Tokyo: Japanese authorities and media Wednesday hailed the three Japanese scientists who won the 2014 Nobel Prize for physics, saying that the achievement demonstrates the country's level of technological development.
Isamu Akasaki, Hiroshi Amano and Shuji Nakamura were awarded the prize Tuesday for the invention of blue light emitting diodes (LEDs) which enable energy efficient bright lighting.
This brings the total number of Japanese Nobel laureates to 22, 10 of them for physics.
The list could grow if writer Haruki Murakami wins the Nobel prize for literature Oct 10 when the result will be announced.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe telephoned Akasaki to congratulate him personally and stressed that his achievement was "a source of pride and happiness for all Japanese people", the news agency Kyodo reported.
Abe also told parliament that the award "shows the world the high level of Japanese technological development" and that it was the fruit of taking on a challenge that "everyone thought difficult, never giving up despite countless failures".
Ryoji Noyori, president of the prestigious Rikken research institute and the 2001 Nobel Prize winner for chemistry, said that the trio had accomplished something of "enormous importance".
Noyori pointed out that the LED is not only a relatively new technology but that it has also "paved the way for future developments in the fields of energy efficiency and environmental protection", in statements aired by public broadcaster NHK.
The winning trio made it to the headlines of several of the country's leading newspapers.
The Asahi daily wrote that a discovery that had been "a huge benefit to humanity" has been well rewarded.
The other two popular newspapers, Yomiuri and Mainichi, also gave prominent coverage to the award.