Mueller tapped for imperial honor in Japan

Venice artistic director is first Italian to receive the award

ROME -- The emperor of Japan will present Venice Film Festival artistic director Marco Mueller with the Japan Foundation's Tokyo Art and Culture prize, it was announced Tuesday.

Mueller has longstanding ties to Japan and the rest of Asia. Two Japanese films appeared in this year's 21-film competition lineup in Venice, and three of the last four winners of the festival's Golden Lion have hailed from Asia.

Mueller will be the first Italian to receive the 25-year-old award, which will be presented next month in Tokyo.