• Photo of evacuees from Ukraine arriving at an airport in Japan

    [Support in Japan]

    Financial Assistance to Evacuees from Ukraine
    We are providing assistance for travel and living expenses for Ukrainian citizens who have evacuated to Japan as a result of Russia’s invasion in February 2022 and who have a guarantor with residence status in Japan.

  • The gigantic eruption of the underwater volcano Hunga Tonga-Hunga-Haʻapai on January 15, 2022, caused major damage in Tonga.
    The Nippon Foundation began accepting donations to the Tonga Emergency Relief Fund on January 19, and the period for donations ended on July 31.

  • Photo of Yohei Sasakawa explaining the support program
    Yohei Sasakawa explaining the support program

    The Nippon Foundation announced today that it plans to provide humanitarian assistance for travel and living expenses of people who have been displaced from Ukraine, and who have family or acquaintances living in Japan and wish to reside in Japan. There are roughly 1,900 Ukrainian residents of Japan, and roughly 1,000 of their family members and acquaintances are expected to seek to come to Japan.

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    The Nippon Foundation is carrying out the following support measures while closely following the situation with regard to infections.

  • The 49th installment of the Awareness Survey of 18-Year-Olds, launched by The Nippon Foundation in October 2018, was carried out from August 26 to 31 on the subject of “Disaster Prevention and Mitigation.” The survey of 1,000 respondents in Japan aged 17 to 19 was intended to examine young people’s experiences, thinking, and actions with regard to large-scale natural disasters and disaster prevention and mitigation.
    More than 80% of respondents expressed concerns regarding disasters being exacerbated by global warming and forecasts of a large-scale earthquake occurring in the next 10 to 20 years, and view the situation with a sense of crisis. At the same time, however, more than half did not know things like the location of their locally designated evacuation center and less than 20% were familiar with the government’s evacuation information guidelines, showing a need for greater public awareness of disaster-related systems and countermeasures.

  • Photo of student volunteers Karin Gorai (photo left) and Rinka Saito (photo right) with children who had evacuated from Ukraine to Poland
    Student volunteers Karin Gorai (photo left) and Rinka Saito (photo right) with children who had evacuated from Ukraine to Poland

    Earlier this year, The Nippon Foundation and The Nippon Foundation Volunteer Support Center jointly launched The Volunteer Program for Ukraine, a program that plans to send 105 Japanese university student volunteers (in seven groups of 15 people each) to countries bordering Ukraine to assist evacuees from Ukraine, for two weeks each from May to October.

  • The Nippon Foundation is providing assistance for travel expenses, daily living expenses, and home furnishing expenses to people who have evacuated from Ukraine to Japan. The details are as follows.

  • Photo of a True Colors Festival, an arts festival brimming with diversity

    On September 20, 2022, The Nippon Foundation established and began accepting donations to the No Barriers Fund to support people with disabilities, who are often placed at a disadvantage in education and employment.
    This fund will be used to support the activities of NGOs and other organizations that support people with disabilities in Japan and overseas, in areas including employment support, sports, and artistic activities, with the aim of realizing an inclusive society.

  • Group photo of the student volunteers
    Group photo of the student volunteers

    A ceremony was held at The Nippon Zaidan Building on May 30 to see off the first two groups see off the first two groups of Japanese university student volunteers who are being dispatched to Poland to assist evacuees from Ukraine as part of a joint project with The Nippon Foundation Volunteer Center. The first group of 15 students will be dispatched from May 31 to June 16, and the second group of 15 will be dispatched from June 13 to 29, and 25 of those students attended the send-off ceremony. From their base in Krakow, the students will assist people who have evacuated from Ukraine by distributing food and other items, managing relief supplies, and assisting with the dissemination of information about activities being carried out by NGOs.

  • The 48th installment of the Awareness Survey of 18-Year-Olds, launched by The Nippon Foundation in October 2018, was carried out from July 29 to August 2 on the subject of “Energy.” The survey of 1,000 respondents in Japan aged 17 to 19 was intended to examine young people’s thinking and response to energy shortages and energy policy in light of the government’s request for reduced electricity consumption during the summer and policy for the full-fledged restart of nuclear power plants.
    The results are as outlined below. While a majority of respondents were taking concrete actions to conserve electricity, less than 20% understood the reward points system the government has introduced to promote electricity conservation. A tendency toward prioritizing stable energy supplies was also seen, with a majority of respondents approving of nuclear power accounting for a larger portion of the country’s electrical power generation.

