A Tayside journalist has been recognised for his work in promoting the relationship between Scotland and Japan.
Courier business reporter Jim Millar will be presented with the award of the Taisho Star by Lord Bruce in a ceremony at Broomhall in Fife.
The announcement was made after Fusion Whisky, the drinks firm co-founded by Mr Millar, released its fifth edition of The Glover whisky, a blend of Scottish and Japanese drams aimed at promoting the relationship between the two countries.
Previous recipients of awards from the Aberdeen-based Order of the Scottish Samurai include the Japanese Ambassador to Ethiopia, Daisuke Matsunaga, the Lord Lyon Dr Joseph Morrow and broadcaster Joanna Lumley.
President of the Order of the Scottish Samurai, Ronnie Watt, said the award, one of the highest presented by the organisation, reflects more than three decades of promoting greater understanding between Scotland and Japan by Jim Millar.
He said: “Much of Mr Millar’s work has been behind the scenes but the fact he has been awarded two official certificates of commendation from the Japanese Government and been commissioned an honorary Colonel by the Governor of Kentucky speaks for itself.
“Mr Millar was instrumental in founding the first cross party group on Japan in the Scottish Parliament and played a key role in bringing the Japanese national cricket team to Scotland in 2013.
“He also wrote Aberdeen City Council’s Japan engagement strategy, covering trade and educational links, which was approved unanimously by elected members.
“The strategy was hailed as a blueprint for local authorities in the UK who sought closer economic and cultural ties with Japan.”
Mr Watt, who has himself been honoured by the Emperor of Japan, pointed to the success of The Glover whisky, named after Fraserburgh-born Thomas Blake Glover.
Glover arrived in Nagasaki in the 19th century and would play a pivotal role in the industrialisation of Japan, including founding the company which would become Mitsubishi.
Today, Glover’s Nagasaki home is a major tourist attraction.
Mr Watt said: “From Mr Millar’s initial idea to use whisky in promoting international relations, came a unique blend of Japanese and Scottish whisky which is now exported to around 15 countries.
“Since then, other country specific brands have been launched by the firm and premium whisky firm, Adelphi including Australia, India and the Netherlands, each one named after a Scot who had an impact on the host country.
“Jim’s work at local, national and international level has been exceptional and the awarding committee were unanimous that he is a worthy recipient of the Taisho Star.”
Mr Millar, a former martial arts and edged weapons instructor will also join the organisation’s wall of fame as a third dan karate black belt.
A graduate of Aberdeen and Stirling universities, Mr Millar is an army veteran and a finalist in the lifetime achievement category of the Veterans in Business awards held last year.