Japan to create award to honor Miura's quest to scale Mt. Everest

Japan will set up a new award called the "Miura Award" to give credit to adventurers who have accomplished their dreams and goals regardless of age, after Japanese climber Yuichiro Miura became the world's oldest man to scale Mt. Everest at the age of 80, the top government spokesman said Thursday.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Tokyo has decided to create the award in honor of Miura and to "pass his spirit of taking on difficult challenges" to future generations.

"We'd like to give the award to adventurers who challenge themselves to the limit of human potential and give people dreams, hope and inspiration," Suga told a press conference. Suga said Miura is likely to serve as head judge responsible for picking the nominees.

It will be the first time the government has created an award since the launch in 2006 of the Hideyo Noguchi Africa award, aimed at encouraging the advancement of medical research and services in Africa. Biologist Noguchi made his name in bacteriology and died of yellow fever in Ghana in 1928 while doing research on the disease.

"It's a great honor and I would like to accept (the idea)," Miura told reporters after meeting Prime Minister Shinzo Abe the same day at the premier's office. "I hope the award will be given to people who have taken on challenges and accomplished their dreams on a global scale."

Miura gave a Nepalese carpet to Abe and showed him some photos of the 8,848-meter summit, taken May 23 when he broke the previous record set by a 76-year-old Nepali climber.

Asked if he will receive the award himself, Miura said "I've reached the summit of Mt. Everest and that's enough for me."

Miura reached the summit in 2003 at the age of 70 and again in 2008 at 75. His latest feat came after he was seriously injured in a skiing accident when he was 76 and underwent repeated heart surgery for an irregular heartbeat.