Skip to main content

What is the Japan Foundation?

The Japan Foundation is Japan's only institution dedicated to carrying out comprehensive international cultural exchange programs throughout the world. The three major focuses of our activities are Arts and Cultural Exchange, Japanese-Language Education Overseas, and Japanese Studies and Intellectual Exchange. The foundation has a global network consisting of the Tokyo Headquarters, the Kyoto Office, two affiliated organizations (the Japan Foundation Japanese-Language Institute, Urawa; and the Japan Foundation Japanese-Language Institute, Kansai), and 24 overseas offices (including two Japan Foundation Asia Center Liaison Offices). We are working to facilitate exchange in a variety of fields with the aim of further deepening mutual understanding and ties between Japanese people and the world.


1972 The Japan Foundation established

1973 The Japan Foundation Awards established

1984 Japanese-Language Proficiency Test launched

1989 The Japan Foundation Japanese-Language Institute, Urawa established in Saitama

1991 The Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership established

1997 The Japan Foundation Japanese-Language Institute, Kansai established in Osaka

2003 The Japan Foundation became an "independent administrative institution"

2006 The Japan Foundation China Center established

2014 The Japan Foundation Asia Center established