KYOTO: Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was conferred an honorary degree by Japan’s Doshisha University here today.
He was conferred the Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters for his devotion to education and the rule of law.
“(These two principles) are aligned with an ‘education of conscience’, which underpins the contributions for peace and development of Malaysia, Japan and East Asia,” said Doshisha University’ president Takashi Matsuoka.
Dr Mahathir received the award from Matsuoka at a special conferment ceremony at the university’s Amherst House.
Also present at the ceremony were the university’s chancellor and chairperson of the Board of Trustees, Eiji Hatta, and its academic staff.
Matsuoka said that since Dr Mahathir assumed the role of prime minister, he had undertaken steps to further strengthen the rule of law.
“Dr Mahathir’s commitment to further strengthening the rule of law serves as the basis of optimism for the resilience of democracy in the midst of a challenging era,” he added.
Dr Mahathir in his acceptance speech thanked Doshisha University and its academic staff for the honour.
“I am really honoured that the university has recognised my little work that I’ve done for my country.”
“I hope I will always try to live up to the honour that is given to me and try to be humane in my endeavours as I serve my country,” he added.
The honorary doctorate is awarded to those who have made remarkable achievements in the progress of academic research, art, and society, both at the national and international levels.
Dr Mahathir is the 68th recipient of the award.
Notable recipients in the past include the founder of Matsushita (now Panasonic), Konosuke Matsushita, and American economist Joseph Eugene Stiglitz, who is also the recipient of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences and the John Bates Clark Medal.
Established in 1875, Doshisha University is one of Japan’s oldest private institutions of higher learning, and has approximately 30,000 students enrolled on four different campuses in Kyoto. It is one of the Japanese Global 30 universities and one of the four leading private universities in the Kansai region.
Earlier, the prime minster spent 40 minutes at Towa Corporation, a semi-conductor company which has plans to invest RM100 million to expand its operations in Batu Kawan, Penang.
Dr Mahathir also spent 40 minutes at Shimadzu Corporation, a company established in 1875, that manufactures precision instruments, measuring instruments and medical equipment.
It has operations in Malaysia with an analytical and measuring instruments manufacturing plant in Sendayan Tech Valley in Malaysia since January 2015.