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Program Guidelines

General Instructions (Be sure to read this first)

A. Introduction to the Japan Foundation


The Japan Foundation was established in 1972 as a special legal entity to undertake international cultural exchange and was subsequently reorganized as an independent administrative institution in October 2003. The Japan Foundation consists of a head office in Tokyo, a branch office in Kyoto, two Japanese-language institutes (Urawa External link and Kansai External link), and 22 overseas offices in 21 countries (as of August 2012).


The purpose of the Japan Foundation is: "To contribute to the improvement of a good international environment, and to the maintenance and development of the harmonious foreign relationships with Japan, by the efficient and comprehensive implementation of activities for international cultural exchange, which will deepen other nations' understanding of Japan, promote better mutual understanding among nations, and contribute to the culture and other fields in the world." (Independent Administrative Institution Japan Foundation Law, Article 3)

Programs and Activities of the Japan Foundation

The Japan Foundation carries out programs and activities in the following three major categories.

Ⅰ Arts and Cultural Exchange

The Japan Foundation carries out programs to introduce various aspects of Japanese culture and arts, and to contribute to international society through the arts. The programs aim to foster the general public's interest in Japan and to promote the understanding of Japan abroad. The areas of programs include projects for mutual exchanges between Japan and foreign countries, international co-production, and people- to-people exchanges.

Ⅱ Japanese-Language Education Overseas

To build the foundation for promoting the understanding of Japan as well as mutual understanding between the people of Japan and people from the rest of the world, the Japan Foundation implements programs including the development and distribution of Japanese-language teaching materials and methods, and the Japanese-Language Proficiency Test (JLPT). In addition, the Japan Foundation fosters local teachers, builds networks of Japanese-language specialists and has them operate model Japanese-language courses, supports activities implemented by Japanese-language institutions and groups, and provides training programs in Japan for Japanese-language teachers and learners.

Ⅲ Japanese Studies and Intellectual Exchange

Aiming at the efficient promotion of Japanese Studies and intellectual exchange between Japan and the rest of the world, the Japan Foundation offers grant programs for Japanese studies institutions and fellowships for Japanese studies scholars overseas.
The Japan Foundation also organizes exchange programs for people in scholarly and intellectual fields, and promotes networking among them. Collaborative research and dialogue programs are also carried out to contribute to solving the problems confronting the world.

Each of these categories includes programs that are open to applications from the public to support international exchange activities by individuals and organizations. In addition to these programs and activities, the Japan Foundation provides informationon international cultural exchange through media such as its website and JFIC Library.

B.Application Procedures and Conditions

Reference: Application flow-chart

Application flow-chart the Program Guidelines Download from website

STEP1: Find the Right Program

Decide which program to apply for

Please identify the programs relevant to your planned project by referring to the Program Guidelines. Your project must meet the conditions common to all programs listed below. Please download and read the application instruction for more specific procedures and additional conditions.

【Conditions Common to All Programs】

1.Applicant's affiliation (individual or organization)

Some programs are designed for individual applicants, while other programs are for organizations. Regarding organizations, a voluntary organization without legal status can also apply for some programs, but is requested to attach documentation certifying its establishment (e.g., Articles of Incorporation) to the application form.

2.Eligibility of the applicant

(1) Applicants must have the capabilities necessary for implementing the planned projects.

(2) Applicants must not be commercial organizations.

(3) The receipt of grants or support from the Japan Foundation must not violate any laws, regulations, or ordinances.

(4) When applicants are organizations, applicants must have a bank account in the organization's name in order to receive grant money from the Japan Foundation.

3.The Japan Foundation does not provide grants for:

(1) The Japanese government (including national institutions), Japanese local municipalities (including municipal schools and universities and other municipal institutions), Japanese independent administrative institutions, Japanese local independent administrative institutions, Japanese national university corporations (including national secondary schools), and lower branches of the above-mentioned organizations;

(2) Foreign governments, including their administrative organs and their embassies and consulates-general in Japan (exceptions being academic, cultural, or research institutes, such as universities and museums); and

(3) International organizations to which the Japanese government makes a financial contribution.

