Vasily Shestakov, the President of the International Sambo Federation (FIAS), has been awarded one of the highest honours in Japan.
The Russian was bestowed with the Order of the Rising Sun at a ceremony at the residence of Japanese ambassador Toyohisa Kozuki in Moscow.
He was recognised for his contribution to promoting sambo in Japan, as well as the development of a "mutual understanding" between Japan and Russia.
The Order of the Rising Sun is surpassed in importance only by the Order of the Chrysanthemum in Japan.
"I thank the Emperor of Japan, the Ministry of the International Affairs, and the Ambassador of Japan Mr Kozuki personally for such a high award," Shestakov said.
"In the future, we will continue the development of Russian-Japanese relations - we are neighbours, we have to be friends.
"I will make every effort for this."
The Sambo Cup of Russian President Vladmir Putin will be held for the fifth time in Japan this year.
Shestakov also spoke of two tragedies which have struck both nations - the Beslan School hostage crisis in Russia in 2004 where 333 people were killed, and the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan in 2011.
This followed an earthquake and tsunami which left thousands dead.
"Our countries help each other in the most difficult moments," Shestakov.
"When the Beslan tragedy happened, Japan extended a helping hand in a difficult moment, and we were able to take the children from Beslan to this country.
"I remember the happy faces of the children of Beslan, when they came back from there.
"These were children who were seriously injured.
"Still, those few days in Japan helped them recover, rehabilitate, after the trip they felt much better.
"When the tragedy of Fukushima happened, we also invited Japanese children.
"They came to Russia, we looked after them as well as we could, and created a warm atmosphere for them so that they feel at home and forget about their tragedy."