Message from President

Photo of Hiroyasu Ando

I am honored to have been re-appointed as the president.
The Japan Foundation endeavors to promote international mutual understanding, setting its mission “Cultivating friendship and ties between Japan and the world.” To understand and respect each other’s culture is a cornerstone of developing truly rich and peaceful world.

In April 2017, a five-year period for our fourth medium-term plan started. In order to expand our activities wider and deeper in complex international circumstances, we carry out various projects, prior to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, to flexibly respond to the needs of the times, in addition to pursuing arts and cultural exchange, Japanese-language education overseas, and Japanese studies and intellectual exchange.

In 2018, through Japonismes 2018, a large-scale event held mainly in Paris, we broadly showcase Japanese traditional culture, such as Kabuki, Noh, Bunraku, and Gagaku, as well as contemporary culture, including theatre, art, manga and anime, and cinema. Under the agreement between the Japanese and the French governments, Japonismes 2018 is to be implemented in cooperation with public and private sectors of the two countries. For this project, the Japan Foundation serves as its secretariat office and is responsible for transmission of Japanese culture.

The Asia Center, established in 2014, will continue to explore opportunities of cultural exchange with other Asian countries, and also further expand the scope of “NIHONGO Partners” engaging in Japanese language promotion in schools and in local communities. As native Japanese speakers, the partners act as mediators of mutual understanding: they not only support local teachers and students but also learn from their cultures. The Asia Center will strive to generate such interaction on the local levels with the assistance of a total of 3,000 NIHONGO Partners by 2020.

International cultural exchange should be carried out in both direction rather than one way. We will therefore promote collaborative work projects with countries with different cultures in order to create new cultures and values while taking full advantage of their respective characteristics. In 2016, on the occasion of the Rio Olympic and Paralympic Games, we organized pop concerts of Japanese and Brazilian artists to build a bridge between the two countries and received great response. We would like to continue providing many opportunities for exciting cultural encounters.

The Japan Foundation will have the 50th anniversary in 2022. What we achieve during this medium term will be our roundup of the past half-century.
We appreciate your continual support.

Hiroyasu Ando
The Japan Foundation

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