Many of the people visiting Japan from abroad are astonished that our trains run precisely on schedule, that our streets are clean and free of litter, and that our people are polite and courteous. Although this comes as a matter of course to those of us living here, the convenience, safety, and peace that we enjoy every day in Japan are all aspects of this country worth presenting with pride to the world.
While global attention to the Japanese economy may be declining, interest in our culture is rising. Sharing with the world the Japanese way of living, way of thinking, and way of feeling rooted in our daily life as well as the virtues and charms of Japan is an important means of winning the world's better understanding of and further trust in our country.
Since its establishment in 1972, the Japan Foundation has extensively organized and supported international exchange in the fields of arts and culture, Japanese-language education overseas, and Japanese studies and intellectual exchange. Through cultural exchange activities between Japan and other countries, we at the Japan Foundation take pride in, and continue to introduce to the world the breadth of Japan's culture and sense of values which have been cultivated perpetually throughout our history.
Along with the progress of globalization, exchange across national borders advances and collaborative efforts to address common challenges increase. To deepen the ties between Japan and foreign countries in all respects even further, we believe it is important to provide opportunities for interactive exchange that people can engage in together, and ultimately create new cultures and values. The Japan Foundation actively coordinates and supports programs with important elements of interaction and collaboration, with an eye to promoting Japan working hand-in-hand with the world.
As Japan's financial affairs offer little cause for optimism, and crucial administrative and financial reforms are being made to address the situation, it is essential that we at the Japan Foundation carry out our activities with even greater effectiveness and efficiency. To this end, we will strive further to coordinate and cooperate with both government and private organizations in and outside the country so that our initiatives may represent the efforts of Japan as a whole.
With the broad understanding and support of people around the world, the Japan Foundation will continue to move forward along with you all.
The Japan Foundation