Swiss architects Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron and British sculptor Tony Cragg are among the five laureates named for this year's Praemium Imperiale, the Japanese award for the arts.
Announced in Paris yesterday, the awards are given to artists who have made a significant international impact in their particular field.
This year's list was dominated by Europe, with three of the five awards being handed out to European artists. Joining Cragg and Herzog and de Meuron (who won a joint prize) was French painter Daniel Buren, Argentinian pianist and conductor Daniel Barenboim, and New York actress Ellen Stewart.
The Praemium Imperiale is the most valuable arts award in the world, with each artist being presented with 15 million yen (£90,000).
There is also an additional award for young artists, the Grant for Young Artists, given this year to the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, a young Israeli/Arab orchestra co-founded by Daniel Barenboim and writer and philosopher Edward Said.
The awards will be presented to the artists on October 16 in Tokyo.by Richard Vaughan