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It’s not clear how well the honour will play back home, where the man and his company are regarded as something of mavericks, but the Queen is pleased to bestow the title of Honorary Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire on Sony Corp chairman and co-founder Akio Morita, who, legend tells, came up with the idea of the personal stereo when he wanted something to listen too while meandering around the golf course, and had the devil’s own job persuading the less visionary at his company to put the thing into production: the award is in recognition of his distinguished contribution to UK industry and exports and to Anglo-Japanese relations.

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