Highest French distinction for former ITER Director-General
Established in 1802 by Napoléon Bonaparte, then the First Consul of the young French Republic, the French Legion of Honour (Légion d'honneur) is the highest of the French orders of merit. It is awarded to persons of "eminent merit," whether civilian or military. The Grand Master of the Order is the President of the French Republic.
Although destined primarily to French citizens, the Légion d'honneur can be awarded to foreign nationals for distinguished service to France or for having demonstrated an exceptional commitment to the values of the French Republic.
Prof. Osamu Motojima (centre), who headed the ITER Organization from 2010 to 2015, was made a Chevalier of the French Légion d'Honneur on 13 April. He is seen here with his wife Kaoru and French Ambassador to Japan Philippe Setton.
On 13 April 2021, at the French Embassy in Tokyo, the order was solemnly bestowed upon Prof. Osamu Motojima by French Ambassador Philippe Setton.
Prof. Osamu Motojima headed the ITER Organization from 2010 to 2015 and, in the Ambassador's words, "demonstrated exceptional human qualities and organizational competence" in managing "the gigantic task" of launching the construction of the ITER installation and the fabrication of components by participating members.
"This moment is the highest honour of my existence," said Prof. Motojima in his response to the Ambassador. "It is a token of the long and fruitful collaboration between France and Japan in the field of fusion research."
Newsline and the entire ITER community extend warm congratulations to the new Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur.
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