President Toomas Hendrik Ilves will award 99 state decorations for special services to Estonia in 2015. Among the honored are General Philip Breedlove and Japanese politician Takuya Hirai.
On February 23, a day before Estonia celebrates its 98th anniversary, President Ilves will hand out honors to civil society activists, IT pioneers, entrepreneurs and many others from Estonia and abroad.
Commander of US European Command General Breedlove will be bestowed with the Order of the Cross of the Eagle first class.
Nine people will be given the Order of the Cross of Terra Mariana for the special services rendered to the Estonian state by foreign citizens. Among the recipients are Japanese politician Takuya Hirai for developing the Estonian-Japanese bilateral relations; Swedish entrepreneur Björn Anders Bengtsson for his charity work in Estonia; Jerome Bookin-Weiner, the former Dean of International Education at Bentley University for his support to Estonian students and education; Jenik Radon, the founder and director of the Eesti and Eurasian Public Service Fellowship; Stanford University librarian Michael Keller for cultivating relations with the Museum of Occupations in Tallinn and supporting the work of the Kistler-Ritso Foundation, which manages the work of the museum; and Sylvia Astrid Kistler Thompson, president of Kistler-Risto foundation.
Journalist and musician Peeter Kopvillem and head of the Krasnoyarsk Estonian Society Vera Oinets will be awarded an Order of the White Star fifth class for preserving and introducing Estonian culture in Canada and Russia respectively.