The Prime Minister's office says the Japanese women's football team will receive one of the country's highest awards for winning the World Cup.

The team, which defeated the United States in a dramatic final last month, will receive the People's Honor Award at a ceremony on Aug. 18.

The players have already become national heroes for their success, providing an inspiration for a nation still reeling from the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said Tuesday.

It is the first time a team has been selected for the award, which was also given to baseball legend Sadaharu Oh and director Akira Kurosawa.

The award, created in 1977, is generally given to athletes, artists or performers.