Tokyo announced the 105 foreign recipients of the award on Saturday.
Mahmud will receive the “the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star.”
This is in recognition of his “great contribution to rescuing the hostages from the Japan Airlines flight hijacked by the Japanese Red Army in 1977, and thereby promoting friendly relations and mutual understanding between Japan and Bangladesh,” the Japan embassy in Dhaka said.
Mahmud played “an important role as a mediator between the government of Japan and hijackers and negotiated with hijackers placing the highest priority on saving the lives of the hostages safely” as the Chief of Air Staff.
“His dedicated efforts made it possible for all 151 hostages to be rescued eventually.”
Mahmud was Chief of Air Staff from 1976-77, President’s Adviser from 1976-77, and Minister for Food, Relief and Rehabilitation from 1982 to 1985.
He is now 83 years old.