Dr. Akashi received the Akahige distinction on 10th February 2017 at the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo.
The distinction is being given every year and it is for the fifth time in 2017.
The distinction is for the recognition of the efforts of doctors in helping selfishly the community. It’s name is taken from an Akira Kurosawa film from 1965 where a red bearded doctor keeps relentlessly trying to heal patients flocking his charity hospital. He trains a younger doctor in the process and helps him discover the importance of healing patients not only from a purely medical and technical view point.
An explanation of the movie can be found here
The link to the article (in Japanese) from 1st December 2016 announcing the recipients is at http://www.akahige-taishou.jp/case/news/pdf/news5_1.pdf.
Another article about some of the 5 recipients is below.