We use cookies on this website to give you a better user experience. By continuing to browse the site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn more

Announcement of the Winners of the 3rd ASIA COSMOPOLITAN AWARDS

28 November 2016

Share Article:

Print Article:

The 3rd Asia Cosmopolitan Awards
Grand Prize:HE U Thein Sein
Former President of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar
Economic and Social Science Prize:Professor Masahisa Fujita
Professor, Konan University
Project Professor, Institute of Economic Research, Kyoto University
Cultural Prize:HE Prof Herman Van Rompuy
Haiku Ambassador for Japan-EU Friendship
President Emeritus of the European Council

The Asia Cosmopolitan Awards Selection Committee is proud to announce the winners of the 2016 Asia Cosmopolitan Awards (ACA). The prestigious ACA prizes will be awarded at a ceremony in Nara Prefecture, Japan in January 2017.

The Grand Prize is awarded to HE Thein Sein, the former President of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar for his leadership during Myanmar transitional period. The Economic and Social Science Prize is awarded to Professor Masahisa Fujita, for his work in the field of Economic Geography. The Cultural Prize is awarded to HE Mr Herman Van Rompuy, the first fulltime President European Council and an accomplished Haiku poet, for his Haiku poetry, an Asian art that promotes harmony and mutual understanding.

This award aims to recognize on a biennial basis individual(s) or organization(s) that have made substantial and significant contributions to the development of a peaceful and stable East Asian Community, to narrow the developmental gaps in the region, as well as to establish the sustainable social growth towards cultural and economic integration within East Asia. The Selection Committee of the ACA is composed of distinguished representatives of several East Asian countries from various backgrounds. According to Hidetoshi Nishimura, the "awards strive to become the East Asian Nobel Prize."

The Nara Forum 2017 will be held on 15 January, 2017 to congratulate the laureates. This event will feature awarding ceremony, commemorative keynote speech and dialogues by the laureates. We cordially welcome your participation. Details will be announced later on Nara Prefecture website.

Laureates of the 3rd Asia Cosmopolitan Awards

Grand Prize


HE U Thein Sein


Former President, Republic of the Union of Myanmar
Chairman, The Union Solidarity and Development Party


Republic of the Union of Myanmar


Economic and Social Science

Field of Work:

Social, Military, Politics

HE U Thein Sein joined the Army in 1963 and graduated from the Defence Services Academy with a Bachelor of Arts in 1967. He served in the Army as Second Lieutenant to General from 1967 to 2010.

His Excellency also served as Secretary (2) of the State Peace and Development Council in 2003 and as Secretary (1) in 2004. In October 2008, he became Prime Minister of the Union of Myanmar and served to March 2011.

In 2010, His Excellency retired from the Army and became Chairman of the Union Solidarity and Development Party. At the General Election held on 7 November 2010, he represented as a candidate of Zabuthiri Township Constituency in Nay Pyi Taw and he was elected as a representative of the Pyithu Hluttaw (House of Representatives).

On 4 February 2011, he was elected as President of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar by Presidential Electoral College of the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (Union Assembly). After taking the oath, on 30th March 2011, he became President of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar.

On 30th March 2016, he made a smooth transfer of power to the new President of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar. Now, he is the Central Board of Patron of the Union Solidarity and Development Party, Party Leading Committee.

Economic and Social Science Prize


Prof Masahisa Fujita


Professor, Konan University
Project Professor, Institute of Economic Research, Kyoto University




Economics & Business

Field of Work:

Urban Economics, Regional Economics, Spatial Economics

Prof Fujita currently serves as Professor of Konan University and Project Professor at the Institute of Economic Research at Kyoto University. He has been a member of the Japan Academy since 2010. He previously served as Professor in the Department of Economics and Regional Science at the University of Pennsylvania; Professor at the Institute of Economic Research at Kyoto University; President of the Institute of Developing Economies - Japan External Trade Organization (2003-2007); and President of the Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (2007-2016). He also served as the President of the Japanese Economic Association (2009-2010). He holds a PhD in Regional Science from the University of Pennsylvania. His research and teaching interests are urban economics, regional economics, international trade, and spatial economics.

His major works include: Urban Economic Theory, Cambridge University Press, 1989; The Spatial Economy: Cities, Regions, and International Trade, MIT Press, 1999 (with P. Krugman and A.J. Venables); Economics of Agglomeration: Cities, Industrial Location, and Regional Growth, Cambridge University Press, 2002?(with J. Thisse), 2013 (2nd edition); Regional Integration in East Asia: From the Viewpoint of Spatial Economics (editor), Macmillan, 2007.; The Economics of East Asian Integration: A Comprehensive Introduction to Regional Issues (co-editor), Edward Elgar Publishing, 2011.

Cultural Prize


HE Mr Herman Van Rompuy


Haiku Ambassador for Japan-EU Friendship
President Emeritus of the European




Christian Democratic and Flemish Party

Field of Work:

Culture, Politics, Economy

Elected as the first full-time President of the European Council in November 2009, HE Herman Van Rompuy took office when the Lisbon Treaty came into force on 1 December 2009. In 2012, he was re-elected for a second (and last) term starting on 1 June 2012 and running until 30 November 2014.

At the time of his first election, HE Van Rompuy was Prime Minister of Belgium. Prior to that he had served in Belgium as Speaker of the House of Representatives (2007-2008) and in several government positions, including as Vice-Prime Minister and Minister of Budget (1993-1999). He was Minister of State (2004) and Secretary of State for Finance and Small Businesses (1988).

A former economist at the National Bank of Belgium, HE Van Rompuy began his political career in 1973 as national Vice-President of his party's youth movement. He was President of the Flemish Christian Democrats (1988-1993). He served in the Belgian Parliament, in turn as Senator (1988-1995) and Member of Parliament (1995-2009).

HE Herman Van Rompuy holds a Bachelors in Philosophy and a Masters in Economics from the University of Leuven.

He was born in Etterbeek (Brussels), on 31 October 1947. He is now professor at the universities of Leuven and Louvain, the College of Europe in Brussels and Sciences Po in Paris and he is the President of the European Policy Centre.

On 3 November 2015, he received the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun from Japan.

On 21 July 2015, the Belgian King Philip announced that HE Herman Van Rompuy would be honoured the title of Count and his wife the title of Countess. This title is personal and his children would get hereditary nobility.

In addition to his native Dutch, he speaks English, French and German.

Related Documents

Press Release in English

Press Release in Japanese

Brochure in English

Brochure in Japanese

Related Links

Search ERIA.org

Latest Multimedia

Indonesia's ASEAN Chairmanship 2023 High-Level Policy Dialogue: ASEAN Digital Community 2045

ERIA Knowledge Lab Discusses Scaling Up Innovation and Digital Technology Ecosystem

Is ASEAN Ready for Electric Vehicles? | ASEAN Insights Podcast

Latest Publications

16 July 2024
Shigeru Kimura, Alloysius Joko Purwanto, Citra Endah Nur Setyawati, Setsuo Miyakoshi
Hydrogen is a crucial fuel for achieving global carbon neutrality, and ERIA has been conducting[...]
12 July 2024
Han Phoumin, Yamada Fumiko
ASEAN is committed to developing renewable energy sources as part of the energy transition to[...]