Eli (Eliyahu) Cohen served as a member of the Knesset for Likud between 2002 and 2003. He was Israel's ambassador to Japan from 2004 until 2007. His relation to Japan established on becoming a master and a senior instructor in Shotokan Karate-Do, and has 5th degree black belt. In 1981 he won a medal in the Maccabiah Games and after that became the coach of Israel national karate team in the Maccabiah Games. He has coached martial arts at the Wingate Institute and was president of the Israel Shotokan Karate-Do organization in Israel. In the past he also practiced Judo and reached high ranks in Kendo (1-dan) and in Iaidō (4-dan).
Eli published several books in Japanese in which he wrote about the Israeli and the Japanese cultures and about the Bushido lifestyle in contemporary Japan.
The Order of the Rising Sun is a Japanese order, established in 1875 by Emperor Meiji of Japan. The Order was the first national decoration awarded by the Japanese government, created on 10 April 1875 by decree of the Council of State. The badge features rays of sunlight from the rising sun. The design of the Rising Sun symbolizes energy as powerful as the rising sun in parallel with the "rising sun" concept of Japan ("Land of the Rising Sun").
The order is awarded to those who have made distinguished achievements in the following fields: international relations, promotion of Japanese culture, advancements in their field, development in welfare or preservation of the environment. Prior to the end of World War II, it was also awarded for exemplary military service.
The modern version of this honor has been conferred on non-Japanese recipients beginning in 1981 (although several foreigners were given the honor before World War II); and women were awarded the Order starting in 2003 (previously, women were awarded the Order of the Precious Crown). The awarding of the Order is administered by the Decoration Bureau of Office of the Prime Minister. It is awarded in the name of the Emperor and can be awarded posthumously.