  • The coronavirus that first appeared in Wuhan, China, began spreading in January 2020 and quickly became a worldwide pandemic. The spread of infections in Japan created an unprecedented situation, with a state of emergency initially being declared in April 2020. In response, The Nippon Foundation began accepting donations on April 7 to support medical practitioners, children, and others affected by the pandemic.

  • Photo of Kosei Inoue doing randori freestyle training with a member of the Ukrainian youth judo team
    Kosei Inoue doing randori freestyle training with a member of the Ukrainian youth judo team

    As part of its support for Ukrainians who have evacuated to Japan, The Nippon Foundation provided an opportunity for 12 young people from a Ukrainian youth judo team to practice under the instruction of judoka and HEROs Ambassador Kosei Inoue (gold medalist in the 100kg event at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, Japan national team coach for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics). The Foundation has already been providing Ukrainian children with support for travel and living expenses in Japan, and this event was part of The Nippon Foundation’s HEROs program, through which athletes use their sport to promote activities that contribute to society. The event was organized with the cooperation of the city of Yokohama, a sister city of Odesa, Ukraine, and the team members are short-term evacuees from that city. The event was held on August 24, Ukraine’s Independence Day, at the Asano Junior and Senior High School. Roughly 60 young people including members of the school’s judo club participated, and were joined by judoka Ryunosuke Haga (bronze medalist in the 100kg event at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics). The participants received instruction in judo’s uchi-mata (inner thigh wraparound throw) and o-uchi-gari (large inner reap) techniques, and this was followed by randori freestyle training.

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    Staff from the PwC Japan Group meet with a member of the Nippon Foundation Working Group
  • The 47th installment of the Awareness Survey of 18-Year-Olds, launched by The Nippon Foundation in October 2018, was carried out from July 12 to 14 on the subject of the “Situation in Ukraine.” The survey of 1,000 respondents in Japan was intended to survey young people’s attitudes and actions in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and their evaluation of the Japanese government’s response.
    The results are as outlined below. Respondents showed a high degree of interest in the situation in Ukraine, with some having participated in relief activities in neighboring countries and fundraising activities. Respondents had a positive view of the role that Japan is playing, with more than half approving of Japan’s acceptance of the more than 1,600 evacuees from Ukraine who have already come to Japan.

  • Photo of press conference participants (left to right): The Nippon Foundation Executive Director Jumpei Sasakawa, guarantor Olena Svidran and her mother, Nataliia Muliavka and her two daughters, and The Nippon Foundation Chairman Yohei Sasakawa
    Press conference participants (left to right): The Nippon Foundation Executive Director Jumpei Sasakawa, guarantor Olena Svidran and her mother, evacuee Nataliia Muliavka and her two daughters, and The Nippon Foundation Chairman Yohei Sasakawa

    At a press conference held on July 29, 2022, at The Nippon Foundation headquarters in Tokyo, The Nippon Foundation announced that it has decided to increase the number of evacuees from Ukraine that it will support with daily living and other expenses to 2,000. This is double the initial figure announced on March 28, prior to the program’s commencement in April, and will bring the total amount of assistance budgeted to 8.58 billion yen.

  • Photo of the Hiroo East Park toilet, designed by Tomohito Ushiro
    The Hiroo East Park toilet, designed by Tomohito Ushiro

    pon Foundation’s THE TOKYO TOILET project is recreating public toilets in 17 locations in Shibuya, Tokyo, to make them accessible to everyone. The 13th toilet, in Hiroo East Park (Hiroo 4-2-27, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo; Tomohito Ushiro, creator) opened to the public on July 22.

  • Photo of The Nippon Foundation Executive Director Mitsuyuki Unno
    The Nippon Foundation Executive Director Mitsuyuki Unno

    Ahead of Japan’s Marine Day holiday, observed this year on July 18, The Nippon Foundation carried out an awareness survey regarding the ocean.

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    Group photo of the 25 student volunteers who attended the July 7 briefing

    The first two 15-member groups of Japanese university student volunteers participating in The Volunteer Program for Ukraine, a joint project being operated by The Nippon Foundation and The Nippon Foundation Volunteer Center, have returned to Japan after spending two weeks each in Poland assisting evacuees from Ukraine (Group 1: May 31 – June 16; Group 2: June 13 – 29). At a briefing at The Nippon Zaidan Building on July 7, representatives of the two groups reported on their activities, which included interacting with children, cleaning facilities, and managing supplies and equipment, mainly at a temporary evacuation center in the city of Przemyśl.
    The next two groups are scheduled to be dispatched from August 1-17 (Group 3) and August 15 – 31 (Group 4), with Poland, Slovakia, Austria and other countries being considered as bases for their activities. Applications for Groups 5 and 6 are currently being accepted via The Nippon Foundation Volunteer Center’s Vokatsu! website (in Japanese only) (external link). The program plans to dispatch up to 105 volunteers in seven groups of 15 members each by October.

