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Japan Foundation Awards

Every year since 1973, the Japan Foundation has presented the Japan Foundation Awards to individuals and organizations that have made significant contributions to promoting international mutual understanding and friendship between Japan and other countries through academic, artistic and other cultural pursuits. This year marks the 44rd year of the awards.

Inaugurated in 1973, the year following the Japan Foundation’s establishment, the Japan Foundation Awards will have the 45th anniversary. The awards are presented to individuals or organizations that have significantly contributed to the promotion of international mutual understanding and friendship through their academic, artistic, or cultural activities over the years and are expected to continue to do so.

Eligible Candidates
Candidates must be an individual person or an organization established inside or outside of Japan. Self-nominations, including nominations of an organization or head of an organization to which the nominator belongs, will not be considered.

Ineligible individuals and/or organizations

  1. (1)Individuals who are currently employed by their national or local governments, as well as those employed by similar organizations (e.g. governmental corporations) and whose main occupation pertains to international activities. However, individuals in research-related positions are eligible.
  2. (2)Domestic or overseas organizations that are national or local governmental agencies as well as similar bodies.
  3. (3)Domestic organizations with a strong public character, such as organizations that are mostly publicly-funded or were established directly by law.
  4. (4)Organizations supported by the Japanese government or the Japan Foundation that receive an amount of subsidies representing more than half of their annual budget.
  5. (5)Organizations that are closely related, organizationally or financially, to their nominator.
  6. (6)Individuals and organizations whose main activities are profit-making, religious, political, or electoral.
  7. (7)Individuals and organizations whose main field of activity is different than the Japan Foundation's, such as scientific or technological fields.
  8. (8)Individuals and organizations whose main purposes are recreational activities or nurturing friendship through exchange between sister cities or sister schools, as well as those who perform activities that benefit to a restricted specific group or association.

Eligible fields of activities

To be considered for selection, candidates must be thoroughly involved in one or more of the following fields of activities that represent the core activities of the Japan Foundation: “Arts and Cultural Exchange,” “Japanese-Language Education Overseas,” and “Japanese Studies and Intellectual Exchange.”
  • Arts and Cultural Exchange
    Individuals or organizations that have significantly contributed to international cultural exchange and the enhancement of mutual understanding between Japan and other countries through the introduction or promotion of Japanese arts and culture abroad, or creative activities such as joint research or coproduction projects. Individuals or organizations that contributed to international cultural exchange and the enhancement of mutual understanding between Japan and other countries through the fields of photograph, cuisine culture, architecture, TV, game, animation, cartoon, sports, etc. are also eligible.
  • Japanese-Language Education Overseas
    Individuals or organizations that have significantly contributed to the progress of Japanese-language education and academia, the improvement of the international status of Japanese-language as well as the enhancement of mutual understanding between Japan and other countries through remarkable commitment to Japanese-language education and research as well as continued efforts to train and organize Japanese-language teachers, or through translations, writings in Japanese or other activities strongly connected to the Japanese language.
  • Japanese Studies and Intellectual Exchange
    Individuals or organizations that have significantly contributed to foster better understanding of Japan through education and research and strengthen intellectual networks between Japan and foreign countries through original and authoritative accomplishments and the development of Japanese studies abroad.

Selection Process

After primary screening by a panel of specialists, a selection committee consisting of experts commissioned by the Japan Foundation will select the recipients. The results will be officially announced in August.

Selection Criteria

Recipients will be selected based on the following criteria:
  1. (1)Achievement
    Recipients must have made outstanding contributions to the promotion of international mutual understanding and friendship inside or outside of Japan over the years.
  2. (2)Continuity and Potential
    Recipients are expected to continue their activities and further promote and contribute to international cultural exchange.
  3. (3)Pervasiveness
    Results of the recipient's activities must benefit many people, not only a specific region or organization.
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