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Hideki Matsuyama received the Prime Minister’s Award Friday after becoming the first Japanese to win the prestigious Masters golf major in the United States.

Matsuyama, 29, was recognized for encouraging people in northeastern Japan, hit hard by the massive earthquake and tsunami in 2011 and the nuclear crisis that followed, and giving them courage in the 10th anniversary year of the calamity by claiming the title at Augusta National Golf Club, according to the government.

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