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    Staff from Bridgestone Corporation and Bridgestone Empowerment Co., Ltd. and members of the Nippon Foundation Working Group at the Bridgestone Group’s Technology Center in Kodaira City, Tokyo
  • Map of Japan showing the locations of the five projects being carried out under The Nippon Foundation MEGURI2040 Fully Autonomous Ship Program. 1. Designing the Future of Full Autonomous Shipping: Grand design drawn by diverse specialists. Demonstration testing carried out between Tokyo Bay and Ise Bay. 2. Verification testing of fully autonomous technologies using coastal container vessels and car ferries. Demonstration testing of a coastal container vessel carried out between Tsuruga, Fukui Prefecture, and Sakaiminato, Tottori Prefecture. Demonstration testing of a car ferry carried out between Tomakomai, Hokkaido, and Oarai, Ibaraki Prefecture. 3. Development of fully autonomous amphibious driving technology: Yanba Smart Mobility. Demonstration testing carried out at Yanba Dam in Naganohara, Gunma Prefecture. 4. Fully autonomous navigation at Sarushima, Yokosuka. Demonstration testing carried out in the waters around Sarushima, off the coast of Yokusuka City in Kanagawa Prefecture. 5. Smart ferry development. Demonstration testing carried out on the Iyonada Sea from Shinmoji, Kitakyushuu City, Fukuoka Prefecture.

    The Nippon Foundation launched The Nippon Foundation MEGURI2040 Fully Autonomous Ship Program in February 2020 through the formation of five consortia –comprising more than 60 companies from various fields including shipping, shipbuilding and related areas, telecommunications, weather information, marine insurance, and information technology startups – to pursue the development and verification of fully autonomous ship navigation. The project seeks to address two major issues facing Japan’s coastal shipping industry: shortages of human resources, with more than half of coastal shipping crew members being over the age of 50, and the fact that human error is said to be involved in 70-80% of maritime accidents. The project is aiming for the practical implementation of fully autonomous navigation by 2025, and to have fully autonomous navigation account for 50% of coastal shipping by 2040. Each of the consortia carried out their first demonstration tests during January – March 2022.

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    Staff from the Benesse Group and members of the Nippon Foundation Working Group
  • Group photo of press conference participants: (Front row, left to right) Oksana Bila, Mark Yelenets, Rimma Yelenets-Memor; (Back row, left to right) The Nippon Foundation Executive Director Jumpei Sasakawa, Ukrainian Ambassador to Japan Sergiy Korsunsky, U.S. Ambassador to Japan Rahm Emanuel
    Group photo of press conference participants: (Front row, left to right) Oksana Bila, Mark Yelenets, Rimma Yelenets-Memor; (Back row, left to right) The Nippon Foundation Executive Director Jumpei Sasakawa, Ukrainian Ambassador to Japan Sergiy Korsunsky, U.S. Ambassador to Japan Rahm Emanuel

    The Nippon Foundation, together with U.S. Ambassador to Japan Rahm Emanuel and Ukrainian Ambassador to Japan Sergiy Korsunsky, today announced the establishment of the Ukrainian Evacuees Assistance Fund, which has begun accepting donations to assist people who have evacuated to Japan from Ukraine.

  • Figure 1: 3D image comparing topography before and after the eruption using colors to represent differences in sedimentation
    Figure 1: 3D image comparing topography before and after the eruption using colors to represent differences in sedimentation

    A press conference was held on May 23 at New Zealand’s National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) in Wellington to announce the findings of the first part of a joint research project being carried out by The Nippon Foundation and NIWA to survey the area around the Hunga Tonga-Hunga-Haʻapai underwater volcano, which erupted in January 2022, and surrounding regions off the coast of Tonga.

  • Photo of Yohei Sasakawa, Chairman of The Nippon Foundation.

    As part of its humanitarian assistance, The Nippon Foundation on April 26 announced that it would provide assistance to persons with disabilities who are still in Ukrainian war zones, and dispatch Japanese university student volunteers to assist persons with disabilities who have evacuated to neighboring countries.

