The Future of Asia 2012

Winners Of '12 Nikkei Asia Prize Recognized

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

TOKYO (Nikkei)--Nikkei Inc. on Wednesday presented awards to three prominent Asians in recognition of their contributions to improving the well-being of people in the region.

The 2012 Nikkei Asia Prize winners were Chinese environmental activist Yang Yong, Taiwanese biochemist Chi-Huey Wong, and Sybil Wettasinghe, a Sri Lankan writer and illustrator. They received their awards at a Tokyo hotel.

Yang Yong, 52, won the award in the regional growth category. He has conducted his own research on ecosystems and water quality along China's Yangtze River for more than 20 years and is a longtime advocate of environmental conservation. He said at the awards ceremony that all people in all countries have a responsibility and moral duty to work on environmental issues.

Dr. Chi-Huey Wong, 63, was awarded the prize in the science, technology and innovation category. Wong, a world-class researcher in glycochemistry, said the technology he has developed can help create new vaccines and drugs. He said he hoped the event will raise awareness of the importance of his research.

The award-winner in the culture category was 83-year-old Sybil Wettasinghe. Her children's books reflect Sri Lanka's cultural diversity and natural beauty, and they have been translated into a number of languages. She said that she sees all children in the world as her own and that she wanted to share her joy with everyone.

The Nikkei Asia Prize was established in 1996 to honor the contributions of people and organizations working to better the lives of people in Asia.

The ceremony kicked off Nikkei Asia Week, which features a range of Asia-related events. The 18th International Conference on The Future of Asia is scheduled for Thursday and Friday.

(The Nikkei, May 23 evening edition)

Titles of speakers, names of companies, etc., were correct as of the time when the forum was held.