TOKYO (majirox news) — Japan’s victorious team in the Women’s World Cup soccer will be presented with the People’s Honor Award, the first time a team has been awarded the prestigious prize, government sources said Aug. 1.
The team will be presented with the award sometime in the middle of August and be the first recipients of the prize since 2009.
Although previously only handed out to individuals, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano recommended the team be considered for the award following its unexpected victory in the final against the United States. Japan had never beaten the U.S. in women’s soccer before the July 17 final in Frankfurt, Germany.
Prime Minister Naoto Kan lauded the team, saying its resilience had led to victory.
The People’s Honor Award is one of the most prestigious prizes given in Japan. Previous recipients have largely been sportspeople, entertainers and adventurers, with baseball star Sadaharu Oh the initial recipient in 1977.