want to make the award something like the Nobel Prize for manga (creators),” Aso told a news conference. “Not as much money will be given as for the Nobel Prize, but we’d like to invite (the winners) to Japan.”

Foreign Ministry officials said the purpose of the award is to promote Japanese-style comics in other parts of the world.

Manga are characterized by their long, dramatic stories with refined drawings, many of which are targeted at adults as well as kids.

A screening committee consisting of Japanese manga cartoonists and editors will select the prize winner, the officials said.

No prize money will be given, but winners will be invited to Tokyo for about 10 days, with expenses paid by the ministry. Meetings with Japanese manga artists and publishers will also be arranged for them, the officials said.

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