Opening Address: Hiroaki Fujii, President, The Japan Foundation

Opening Address: Hiroaki Fujii, President, The Japan Foundation

Photo:Hiroaki Fujii, President, The Japan FoundationI am exceedingly pleased to have the honor of announcing that T.I.H. the Crown Prince and Princess are in attendance today for this ceremony. We are also honored by the presence of H.I.H. Prince Takamado, who has worked assiduously alongside us for many years, and H.I.H. Princess Takamado, as well as Minister of Foreign Affairs Yoriko Kawaguchi.
I would also like to express my heartfelt gratitude to all of you here today for taking time out of your busy schedules to attend this award ceremony for The Japan Foundation Awards and the Japan Foundation Special Prizes. Due to your kind support, the Japan Foundation is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year.
This years also marks the 30th occasion on which The Japan Foundation Awards and the Japan Foundation Special Prizes have been given. With your kind cooperation, this year as always, recommendations were received from a large number of people. These nominations were screened by a selection committee of nine members, as a result of which, two individuals were chosen to receive of the Japan Foundation Award and three groups, the Japan Foundation Special Prizes. I wish to take this opportunity to extend my heartfelt gratitude to all those from all over the world in all fields of endeavor who cooperated in submitting recommendations for a broad range of nominees. And I also wish to express my thanks to Chairman Yoneo Ishii and all the other members of the selection committee.
It is thanks to the support and unstinting efforts of numerous people in all parts of the world, including those who receive these awards today, that the Japan Foundation has been able to continue its promotion of international cultural exchange for these past 30th years. Today we are honored with the presence of many past recipients of these awards, and we are particularly pleased to be able to celebrate this occasion together with them.
Photo:Hiroaki Fujii, President, The Japan FoundationIn this midst of the present extreme unrest in the world, there is an increasing need for a strengthening of solidarity among the peoples of the world on levels that cannot be sufficiently supported by the coexistence of disparate cultures and politics alone. In the special issue of the magazine Kokusai Koryu that we have passed out to all of you today, there is a strong sense of a broad range of ideas and proposals for effecting the search for future international cultural exchange as we enter an age of global multicultural coexistence. In its pages, I myself wrote that cultural exchange requires long-term efforts, similar to those necessary for growing trees and creating forests. And we at the Japan Foundation sincerely hope to obtain the guidance, support, and cooperation of all groups and individuals involved in international cultural exchange in terms of solidarity and cooperation in the new age in our continued long-term efforts toward forming links among "people" for the purpose of nurturing "people."
In closing, I wish to offer my hope for the continued and increasing future development of all those past and present recipients of these awards who are in attendance today.
Thank you very much.

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