His Majesty Emperor Akihito has bestowed FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter with "The Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun," the highest distinction in the country, for his contribution to the development of sport, as well as his efforts in technically improving and developing football in Japan.

"I would like to express my gratitude to the Emperor. This Order greatly honours me and particularly because one of the main objectives of FIFA is to ‘Develop the Game'. FIFA will always undertake every effort to continuously improve the game of football around the world."

The FIFA President presided over the FIFA World Cup 2002 in Korea and Japan, as well as the FIFA Club World Cup which was hosted by Japan four times (2005, 2006, 2007, 2008).