Hiroyuki Ito, the founder and president of Crypton Future Media Inc., has been awarded the Blue Ribbon of Honor by the Japan government, recognizing the contribution that Crypton's Vocaloids Hatsune Miku, MEIKO, KAITO, Kagamine Rin/Len, and Megurine Luka to promoting "Cool Japan" across the globe.
According to the Cabinet Office, the medal with blue ribbon is awarded to "individuals who have made prosperous efforts in the areas of public welfare and education."
"It's an honor, but we couldn't have achieved it on our own," said Ito, 48. "Together, with a countless number of creators actively working on the Internet, an 'event' known as Hatsune Miku has been created."
Ito notes that while creations like Hatsune Miku are now more global than ever, with an English voice bank offered for the first time with the recenty released V3, Ito sees Crypton's efforts as being rooted in its home town of Hokkaido. He says the region he grew up in is seeing a rapid population decrease due to lack of jobs. With the internet and tools like the Vocaloid software, he'd like to "provide services to help people present something creative without moving away."