The Japan Foundation Prizes for Global Citizenship (2014)

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the establishment of the Japan Foundation Prizes for Global Citizenship in 1985. In its 30 year history, 91 organizations have been awarded. The Japan Foundation Prizes for Global Citizenship is intended to support organizations located throughout Japan that endeavor to strengthen networks among citizens both inside and outside Japan, and share knowledge, ideas and expertise through intercultural exchange.

The Japan Foundation Prizes for Global Citizenship was established under the name of the Prizes for the Promotion of Community-Based Cultural Exchange, and renamed as the Japan Foundation Prizes for Global Citizenship in 2005.

In 2014, of the 109 organizations that applied or were nominated for the prizes, the following three were selected as recipients. The recipient organizations will be presented with the main prize (a certificate) and an extra prize consisting of the sum of two million yen.

Recipients (in alphabetical order)

NPO AmerAsian School in Okinawa (Ginowan City, Okinawa)

Image picture of NPO AmerAsian School in Okinawa
Organization NPO AmerAsian School in Okinawa Logo of NPO AmerAsian School in Okinawa
Representative Midori Thayer (Principal and Director)
Year of establishment 1998
Website AmerAsian School
Social media AmerAsian School (facebook)
AmerAsian School (Twitter) @AmerAsianSchool

<Activity Outline>
AmerAsian School in Okinawa was founded by the guardians of Amerasian children. It provides bilingual education in both Japanese and English, helping children grow up with a sense of pride as “doubles” (children of dual heritage) who equally respect the cultures of the U.S. and Japan, and increasing their opportunities for further education and employment. Additionally, activities are held to deepen pupils’ understanding of their self-identity by holding intercultural exchanges for experiencing traditional Okinawan culture, and hosting lectures by alumni who are active around the world.
* Amerasian refers to people with an American and an Asian parent

<Reasons for the Prize>
Aiming to increase the future possibilities for Amerasian children, who grow up with both a U.S. and Japanese cultural background, the school provides educational opportunities for “doubles” that are suited to each pupil’s individual abilities. Upon graduating, the students are able to choose from widely diverse paths along which they achieve great success. There are high hopes that these young people, who have such diverse cultural backgrounds, will provide even greater contributions to Japanese society in the future.

<Comments from the Recipient>
“We have brought up Amerasian children with the belief that with a little bit of polish, they will sparkle like diamonds. These children have abundant potential, and we feel truly delighted by the fact that the strong social significance of the AmerAsian education has been acknowledged. We will continue to work hard to contribute to society and raise awareness, so that even more people, not only the AmerAsian children and their guardians, will value the presence of the AmerAsian School.”

Nara International Film Festival Organizing Committee(NPO) (Nara City, Nara)

Image picture of Nara International Film Festival Organizing Committee(NPO)
Organization Nara International Film Festival Organizing Committee(NPO)Logo of Nara International Film Festival Organizing Committee(NPO)
Representative Naomi Kawase (Chair & Executive Director)
Year of establishment 2008
Website Nara International Film Festival
Social media Nara International Film Festival (facebook)
Nara International Film Festival (Twitter) @naraiffnaraiff

<Activity Outline>
Nara International Film Festival Organizing Committee presents its biennial international film festival in City of Nara, where no cinemas exist.
The festival aims especially to nurture and encourage young generations by providing global platforms for them to play active roles in the field of cinema. Uniquely, the festival uses Nara’s historical sites and architecture as the venues for outdoor screenings, various shows, and events. As a related activity, the festival regularly organizes filmmaking workshops for local children and youth, in which they explore and re-discover the values of the local culture and history.
The festival also invites young filmmakers of the world to make a film, providing the space for cultural exchanges, re-valuing cultures, and sharing such values at global scale.

<Reasons for the Prize>
The Organizing Committee holds the Nara International Film Festival with the primary objective of fostering the next generation of young film-makers. The committee also empowers young people to create films, while engaging in cultural exchanges with ordinary residents of Nara, and shares the activities and nobility of the residents of Nara, and Nara’s beautiful surroundings with the rest of the world. These activities serve as a model for regional vitalization through culture and arts, involving many young people and local residents, as well as global intercultural exchanges.

<Comments from the Recipient>
“Every one of us is deeply grateful for all the support we have received, which has made it possible for us to receive this prestigious prize. We promise that we will continue to devote great efforts to expand our future activities in Nara, a rare and sacred place that has been blessed to learn many things from countries around the world, since the dawning of Japan's civilization.”

Plus Arts NPO (Kobe City, Hyogo)

Image picture of Plus Arts NPO
Organization Plus Arts NPO Logo of Plus Arts NPO
Representative Hirokazu Nagata (Chairperson)
Year of establishment 2006
Website Plus Arts
Social media Plus Arts (facebook)
Plus Arts (Twitter) @plus_arts

<Activity Outline>
Learning from the lessons of the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake, Plus Arts formulates the “Have Fun while Learning about Disasters” program that utilizes design and art, and carries out promotional activities through workshops and exhibitions held domestically and abroad. In cooperation with overseas partners, it implements programs that are flexibly adapted to local needs, so that disaster education originating in Japan is also widely received overseas. It has improved the level of disaster awareness in many parts of the world.

<Reasons for the Prize>
Plus Arts has raised the level of disaster awareness around the world by developing a system that is accessible to all, based on the theme of fun disaster education originating from Japan, and by adapting to overseas needs, among other measures. Moreover, holding the belief that disaster education should be shared as common global knowledge, Plus Arts advances projects while working with networks and partners in various countries.

<Comments from the Recipient>
“Based on the lessons we learned from listening to the victims of the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake, we carry out international activities, with the motto of '+ creative' and 'warm support in an unassuming way.' We will continue to sincerely carry out activities that are befitting of a recipient of this prize.”

[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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