Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad was on conferred one of Japan’s highest awards for his contributions in strengthening bilateral ties, Bernama reports. Japan’s Emperor Akihito presented the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Paulownia Flower to Mahathir at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo. In his third visit to Japan after taking office in May, Mahathir is set to seek more Japanese investments and a possible loan in another bilateral talk with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. In a news conference, Mahathir said Japan is ready to extend Malaysia support to help overcome its financial problems if the need arises. When tabling the 2019budget, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said Malaysia fiscal deficit is expected to reach 3.7 per cent this year due to previous government’s prior spending commitments.