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SEARCH IS ON FOR MEDAL OF PEACE WINNER

The government is looking for a peacemaker to honor.

The U.S. Institute of Peace said last week it will accept nominations until April 30 for the first Spark M. Matsunaga Medal of Peace and a $25,000 award.The prize, which the institute envisions becoming an "American Nobel," was authorized by Congress in honor of Matsunaga, a Hawaii senator who died in 1990.

Matsunaga spearheaded the establishment of the institute, created by Congress in 1984 to promote research, education and training in international peacemaking and conflict resolution.

Congress specified that the medal is to be awarded to people or institutions that "contributed in extraordinary ways to peace among the nations and peoples of the world, giving special attention to contributions that advance society's knowledge of peacemaking and conflict management."

Nominations will be reviewed by an advisory panel, with the selection made by the institute's board of directors.

Matsunaga won two Purple Hearts during his World War II service in Italy with the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, which was composed of Japanese-American servicemen.