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Japanese eye doctor wins ‘Asian Nobel Prize’ for contributions in Vietnam

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
A Japanese eye doctor has been awarded the “Asian Nobel Prize” for providing free treatment and training up doctors in Vietnam.

HANOI — A Japanese ophthalmologist received the 2022 Ramon Magsaysay Award, dubbed the “Nobel Prize of Asia,” for his years of medical practice in Vietnam, the Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation in the Philippines said Wednesday.

Hailing from Osaka Prefecture, Tadashi Hattori, 58, went to Vietnam at the invitation of a local doctor in 2002 and learned that there were few eye specialists or up-to-date treatment facilities.

He has spent his savings earned from performing surgeries in Japan on purchasing medical and other equipment for Vietnam. Traveling back and forth between the two countries, Hattori gives free treatments and also trains doctors in Vietnam.

In 2013, Hattori was awarded the Yomiuri International Cooperation Prize, which is granted to individuals, groups or companies who make outstanding achievements in the field of international cooperation.