On May 31, 2011 the Ambassador of Ukraine to Japan Mykola Kulinich, executing a mandate of the President of Ukraine, presented the state award – «the Order of Merit» (III degree) to Hirokawa Ryuichi, the founder of The Chernobyl Children Fund of Japan and prominent photojournalist.
The presentation ceremony was held at the premises of the Embassy of Ukraine with participation of the members of the Chernobyl Children Fund of Japan, «Days Japan» – a journal which was also founded by Hirokawa Ryuichi, leading Japanese mass media representatives and diplomats of the Embassy.
The Order was awarded for the prominent personal contribution to the liquidation of the Chernobyl disaster consequences, realization of international humanitarian programs and a long-term fruitful civil activity.
In his opening speech the Ambassador of Ukraine Mykola Kulinich highly appreciated many years’ activities of Hirokawa Ryuichi in the field of the relief aid for the victims of the Chernobyl catastrophe. He also expressed confidence that due to the tireless work of the prominent photojournalist the whole world will be more careful while dealing with the “peaceful atom”.
In the same time Hirokawa Ryuichi stated he will continue doing his best in order to help victims of the Chernobyl disaster and to further activate the bilateral relations between our countries. In addition, the journalist expressed his hope that the experience gained from helping the victims in Ukraine will help Japan now to cope with the disaster of March 11, 2011.