TOKYO American film director Martin Scorsese and Latvian musician Gidon Kremer were among five international artists honored at Japan's Praemium Imperiale awards on Tuesday, renowned prizes given annually by the Japan Art Association.
Japan's Prince Hitachi presented the awards at a ceremony in Tokyo, while Prime Minister Shinzo Abe appeared on screen to congratulate the 2016 laureates, who also included American photographer Cindy Sherman, French artist Annette Messager and Brazilian architect Paulo Mendes da Rocha.
The awards, founded in 1989, recognize individuals who have contributed to the development of international arts in the fields of sculpture, painting, music, theater/film and architecture.
Scorsese, director of films such as "Taxi Driver" and "Raging Bull", was honored for his contribution to cinema. His latest film, "Silence", about the history of Christianity in Japan, is due out at the end of the year.
Previous Praemium Imperiale winners include British sculptor Antony Gormley and late Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid.
(Reporting by Reuters Television; Writing by Adela Suliman; Editing by Marie-Louise Gumuchian and Hugh Lawson)