• Kyodo

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The Japan Art Association, an art charity under the patronage of Prince Hitachi, unveiled Thursday a donation of ¥100 million (about €750,000) to the Goethe-Institut, which teaches German to foreigners, in a bid to support language education for refugees arriving in Germany, the German Foreign Ministry said.

Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said that he is “delighted” that the Goethe-Institut, Germany’s flagship vehicle in promoting its cultural policy, is “recognized and supported” by the Japanese association. He added that cultural and educational work will be “an indispensable contribution to the integration of people accommodated” in the country.

Germany is receiving a flood of refugees mostly fleeing from conflicts in the Middle East.

The donation was offered on the occasion of the announcement of this year’s awards conferred by the Japan Art Association, called Praemium Imperiale, to five artists worldwide for their distinguished achievements, including German sculptor Wolfgang Laib, 65.

The other recipients include Sylvie Guillem, 50, in theater and film and Dominique Perrault, 62, in architecture, both from France, and Mitsuko Uchida, a 66-year-old Japan-born British pianist, and Japanese painter Tadanori Yokoo, 79.

The award ceremony is scheduled for Oct. 21 in Tokyo. Each honoree will be offered ¥15 million.

Prince Hitachi is the younger brother of Emperor Akihito.