Manga Nobels established
Anime News Network reports, "In a press conference following a meeting of Prime Minister Shinzō Abe’s cabinet on Tuesday morning, Japanese Foreign Minister Tarō Asō announced the creation of an ‘International Manga Award’ for manga artists and creators from outside Japan."
Asō, known for being an outspoken manga fan, said "I want to make the award like the Nobel Prize of manga, to enhance the voice of Japanese pop culture and subculture." Asō will lead the task force which will establish the award, funding for which will come from the Japan Foundation, Japan’s endowment to support international relations.
Candidates for the prize will come from general applications and recommendations by publishers in Japan and overseas. Slice of SciFi reports, "June 22 will be the day the Award Committee, comprised of manga artists and publishers, releases their list of final nominees for the award. Japan’s governmental body of ministers will pick the winner and three runner-ups on July 2, 2007."