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Wednesday, 18th February 2009
In Japan Entertainment News,

Haruki Murakami awarded the Jerusalem Prize

Japanese author Haruki Murakami has become the first non-European-language writer to be presented with the prestigious Jerusalem Prize.

At the award ceremony, the 60-year-old author said individuals have a duty to hold governments and powerful organisations to account.

It is believed his criticism may have been directed at Israel for their recent military invasion of the Gaza Strip which resulted in over a thousand civilian deaths.

"We are all fragile eggs faced with a solid wall called the system," he commented, adding: "Each of us possesses a tangible living soul. The system has no such thing. We must not allow the system to exploit us."

The recipient of the Jerusalem Prize is selected by a panel of judges and is given to writers who have done the most to promote the concept of individual freedom, reports Japan Today.

Mr Murakami's first novel was Hear the Wind Sing, which he wrote in 1974.