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Award Ceremony to Present the Prime Minister's Commendations for the Award of Japan for Crafting
Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi held the first award ceremony to present the Prime Minister's Commendations for the Award of Japan for Crafting at the Prime Minister's Official Residence.
The Award of Japan for Crafting was created to enhance the motivation of the people who engage in "crafting" which has supported Japan's industry and culture, and to make their presence widely known to the society. The award was also created with the aim of contributing to the passing on and further development of the skills of crafting. A good balance is kept in the mix of awardees: mid-career personnel who form the core of crafting, well-experienced personnel who support crafting with their skills in traditional crafts and young personnel who will take on the future. Given that Japan's strength is in its teamwork, groups are awarded in addition to individuals. The award is scheduled to be conferred biennially.
Applications for the award were collected starting this January and the awardees were determined after the first screening by the selection subcommittees established in nine areas of Japan and the second screening at an experts committee meeting. This year, Prime Minister Koizumi conferred 59 awards to 25 projects.
In his congratulatory words, Prime Minister Koizumi said, "The Japanese are highly skilled in crafting. Japan takes pride in its culture, tradition and skills. All of you here relentlessly pursue and devote yourselves to crafting, always endeavoring to be creative and ingenious. I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate you all and express my respect for your efforts. I ask that you will pass on your skills and passion for crafting to the people who will follow in your steps. I also ask for you to spread the importance of crafting not only in Japan but to the world as well."