NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander is receiving a decoration conferred by Japanese Emperor Akihito in recognition of his dedication to Japan-U.S. relations.
Alexander will receive the "Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star" Wednesday evening from Motohiko Kato, the consul general of Japan in Nashville.
While Alexander was Tennessee governor and economic competition between the U.S. and Japan was tense in the early 1980s, he led numerous trade missions to Japan.
The recruitment resulted in Nissan building the first Japanese auto assembly plant in the U.S. at Smyrna. More than 170 Japanese companies now have Tennessee operations accounting for 35,000 jobs.
Alexander also wrote a 1986 book, "Friends, Japanese and Tennesseans: A Model of U.S.-Japan Cooperation."
Alexander said the award honors 30 years of friendship between Tennessee and Japan.
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