Yoko Ono receives the trophy of Montblanc de la Cuture Arts Patronage award in Tokyo, Japan, Friday, July 22, 2011.

YOKO ONO was honoured last night in a ceremony presenting her with the Montblanc de la Culture Arts Patronage Award. Now in its 20th year, this award is for modern-day patrons of the arts who “give their time, energy and money to encourage cultural life to flourish.”

Announcing the award, the CEO and President of Montblanc Japan Nick Waddington explained that she was selected for the award because of the work she had done in raising money for schools in impoverished areas of Africa and Asia through the Dream Power concerts in Japan.

Accepting the award, Yoko said (in Japanese) that she was delighted to receive the award and the cheque which would be used to sponsor more Dream Power schools. She said she was particularly pleased to be associated with Montblanc because it is a true peace industry, as the pen is mightier than the sword.

She was proud that the proceeds from the concerts had allowed them to build 107 schools in 28 countries over ten years, and hoped that they would continue to do so. Even though she had wondered at the beginning whether they would be able to keep the concerts going, their success showed the power people have to change the world.

She concluded, saying what was being done in Japan was extremely significant because what you give out comes back to you tenfold – we should all join together to contribute to our world in this way for a richer future for us all.