National Honor Award presented to Nadeshiko Japan

 The Japan women's football team, who won the FIFA Women’s World Cup last month, received the National Honor Award from Prime Minister Naoto Kan in a ceremony at the Prime Minister’s Residence in Tokyo on Thursday.
 “The Nadeshiko Japan, as shown in their name, demonstrated the wonder of Japanese women to the rest of the world, and brought courage in the face of difficulties and fresh hope to the victims of the East Japan earthquake who are pulling their lives back together, as well as to the nation as a whole,” Kan said.
 The World Cup players – minus the Europe-based players and some injured players – and coach Norio Sasaki attended the ceremony and talked with the Japanese Prime Minister for around 20 minutes.
The players also received a set of high-quality cosmetic brushes that are produced in Kumano, Hiroshima Prefecture, and a hand-written letter from First Lady Nobuko Kan.
 Nadeshiko Japan coach Norio Sasaki said, “The award encouraged me to work harder to impress the people and bring courage to them again. Our next coming objective is the Olympic qualifiers, and we would like to win that.”
 Japan captain Homare Sawa commented, “I want to make more efforts every day and win a gold medal at the London Olympics.”
 Japan defender Yukari Kinga said, “It is our great pleasure to see women’s football become popular in the country. As the Olympic qualifiers are coming, we would like to produce another good result there.”
 The Nadeshiko Japan became the first group to be honored with the National Honor Award. Previously, 18 individuals who made a great achievement were presented with the award.