4.Policy limiting support to individuals or organizations for a maximum of three consecutive years

For individuals or organizations that have continually received support from the same program for the past three fiscal years, the policy is to refrain from providing grants for a fourth fiscal year (unless the Japan Foundation believes there is a compelling reason to continue receiving ongoing support). This policy aims to avoid giving the same applicants ongoing support, and to distribute grants to as many applicants as possible. Applicants can apply for the same program for a fourth consecutive fiscal year, but should be made aware that the Japan Foundation places a lower priority on such applications.

5.Project categories NOT supported by the Japan Foundation

The Japan Foundation will not support:

(1) Projects for religious or political purposes; and

(2) Projects for profit―making purposes.

6.Eligible regions and countries

Eligible regions and countries are listed in the table below. Some programs are intended to apply to projects in specific regions or countries only. Please check the eligibility of the program you are applying for.

7.Points to consider in case of grant application related to Korea

It is not permitted to receive grants from both the Japan-Korea Cultural Foundation External link and the Japan Foundation for the same project.

8.Points to consider in case of an application related to Taiwan

The Japan Foundation cooperates with the Interchange Association, Japan, on Taiwan Projects. The Japan Foundation will not provide support to a project if it is eligible for programs of the Interchange Association External link, Japan. For further Information, please contact the section in charge at Japan Foundation domestic offices or the Interchange Association, Japan, Taipei office External link as described in application instructions of each program.

Table: List of Applicable Areas and Countries in the Japan Foundation Programs
(as of September 2013)
Regions Countries
East Asia People's Republic of China, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mongolia, Taiwan
Southeast Asia Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Vietnam
South Asia Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka
Oceania Australia, Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall, Micronesia, Nauru, New Zealand, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu
North America Canada, United States of America
Central America Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Saint Christopher and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago
South America Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay, Venezuela
Western Europe Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Vatican
Eastern Europe Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Georgia, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan
Middle East Afghanistan, Bahrain, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Palestinian Interim Self-Government Authority, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Yemen
North Africa Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Sudan, Tunisia
Africa Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central Africa, Chad, Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of Congo, Cote d'Ivoire, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Republic of South Africa, South Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe

STEP2 Apply for a Program

Obtain an application form

Please download and print application forms from the website. Please read the attached instructions carefully and ensure your project meets the requirements. Applicants can get hardcopy format application forms from the designated office (application destination) outlined below.

Application destination and deadlines

1.Where to submit application forms

(1) Applicants in Japan are requested to submit applications to the section in charge at the Japan Foundation's domestic offices.

(2) Applicants outside Japan are requested to submit applications to the local Japan Foundation office (refer to the list of Japan Foundation overseas offices). When there is no Japan Foundation office in the applicant's country of residence, the applicant should contact the nearest Embassy or Consulate-General of Japan External link.


Deadlines for application and their frequencies vary among programs. Please check the application deadline for the program you wish to apply for in the respective program description.


(1) Applicants intending to submit an application from outside of Japan are required to locate the appropriate office where applications should be submitted. Please contact the appropriate office by telephone or e-mail prior to submitting any application, to ensure that an applicant has identified the appropriate office to send an application, and an applicant is eligible to apply for the program being considered.

(2) Applicants should post the application form to ensure delivery by the closing date. If an applicant wishes to receive confirmation of receipt, please include a stamped, self-addressed postcard (blank reverse side) to be used for returning the confirmation notice.

(3) The Japan Foundation does not accept applications submitted by e-mail, or by fax.

4.Applicants from the United States

(1) Japanese-Language Education
U.S. applicants for the programs listed below should submit their applications to the Japan Foundation, Los Angeles External link.

a) Graduate Program on Japanese Language and Culture (Master's Course)

b) Advanced Training Program for Teachers of the Japanese-Language

c) Training Program for Teachers of the Japanese-Language (Long-Term and Short-Term training)

d) Japanese-Language Program for Specialists in Cultural and Academic Fields.

