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Renowned Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami has been awarded the Princess of Asturias Award for Literature this year, media reports.

The Spanish foundation that organizes the prizes said on May 24 that the jury was impressed by Murakami's "uniqueness" in writing essays, short stories, and novels, which have been translated into more than 40 languages and sold millions of copies.

The panel praised Murakami's talent in reconciling Japanese traditions with the legacy of Western culture in an ambitious and innovative narrative. They also highlighted his ability to appeal to different generations via different genres and described him as "one of the major long-distance runners" in contemporary literature.

The Asturias prize jury said Murakami was an "unsettling" novelist influenced by Dostoyevsky, Dickens, and Vargas Llosa, whose use of humor and surrealism did not prevent him from addressing severe social problems and the defense of human values.

The prize is one of eight handed out annually by the foundation, and the award ceremony takes place each October in the northern Spanish city of Oviedo.

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