bangladesh bilateral relations.

Azad also contributed to the historic development trajectory of Bangladesh in his roles as Bangladesh’s Power Secretary and subsequently as Secretary of the Economic Relations Division (ERD), Ministry of Finance, Secretary of the Prime Minister’s Office, Principal Secretary and later, Principal SDG Coordinator.

Currently, as the Commissioner to the Global Commission on BiodiverCities of the World Economic Forum and Special Envoy of the Climate Vulnerable Forum Presidency of Bangladesh appointed by Prime Minister of Bangladesh, he is advocating for climate change and environmental awareness.

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