Activity Report (1999) Preface - Background


Background

The Asian region, which encompasses an unparalleled diversity of cultures and ethnic groups as well as immense human and natural resources, is already achieving new levels of development in the early stages of the 21st century. In a time of restructuring in Asia where rapid economic growth and globalization influences structural interdependencies within the region a movement among Asian countries has emerged to re-evaluate their own identities and cultures.
As an outcome of the necessity to tackle common issues that were caused by the economic crisis in the late 90s, there has been a move towards the trend of increased mutual exchange.

The Japan Foundation Asia Center (referred to as the "Asia Center" below) was established in October 1995 to achieve closer relations among Japan and its Asian neighbors and to foster amidst the rich cultural diversity of Asia a sense of common values. The primary objectives of the Center are: (1) to promote mutual understanding through dialogue and exchange at various levels of society in the Asian region; and (2) to encourage international collaborations in coping with common problems in the region.

The Asia Center has a flexible variety of modalities for implementing these goals. It can for instance, initiate projects on its own (the main modality for the Culture and Information Division's Programs).
Or, it may collaborate in the planning, implementation and administration of projects with other governmental or non-governmental organizations, both within and outside Japan. Finally, it can (through the Intellectual Exchange Division's grants program) provide funds in support of projects that are proposed by organizations in Asian countries in an open grant competition.

This Activity Report lists and describes in two parts the projects and programs that the Asia Center's Intellectual Exchange Division had initiated itself or in collaboration with other organizations and the projects that have been carried out by other organizations in Asia with the support of grants from the Asia Center. All of these activities were carried out in fiscal year 1999
(April 1, 1999 to March 31, 2000).

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