The Japan Foundation Prizes for Global Citizenship (2013)

The Japan Foundation Prizes for Global Citizenship was established in 1985 to support organizations that endeavor to strengthen networks among citizens both inside and outside Japan, and share the knowledge, ideas and expertise through intercultural exchange.

The Prizes for the Promotion of Community-Based Cultural Exchange was renamed “The Japan Foundation Prizes for Community-Based Cultural Exchange” in 2004, before changing again to “The Japan Foundation Prizes for Global Citizenship” in 2005.

After screening 127 applications and recommendations, the Foundation has selected three organizations as recipients of the 2013 Japan Foundation Prizes for Global Citizenship, offering each awardee a certificate and an award of 2 million yen.


NPO BankART1929 (Yokohama City, Kanagawa)

NPO BankART1929

Representative Osamu Ikeda (Director)
Established 2004

<Activity Outline>
BankART1929 contributes to the project to utilize renovated historical buildings in Yokohama for the development of arts and culture. Entrusted by the city of Yokohama with the management of cultural facilities, the organization collaborates with the city to disseminate cultural information and promote exchanges among citizens through the medium of arts. The NPO is also actively engaged in international exchanges with overseas groups and artists, serving as a communication hub among people in different genres.

<Reasons for the Prize>
Leading the efforts of arts centers established across Japan in recent years, BankART1929 has been organizing various seminars and symposiums, while promoting international exchanges of arts and culture with overseas organizations and artists. The NPO is expected to play an even larger role as the core of Japan's arts centers and in the efforts to develop Yokohama through arts and culture.

NPO Yukigassen International (Sobetsu Town, Hokkaido)

NPO Yukigassen International

Representative Tsutomu Matsumoto (President)
Established 2009
Website Yukigassen International
International Alliance of sport Yukigassen
SNS Yukigassen Magazine Editorial Office
Showa-Shinzan International Yukigassen

<Activity Outline>
NPO Yukigassen International has transformed snowball fighting into a sport called Yukigassen. Based in Hokkaido's Sobetsu Town, where its 2,700 residents face the dilemmas of depopulation and an aging citizenry, the NPO has been promoting the sport not only in Japan but all over the world. The entire town was involved in the formulation of Yukigassen rules and the development of its equipment to upgrade the popular game to full-fledged sporting events. International competitions have been held continuously since 1988, and in 2003, the NPO established the International Alliance of the sport Yukigassen, comprised of organizations in Japan and nine other countries to strengthen the network of Yukigassen enthusiasts around the world.

<Reasons for the Prize>
In an aging town with a declining birth rate, Yukigassen International has contributed to revitalizing the community through the development of the sport Yukigassen. The NPO not only aims to increase the number of players in Japan and overseas, but also strives to popularize the sport internationally by establishing associations in other countries. The organization is playing a significant role in promoting this Japanese sport globally, including in snowless countries.

NPO Multilingual Society Resource Kanagawa (Yokohama City, Kanagawa)

NPO Multilingual Society Resource Kanagawa

Representative Katsumi Matsuno (Director)
Established 2002

<Activity Outline>
Multilingual Society Resource Kanagawa (MIC Kanagawa) coordinates with medical institutions in Kanagawa Prefecture and dispatches volunteer interpreters to provide assistance when foreigners not fluent in Japanese need to consult a doctor. Among the volunteer staff are expatriate medical interpreters who use their native language and Japanese to contribute to the community. MIC Kanagawa also dispatches lecturers to medical interpreter training organized by municipalities and international exchange associations. The NPO is striving to establish an infrastructure that will facilitate the use of medical interpreter services by many foreign residents.

<Reasons for the Prize>
With the increase in the number of foreign visitors to Japan, and Tokyo's successful bid to host the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, the demand for multilingual services is on the rise. There are particularly urgent needs in the medical and nursing care fields where specialized knowledge is required. MIC Kanagawa began its effort to develop and dispatch medical interpreters early on, suggesting a solution to the problems that Japan will continue to face in the coming years.

[Contact Us]

The Japan Foundation Prizes for Global Citizenship Secretariat

The Japan Foundation Communication Center
Tel: +81-(0)3-5369-6075 FAX: +81-(0)3-5369-6044
(When sending an e-mail, please replace the full-width “"@"” character with a half-width “"@"” character.)

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