(2) Japanese Studies Fellowship Program
In the U.S., individuals who fall into any of the following three categories can apply for the Japanese Studies Fellowship Program. Applicants must submit applications on-line via the website of the Japan Foundation, New York External link, by no later than November 1, 2013:

a) U.S. citizens who reside within the U.S.;

b) U.S. citizens who reside outside of the U.S. and who do not have permanent-resident status in their country of domicile; and

c) Citizens of any country who reside in the U.S. and hold U.S. permanent-resident status.

(3) Center for Global Partnership (CGP) Programs
Eligibility, applying process and deadlines for CGP programs are different from those of other Japan Foundation programs. For further information, reference should also be made to "CGP Grant Program Application Guidelines" External link.


1.Selection policy

The selection policy of each program is explained in the respective program descriptions in the Program Guidelines and more specifically in the instructions attached to application forms. In addition, the Japan Foundation considers policy aspects when reviewing applications: regional distribution of projects, expected contribution to bilateral diplomatic relations, or to important commemorative events, etc.

2.Policy of giving priority to projects related to commemorative events

Applications related to the commemorative cultural events listed below will be given higher priority when screening programs. Applicants should specify the relevance of their projects to commemorative cultural events (if any) in the application form.

Selected commemorative events:

a) The 150th Anniversary of the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations between Japan and Switzerland (2014)

b) Commemorative events in 2015 will be found on the Japan Foundation website.

3.Examples of projects accepted

Please refer to the Program List for examples of projects which have been accepted in recent years.

STEP3 Implement the Project

Read the terms and conditions and submit acceptance and payment forms

The Japan Foundation fixes the terms and conditions for each of the Japan Foundation's programs in supporting the project. The conditions are contained in the "Terms and Conditions of Grant" section attached to the notification letter of acceptance. After reading the conditions, please notify the Japan Foundation of your acceptance using the designated form.

Implement the project and submit a final report

Please implement your project following the procedure and conditions for the relevant program as well as the plan and purpose of your project written in the application form. In principle, you must obtain approval from the Japan Foundation before making any major changes to the plan or postponing/canceling the project. A final report has to be submitted promptly to the Japan Foundation when your project is completed. Please note that grantees in some programs may be asked to report the participants' questionnaire results, media coverage, and the number of project participants.

C.Other Matters

1.Disclosure of Information

a) Details of projects supported by the Japan Foundation (e.g., name of the applicant and project description) will be made public in the Kokusai Koryu Kikin Jigyo Jisseki (Detailed Annual Report of the Japan Foundation Activities) on the Japan Foundation's website, and in other public-relations materials.

b) When a request for information based on the "Law Concerning the Disclosure of Information Held by Independent Administrative Institutions, Etc." External link (Law No. 140 of 2001), is received, materials such as submitted application forms will be disclosed (unless stipulated by law as not to be disclosed).

2.Protection of Personal Information

a) The Japan Foundation handles personal information appropriately and in accordance withthe Law Concerning Access to Personal Information Held by Independent Administrative Institutions (Law No. 59 of 2003) External link . Details of the Japan Foundation's personal information protection policy can be reviewed at the website (Japanese only):

b) The Japan Foundation may in certain cases use personal information to inform recipients of grants of other Japan Foundation activities or to send recipients of grants public-relations materials, as well as for screening, implementation, and evaluation procedures of projects. Personal information such as a grantee's name, project title, and affiliation is also carried in the Detailed Annual Report of the Japan Foundation Activities, the Annual Report, on the Japan Foundation website, and in other public-relations materials. Personal information is also used to compile statistics appearing in the Annual Report. For details regarding the use of personal information in each program, please refer to each program's Application Instructions.

3.Legal Regulations applicable to Grants from the Japan Foundation

The Japan Foundation Grant Programs are operated in accordance with relevant Japanese laws including the "Law for the Proper Execution of a Budget Relating to Subsidies" (Law. No. 179 of 1955) External link as specified in Article 13 of the "Independent Administrative Institution Japan Foundation Law" (Law. No. 137 of 2002). Please also refer to “Terms and Conditions for a Grant”.

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