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Getting to know more about the Japan Foundation

Chapter 2
The Asia Center

The Asia Center was established in April 2014 to be the body responsible for the new Asian cultural exchange policy, "WA Project": Toward Interactive Asia through "Fusion and Harmony", announced by the Japanese government at the ASEAN-Japan Commemorative Summit Meeting in Tokyo in December 2013. The Asia Center endeavors to nurture, among the people of Asia, a common awareness for mutual coexistence and understanding as neighbors through activities embracing the 4 Cs: Communicate, Connect and Share, Collaborate, and Create.

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Thumbnail of [The Asia Center’s 2 Main Initiatives]

Looking back on FY 2015
Deepening ties with the people of Southeast Asia
through collaborations in various genres.

Mutual understanding and enduring relationships through Japanese-language learning and arts and cultural exchange programs

Initiated in fiscal 2014, the Asia Center's diverse range of projects truly began to take shape in fiscal 2015 where a total of 379 projects were carried out, doubling the number of the preceding year.

The "NIHONGO Partners" program is one of such programs which involve sending Japanese citizens as "partners” to Japanese-language classes for schools in Southeast Asia. In fiscal 2015, 170 Japanese were sent to 8 countries. Through providing support in Japanese-language education and introducing the local people to Japanese culture, the "NIHONGO Partners" create fans of Japan, while also themselves becoming fans of the country where they are stationed, sharing the many beauties of Asia to people in Japan via social media, the Asia Center website, etc.

The Asia Center also holds a diverse range of projects in the fields of arts and culture, and intellectual and grassroots exchange. Mutual understanding gained through collaboration between people with differing cultural backgrounds gives shape to partnerships and leads to the development of new projects.

Bringing Asia's Cultural Vitality to Japan

The Asia Center’s many projects unfold toward the year 2020. Each year, the projects will continue to develop and produce more concrete results.

More "NIHONGO Partners" will be sent to even more countries and regions. We place importance on cultural exchange and collaborations not only in the capitals but in regional cities, and on the support for the younger population's engagements who are to become the bearers of the future.

In addition to their rapid economic growth, the countries of Asia are vigorously pursuing cultural activities, exhibiting a considerable level of vitality. Through our engagements, we hope to bring this very vitality to Japan.
(Masaya Shimoyama, Managing Director, The Japan Foundation Asia Center)