Japanese former Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori has become an honorary professor of the Moscow State Institute of Foreign Relations, MGIMO. The ceremony, where Mori was awarded the distinctions of an honorary professor, a medal, diploma and a black-blue robe, was held at the institute on Wednesday.
"Yoshiro Mori's election an honorary professor is not a mere tribute to protocol and politeness, but also a recognition of the role of one of Japan's leading politicians in strengthening and developing relations between the two countries," MGIMO rector Anatoly Torkunov said at the ceremony.
Mori in his turn said that as Prime Minister he "put all his soul in developing Russian-Japanese relations, especially in work to reach a peace treaty." He recalled that he personally was connected with Russia in many ways. His father headed for 30 years a department of the Soviet-Japanese Friendship's society and in his will asked that part of his ashes be buried in the town of Shelekhov /the Irkutsk region, Siberia/, Mori told the audience. The ex-premier intends to follow his father's suit, of which he informed Russian President Vladimir Putin the day before, he said. "I told President Putin I am proud that I will be buried on the vast expanses of your country," Mori concluded.