December 28, 2005
Singapore Confers Prestigious Honorary Citizen Award on Dr Tsutomu Kanai and Dr Robert A Brown
Singapore will be honouring Dr Tsutomu Kanai, Chairman Emeritus, Hitachi Ltd and Dr Robert A Brown, President, Boston University, with the 2005 Honorary Citizen Award for their valuable contributions to Singapore in the electronics and education fields respectively.
2. The award is the highest form of recognition given by the Singapore Government to global talent for outstanding contributions towards the country’s growth and development. It is conferred on those who have made a significant impact in the areas of business, science and technology, information communications, education, health, arts and culture, sports, tourism, community services or security.
3. Mr Wong Kan Seng, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Home Affairs, who oversees population issues, commented, “The Honorary Citizen Award recognises global talent who have made outstanding contributions to Singapore. As a small country, we need to attract the best talent who can boost our economy and make a positive impact in various fields. Dr Kanai and Professor Brown are two outstanding individuals who have contributed immensely to Singapore in the fields of electronics and education respectively with their expertise, dynamism and passion for our country.”
4. Dr Kanai has been instrumental in spearheading the establishment of many Hitachi subsidiaries in Singapore, making the company one of Singapore’s largest investors. Over the years, he has helped Singapore build up a successful electronics cluster, which is today the largest contributor to Singapore’s manufacturing GDP. Reflecting on being named Honorary Citizen, Dr Kanai says, “Receiving Singapore’s Honorary Citizen Award is a great honour not only for me personally but also for the Hitachi Group. This is evidence of the Singaporean Government’s recognition of our numerous business and community activities. Since my appointment as President, we have focused on expanding our Singapore business. During the process, I have been privileged to sit on the Singapore Economic Development Board’s International Advisory Council and the Ministry of Education’s International Academic Advisory Panel, where I developed an enormous respect for the country’s perceptive and bold action.”
5. Dr Brown played a pivotal role in establishing the Singapore-MIT alliance, a collaboration between the National University of Singapore (NUS), the Nanyang Technological University (NTU), and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), which has led to the establishment of world class graduate research and educational programmes in Singapore. Dr Brown also chaired an International Panel commissioned by the Ministry of Education (MOE) that made significant recommendations on research and development in Singapore. ” Receiving the honorary citizenship is a tremendous honour for me. I never dreamed of such recognition. I have gotten tremendous personal satisfaction simply from working with leaders in Singapore for the betterment of higher education and research here. I have made numerous friendships that will last a life time and I have seen huge positive developments over a very short period of time.” Dr Brown added.
6. President S. R. Nathan will confer the Honorary Citizen Award on Dr Tsutomu Kanai and Dr Robert A Brown at a ceremony to be held at the Istana on 17 Jan 2006.
7. The Honorary Citizen Award is the highest form of national recognition for a non- Singaporean. It ranks ahead of two existing National Day awards – the Public Service Star (Distinguished Friends of Singapore) award and the Public Service Medal (Friends of Singapore) award. This is the third year Singapore is conferring the Honorary Citizen Award.
8. The fact sheet on the Honorary Citizen Award and biographies of the recipients are attached in Annex A.