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Corporate Sponsor’s Address

Yoshifumi Otsuka, Managing Editor, Asahi Shimbun Osaka Head Office

 I would like to offer a few words of greeting, as a supporter of this award.

 First, let me congratulate Grand Prize winner Mr. Jehan Perera and Encouragement Prize winners Dr. Hideto Yoshioka and everyone at the Japan-Nepal Female Education Association.

 Also, let me express my deep appreciation for all the work done by the members of the screening committee.

 I have read all about the achievements of this year’s award winners, and every one of them has made a tremendous contribution towards building peace. The brilliance of their work fills me with courage.

 When the people of the City of Sakai kindly asked me if I would be interested in supporting this award, the decision to get involved required no time at all. When I asked about the idea behind the award, I was told, “The story of our city’s prosperity cannot be told without mentioning peace,” and this was a sentiment which I agreed with wholeheartedly. Now, there may be those who wonder whether such problems as peace and international diplomacy are jobs not for local government authorities, but for the whole country. After all, since these are such weighty matters, surely there are limits to how much a local body can do. Nothing could be further from the truth, however. Japan is becoming more and more decentralized. We are entering an age in which the course of Japan will depend not just on decisions at the national level, but increasingly on how active local government authorities can be. Through this award, I would like to make an appeal for peace not just to the City of Sakai, but to the whole world. It goes with out saying, but I believe that as this award continues to carve out its own history over the next 10, 20, 50, 100 years, its place and importance will become firmly established. We at Asahi Shimbun would like to offer our full support to this award, so that it can become known to ever more people around the world, and be a source of inspiration to people involved in all kinds of activities for peace. I would also like to ask everyone here today for your continued cooperation. Thank you.

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