On the occasion of creating International Manga Award

July 2, 2007
Minister for Foreign Affairs
Taro ASO

Foreign Minister Aso

An Award is born; an award hitherto nonexistent. The International Manga Award with its Manga-like trophy now have eternal life as icons that young and ambitious Manga creators throughout the world can aspire.

To the girls in Copenhagen, Denmark, who have grown up together with Tamagotchi, Pokemon, and Sailor Moon, to the Chinese boys who could not have lived a day without Saint Seiya, and to Zinedine Zidane, Francesco Totti, and all the boys who have penned likenesses of Captain Tsubasa, I want all of you to know that you must aim high if you want to become a Manga artist, as you now have a trophy within your reach.

It will go only to the best among the most creative Manga minds. Competition is rigorous. The reward is priceless.

Winners' names will be forever engraved in the towering academy of Manga.

Manga is about love. Manga is about friendship. Manga is about growing-up. Manga is about everything-it knows absolutely no boundaries. Manga, in a word, is the most universal unifier of the hearts and minds that are young or young at heart.

So my hearty congratulations go out to the first award-winners.

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