2024 Spring Conferment of Decorations on Foreign Nationals

   On 29 April 2024, the Government of Japan announced the recipients of the 2024 Spring Conferment of Decorations on Foreign Nationals. This year, two Bruneians are decorated in recognition of their outstanding contributions to the strengthening of bilateral relations and promotion of friendship between Japan and Brunei Darussalam.

Yang Mulia Dato Seri Paduka Lim Jock Hoi, former Secretary-General of ASEAN

   The Government of Japan has conferred the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star on Yang Mulia Dato Seri Paduka Lim Jock Hoi. During his five-year tenure as the Secretary-General of ASEAN, Dato Seri Paduka Lim made significant contributions to fostering strong relations between Japan and ASEAN to achieve ASEAN’s objectives: regional economic growth, social development and peace. He adeptly managed Japan-ASEAN projects sponsored by the Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund, aligning them with the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific (AOIP), which shares fundamental principles with ‘Free and Open Indo-Pacific (FOIP). His efforts facilitated the implementation of cooperation initiatives, setting the stage for the 50th anniversary of ASEAN-Japan Friendly Cooperation. Furthermore, Dato Seri Paduka Lim played a pivotal role in advocating ASEAN-Japan cooperation in the economic sector through initiatives such as the ASEAN-Japan Action Plan for Economic Resilience, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Agreement and cooperation with the Federation of Japanese Chambers of Commerce and Industry in ASEAN (FJCCIA). Moreover, he contributed to strengthen Japan-ASEAN cooperation in the judicial field by upholding Japan’s participation in Senior Law Officials Meeting as the first country among ASEAN dialogue partners.

   In addition to his contributions to Japan-ASEAN relations, Dato Seri Paduka Lim worked tirelessly to strengthen economic ties between Japan and Brunei. During his 11 years of service as Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, he deeply understood Japan’s position and supported the Japan-Brunei cooperation through frameworks including the ASEAN Economic Community, APEC and ASEM, in an international forum. His advocacy led to the conclusion of the Brunei Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) in June 2007, which bolstered trade and investment between the two countries. As the Chief Negotiator for Brunei in the EPA negotiations, Dato Seri Paduka Lim played a key role in achieving the agreement through conducting three negotiation sessions. Moreover, he supported Japan's participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP), showcasing his commitment to fostering regional economic integration.

Yang Mulia Yap Bee Hoon, former staff of the Embassy of Japan in Brunei Darussalam

   The Government of Japan has conferred the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Sacred Treasure, Gold and Silver Rays on Yang Mulia Yap Bee Hoon. She started her role on January 16th, 1989, and dedicated 34 years of service as the secretary to the Ambassador of Japan to Brunei Darussalam, showcasing remarkable business acumen and unwavering commitment to her duties. She played a crucial role in fostering bilateral relations between Japan and Brunei by efficiently managing appointments and coordinating with Bruneian counterparts. Notably, Yap Bee Hoon facilitated high-level delegations between the two countries, ensuring smooth communication and timely confirmations. Her friendly demeanour and attentive leadership earned her the trust and respect of colleagues and junior staff, making her an invaluable asset to the embassy. Moreover, her networking efforts extended beyond official duties, forging connections with influential figures in Brunei's Chinese and Malay communities. Yap Bee Hoon’s contributions to Japanese diplomacy were recognised with the "Long-service Award for Overseas Diplomatic Missions Local Officials (20-year award)" in 2010.