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Asia

"Asian Nobel Prize" winners announced in Manila

The three-term mayor of Hiroshima, one of the two Japanese cities devastated by atom bombs 65 years ago, was one of the winners of this year's Ramon Magsaysay awards, the so-called "Asian Nobel Prize".

Hiroshima mayor Tadatoshi Akiba was three when the US dropped the atom bomb on Japan

Hiroshima mayor Tadatoshi Akiba was three when the US dropped the atom bomb on Japan

Tadatoshi Akiba was honored for his struggle to abolish nuclear weapons. He was three years old when the atomic bomb reduced the city of Hiroshima to ashes.

Since his city became history's first victim of nuclear destruction, Akiba has always wanted to warn the world of the danger of nuclear warfare.

Other winners of the annual awards announced on Monday in the capital of the Philippines Manila include Chinese photographer Huo Daishan, who has campaigned against the pollution of the Huai River, despite harassment from local officials and factory owners. Two Chinese government officials - Pan Yue and Fu Qiping - also won the prize for their contribution to a better environment.

Campaigning for better education and rights for the disabled

The Bangladeshi A.H.M. Noman Khan was honored for his work as the head of a non-governmental organization that works to help the 13 million disabled people of his country. Christopher and Maria Victoria Bernido, a Filipino couple of physicists who have fought for education for the poor and pioneered new teaching techniques, completed the list of this year's winners.

The president of the Ramon Magsaysay Awards Foundation Carmencita Abella said that "the Magsaysay awardees of 2010 are seven remarkable individuals engaged in reinventing the future for a better Asia."

The Ramon Magsaysay Awards are named after a popular Philippine president who died in a plane crash in 1957. The awards are given every year to Asians who have "transformed their societies for the better".

The winners will be honored on 31. August at a huge ceremony in Manila.

jb/AFP/dpa
Editor: Anne Thomas

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