The Second Asia Cosmopolitan Award includes two scholars on East Asia and two cultural icons. The award ceremony was held Sunday at the Nara Prefectural New Public Hall in Nara, Japan.

In a video message, Manmohan Singh said he receives the prestigious award with "great gratitude and great humility".

The award cited the former prime minister's contribution in transforming India's economy and its integration with the broader East Asian economy throughout his tenure. Manmohan Singh served as finance minister 1991-1995 and as prime minister 2004-2014.

"I believe that in coming years, East Asia will grow to its full potential, and become a truly inclusive and cosmopolitan society. I hope that this region will continue to nurture this spirit of growth and integration both within the region and with other parts of the world," he said.

In November, Manmohan Singh was conferred with one of Japan's highest civilian honours -- The Grand Cordon of the Order of the Paulownia Flowers -- for his contribution towards building Japan-India relations.

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