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  Contribution to Society

Culture, Environment and Welfare - on the Lookout in Various Areas
Kyogen artist Mansaku Nomura is awarded the Asahi Prize medal at the presentation ceremony for fiscal 2006, held at the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo. Along with Nomura, five other representatives from the arts and science fields were named winners, including novelists Seiko Tanabe and Haruki Murakami and scientists Mitsuo Kawato, Takao Kondo and Osamu Shimomura.
The Asahi Shimbun places great emphasis on recognizing accomplishments as part of its contribution to society. The company offers the “Asahi Prize,” which was established in 1929 the “Asahi Welfare Prize,” the “Asahi Sports Prize” the “Asahi Innovative Education Prize,” the “Asahi Environment for Tomorrow Prize,” the “Asahi Corporate Citizen Award,” which focus on the challenging issues that Japan faces today, the “Osaragi Jiro Prize,” the “Osaragi Jiro Prize for Commentary,” the “Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize” and the “Asahi Performing Arts Award,” which honor great achievements in the arts and culture.

The “Asahi Prize” is awarded to major achievers in such fields as academic studies and art who have greatly contributed to enhancing our culture and society. Many recipients of the Asahi Prize have later been honored with a Nobel Prize or the Order of Culture decoration. The Asahi Prize is thus regarded as one of the most prestigious prizes presented by a nongovernmental entity. Recently, the “Asahi Corporate Citizen Award,” which was inaugurated in 2004, has been drawing increasing attention as an award that recognizes innovative activities undertaken by corporations, in such fields as education, the environment and international cooperation.

The Asahi Shimbun has also been sponsoring the “Meijin-sen” title match series for go (or igo) for many years. The company also hosted the meijin-sen title matches for shogi for the first time in 31 years. The Asahi Shimbun is also lending a hand to spreading and promoting the traditional games of go and shogi for amateurs and professionals.

The company also organizes or co-sponsors a series of cultural events, which include the “Asahi Junior Summer School,” where leading experts from various fields talk with students in elementary and junior high school, the “IBBY Asahi Reading Promotion Award,” which recognizes international activities to promote reading programs for children and young people, the “Ornithological Award in Memory of Dr. Yamashina Yoshimaro” and speech contests in foreign languages.

The company also promotes amateur music, in tandem with The Japan Choral Association and the All Japan Band Association. The company has organized for many years seminars and contests, including the “National Choral Competition,” the “All Japan Band Contest,” and the “Mothers’ Choral Festival.” Through these activities, The Asahi Shimbun has been spreading music activities among schools, corporations and citizens throughout the country.

The Asahi Shimbun Social Welfare Organization is dedicated to creating “a rich welfare society we build together” and conducts various practical welfare projects for the elderly, the disabled and children. The organization is active in a wide range of fields through providing seminars, symposiums, speech contests in sign language, charity art exhibitions, and fund raising programs for disaster relief.

The Asahi Environment for Tomorrow Prize also hosts a lecture. Singer-song-writer Rambow Minami, who is also an avid mountain trekker, gave a speech at the Asahi Hall on the theme of living in harmony with nature.
Many fans watched the commentary using a large screen “go” board for the 31st Meijin-sen title match.
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