Japanese manga artist Kazuo Umezu has won an award at one of Europe's largest comic festivals held in France for a comic featuring a robot that develops emotions, his publisher said Tuesday.

The 81-year-old author of "Watashi wa Shingo" (My name is Shingo) was given the Heritage Award at the 45th Angouleme International Comics Festival held for four days through Sunday. The prize is awarded to the producer of a work that is worthy of being handed down to posterity.

He became the third Japanese manga artist to win the award after Shigeru Mizuki and Kazuo Kamimura, according to the comic's publisher Shogakukan Inc.

"This is (an award) from France, which loves manga as art. I'm truly happy!" Umezu said in a statement.

The science fiction comic about an industrial robot named Shingo was published in weekly magazine Big Comic Spirits from 1982 to 1986 and became hugely popular. Its French version was published last year.