For years, Paul Dibb AM has been at the top of his field.
An Emeritus Professor at the ANU Strategic and Defence Studies Centre, Paul has spent his career working in intelligence and defence. Aside from his scholarly work, Paul was the former Deputy Secretary for Strategy and Intelligence at the Department of Defence and former Director of the Joint Intelligence Organisation.
Earlier this month, Paul was awarded the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon by the Japanese Government in recognition of his exceptional contribution in promoting cooperative defence relations between Japan and Australia.
Another ANU academic, the late Professor Carol Hayes, has been awarded the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette for her contribution to promoting academic exchanges and mutual understanding between Japan and Australia.
Established in 1875, the Order of the Rising Sun is awarded to people who have given distinguished service to the state in various fields excluding military service.
"It is an exceptional honour," Paul said.
Paul's passion for Japanese diplomacy began in the early 1980s as a senior research fellow at the Department of International Relations at ANU.
His expertise then took him to London at the International Institute for Strategic Studies.
In 1983, at an annual conference of the Institute in Kyoto, Paul met Yukio Satoh, a Japanese diplomat.
Theirs was an instant friendship and Satoh became Ambassador to Australia from 1996 to 1999.
Two decades later, Paul and the new Ambassador, Singo Yamagami, have both played a major role in developing the bilateral relationship between Australia and Japan. And they are both close friends of Yukio Satoh.
In December 2020, Shingo Yamagami became the new Ambassador of Japan to Australia. On the recommendation of the now retired Ambassador Yukio Satoh, the first Australian that Ambassador Yamagami had lunch with in his Residence, was Paul.
In mid-October this year, Paul received a phone call from Ambassador Yamagami.
"I have good news for you, Paul. Congratulations."
Ambassador Yamagami later took to Twitter to post the following message to his friend and colleague.
"A sincere, hearty congratulations to my good friend @ANU_SDSC doyen Emeritus Prof Paul Dibb AM on being awarded the #OrderoftheRisingSun. A fitting recognition of decades promoting Japan-Australia relations - where we are today owes much to his foresight (and wit!)".
Story by Pamela Hutchinson