The Japan Foundation’s Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic

May 20, 2020
Updated July 31, 2020

The Japan Foundation, in its desire to help prevent the further spread of COVID-19, has since mid-March suspended many programs around the world that entail international travel or large gatherings of people. We recognize that the postponement or cancellation of diverse projects in the arts, culture, Japanese language education, Japan studies, intellectual exchange, and other fields imposes an enormous impact on the activities of those who engage in international exchange in Japan and other parts of the world. At the same time, we are extremely concerned that this situation may give rise to a cultural crisis in the form of a protracted disruption of international cultural exchange.

Accordingly, we have been implementing the special programs listed below so that the cultural ties that join Japan and the world can be sustained and further grown even during these challenging times. Going forward, we will continue monitoring the global situation and will take the actions needed to fulfill our mission of providing support and programs for international exchange.

The Japan Foundation

1. Emergency assistance for cultural exchange programs involving online activities

  1. (1)CGP Relief Grant for U.S- Japan Grassroots Exchange under COVID-19 Challenges
  2. (2)Grant Program for Enhancing People-to-People Exchange (Special Program in response to COVID-19)
  3. (3)The Japan Foundation, Bangkok Small Grant Support for Online Projects
  4. (4)The Japan Foundation, Manila Local Grant Program

2. Online cultural presentations & dialogue

  1. (1)Online Seminar Series "Asia Center TERAKOYA"
    A series of live online seminars to explore a new style of cultural exchange in an era where international travel is strictly restricted. The archived video will be available after the livestream (in Japanese).
    #1 Connecting Across Borders in the COVID-19 Era ~To Explore New Forms of International Cultural Exchange~
    #2 Football Exchange in the COVID-19 Era ~From the Activities of J.League Clubs in Southeast Asia~
  2. (2)Le studio (Maison de la culture du Japon à Paris)
    A series of video clips showcasing Japanese culture from various viewpoints, including art, dance, anime, manga and more. The first clip features an interview with Butoh Master Maro Akaji (in French).
  3. (3)J-DANCE Special Interview Series (The Japan Foundation, Vietnam)
    Japanese dancers who participated in the Japan-Vietnam joint J-DANCE project discussed their past performances in Vietnam and introduced their recent activities (Video in Japanese with Vietnamese subtitles).
  4. (4)ORIGAMI x CULTURE series (The Japan Foundation, Vietnam)
    A video series of origami lectures produced by the Vietnam Origami Group, an NPO that organises origami workshops and lectures in Vietnam (in Vietnamese).
  5. (5)Videos of Picture Book Readings (The Japan Foundation, Moscow)
    Videos of Japanese picture books reading with Russian subtitles.
  6. (6)“Fellow Online Gallery” for The Japan Foundation, Toronto’s 30th Anniversary
    “The Fellow Gallery” has been publicly released online, looking back at The Japan Foundation’s fellowship program that has supported the scholars and Ph.D. candidates in Japanese studies in Canada for their research in Japan for over 30 years. The Gallery introduces the research results and more of each fellowship recipient.
  7. (7)Video Message: “Todos Juntos” (“With Everyone”) (The Japan Foundation, São Paulo)
    A series of video messages for the COVID-19-stricken world from Japanese and Brazilian writers and artists (in Portuguese or in Japanese with Portuguese subtitles).
  8. (8)An Online Sushi-making Event in China (The Japan Foundation China Center)
    An event in which Chinese students posting pictures and videos of their own original sushi, with the best one being selected via online voting (in Chinese).
  9. (9)Japanese Business Pitch Contest in India 2020 (The Japan Foundation, New Delhi)
    A contest in which learners of the Japanese language in India give presentations in Japanese on businesses ideas that connect Japan and India.

3. Online support for Japanese language education

The e-learning programs listed below, developed and launched before the COVID-19 pandemic began, have been serving Japanese language students and educators as study resources that can be readily employed at a time when many activities have been restricted by the pandemic.

In addition, Japanese courses and Japanese language instructor training programs are being offered online by The Japan Foundation Japanese-Language Institute, Kansai and several Japan Foundation offices outside Japan.

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