The Japan Foundation Prizes for Global Citizenship (2008)

The Japan Foundation (President: Kazuo Ogoura) announced three recipients of the Japan Foundation Prizes for Global Citizenship for 2008.

The presentation ceremony will be held in Tuesday, February 3, 2009 at the International House of Japan (Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo), and each recipient will receive an award certificate and cash prize of two million yen.


Overview of “The Japan Foundation Prizes for Global Citizenship”
This prize was established under the name of “the Prizes for the Promotion of Community-Based Cultural Exchange” in 1985, at the time the importance of community-based international exchange became widely acknowledged. In FY 2004-2005, in commemoration of its 20th anniversary, the award was renamed “The Japan Foundation Prizes for Global Citizenship” in awareness of development and diversification of community-based international exchange activities. The Japan Foundation has been presenting the prizes to organizations and individuals who have been contributing to promotion of international exchange between communities, cultural exchange, or mutual understanding that results in change or revitalization of communities. (In principle, three prizes are presented every year.)
This year, 106 recommendations were offered from the mass media, international exchange organizations, and local governments. The recipients of the prizes were determined by the selection committee through a careful selection process.

The selection committee consisted of the following six members (in the order of the Japanese syllabary):

Mr. Yoshitaka ISHII
(President, NPO Kourokan-Fukuoka Castle History & Tourism Citizen’s Association; former Chairman of the Board of Kyushu Railway Company) 
Ms. Nobuko USAMI
(General Manager, Tokyo Office, the Hokkaido Shimbun Press)
Mr. Ken-ichiro OOHARA
(President, Ohara Museum of Art)
Ms. Yasuko OGIWARA
(Senior Program Officer, Association for Corporate Support of the Arts)
Ms. Mayumi HINENO
(Senior Manager, Global Human Resources Office, DENTSU Inc.)
Mr. Noriyuki WAKISAKA
(Editorial Writer, the Asahi Shimbun)

Awardees (in geographical order)


(Sapporo, Hokkaido)
Hisashi SHIBATA (Director)
Year of Establishment
Website External link External link External link
Image picture of NPO S-AIR

<Reason for the Award>

Established in 1999, the Sapporo Artist in Residence (S-AIR) has invited 57 young artists from 27 countries around the world to work and stay in Sapporo. S-AIR has been conducting this “Artist In Residence Program” every year to introduce the art from the world to the community and to establish its unique network among domestic and foreign artists. In addition, S-AIR has been organizing programs such as “Artist in School” that sends artists to stay and work at elementary schools to bring art into classroom to stimulate the sensitivity of students, or art festivals on the theme of “winter.”

S-AIR has been setting an example of forward-thinking programs of community-based cultural exchange activities, valueing connection with children and citizens in the community.
*It is the seventh organization to be awarded with the prize in Hokkaido, first in 3years.

NPO Oizumi International Education and Skills Diffusion Center

(Oizumi Town, Gunma)
Shoko TAKANO (Secretary General)
Year of Establishment
Image picture of NPO Oizumi International Education and Skills Diffusion Center

<Reason for the Award>

  Oizumi International education and Skills Diffusion  Center resides in Oizumi Town,  Gunma Prefecture, where about one out of ten citizens  is Brazilian. The Center hosts the Japanese-Brazilian youth festivals for children  at the Brazilian schools to present their learning outcome, play their music, or  show their performances to build their self-confidence. The Center also organizes  programs for promotion of exchange and mutual understanding, such as Brazilians  teach their culture to Japanese citizens and vice versa. In addition, the Center  provides Japanese-language education support programs for Brazilian children to  learn language, customs and culture of Japan  that are required for their sound development in Japan. The goal of the Center&rsquo;s activities  is to realize the community that cherishes co-existence of multiple cultures. 
*It is the second organization to be awarded with the  prize in Gunma Prefecture, first in 13 years. 

SUKIYAKI Meets The World Committee

(Nanto City, Toyama)
Masatoshi HASHIMOTO (Chairman)
Year of Establishment
Website External link
Image picture of SUKIYAKI Meets The World Committee

<Reason for the Award>

Since 1991, SUKIYAKI Meets The World Committee has been organizing its annual event “SUKIYAKI Meets The World Festival” to introduce music from Asia, Africa, or Central and South America to youth in the community, which is a quite rare opportunity for them to exposed to such music. The Committee also hosts interactive workshops by artists from overseas with citizens and children in the community. The Committee has been eagerly providing and developing opportunities to encounter foreign cultures. Such activities produced a group of the community citizens who play folk music around the world, and the group was sent overseas for performance. The cultural activities of the Committee have taken root in the community and expand to the world. *It is the fourth organization to be awarded with the prize in Toyama Prefecture, first in 9 years.

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