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    The Nippon Foundation MEGURI2040 Fully Autonomous Ship Program is leading the world in carrying out demonstration testing of fully autonomous navigation for coastal shipping, and through the success of this testing, seeks to create further opportunities for technological development in this field, promote innovation in Japan’s logistics, economy and social platforms, and support related technological development.

  • The Nippon Foundation DIVERSITY IN THE ARTS The 5th International Art Exhibition.Call for entries.Application Period: From June 15 (Wed) to June 30 (Thu), 2022

    “The Nippon Foundation DIVERSITY IN THE ARTS” is calling for entries for its 5th annual international art exhibition, an open-call exhibition for artists with disabilities inaugurated in 2018. Entry is open to artworks produced by people with disabilities who have not previously won awards.
    This project leverages the power of art to encourage interaction among all people, with or without disabilities, share the excitement and joy, and help people with disabilities discover their potential. To that end, the project is committed to providing opportunities for people with disabilities to engage in artistic activities, unearthing artistic talent, supporting activities of these artists, and broadly communicating the significance and value of diversity to all of society.
    The number of entries has been increasing every year. The open call for the 4th exhibition received 2,122 submissions from 10 countries. We are grateful to the more than 5,000 artists who have participated to date and to the many people who have expressed themselves in various ways and expanded their fields of activity through this open call for entries, and we look forward to another large turnout this year.

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    NIWA’s vessel to be used for manned research

    The Nippon Foundation and New Zealand’s National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) announced on April 1 that they would conduct a joint survey of the area around the Hunga Tonga-Hunga-Haʻapai underwater volcano, which erupted in January 2022, and surrounding regions off the coast of Tonga.
    Surveys of the area around the underwater volcano since the eruption have yet to be carried out, and the extent of the damage and current situation are not known in detail. This will be the first joint international research since the eruption to visualize the situation in the affected areas of the ocean, and is intended to clarify the risks and provide information that can be used to prevent and mitigate damage from similar undersea volcanic eruptions in the future. The Nippon Foundation and NIWA plan to announce the results in July 2022.

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    Clockwise from upper left, Mr. Suzuki, Mr. Ara and Ms. Ichikawa of Showa Denko’s Human Resource Department Diversity Promotion Group, and Ms. Okuhira of the Nippon Foundation Working Group

    Key Points in this Article

    • Showa Denko has launched a dedicated in-house “inclusion support site for people with disabilities” to promote diversity and inclusion (“D&I”)*
    • The leaders at the helm of the company give guidance and help bring about a major change in awareness within the company
    • Workshops and other activities have increased the number of supporters and created a movement across the entire company
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    Staff of Showa Denko K.K. and members of the Nippon Foundation Working Group

    Key Points in this Article

    • Showa Denko has set up a team to promote employment for persons with disabilities and create work that applies their special characteristics
    • Showa Denko intends to enhance the presence of persons with disabilities for the benefit of the company through their performance of “work that is essential” rather than “auxiliary work” of staff
    • With the stationing on site of job coaches, the company is working to create an environment where persons with or without disabilities can play vital roles in the workplace
  • Picture: Group photo of Nikkei Scholars (in front of the Monument of the LARA Supplies, which LARA supplies were supported by oversea Nikkei)

    Supporting Nikkei communities around the world for 50 years

    The Nippon Foundation began supporting Nikkei* communities in various countries in the 1970s as a tribute to the early generations of Japanese emigrants who overcame numerous hardships in other countries under emigration policies and who laid the foundation of today’s Nikkei communities. In addition to supporting the early generation of emigrants, The Nippon Foundation today also provides support for the education and development of the networks for the next generation of the Nikkei communities.

    • * Nikkei is a term that broadly refers to Japanese who emigrated from Japan to other countries to settle there permanently, and their descendants.
  • The 45th installment of the Awareness Survey of 18-Year-Olds, launched by The Nippon Foundation in October 2018, was carried out from January 25 to 30 on the subject of “Lowering the Age of Adulthood.” The survey of 1,000 respondents in Japan found that although more than 90% were aware of the legal revisions taking effect April 1 that will lower the age of legal adulthood to 18 from 20 for a range of activities, only roughly 60% were aware of the specific provisions including 18-year-olds being able to conclude contracts and to marry without parental consent, and only 33% were aware that 18-year-olds could be selected as lay judges. In addition, 36% of respondents felt that the legal age for being able to conclude contracts should be raised.

  • Photo of Yohei Sasakawa, Chairman of The Nippon Foundation, speaking at the press conference

    The Nippon Foundation and the Satoumi Research Institute held a joint press conference on March 17 to announce the latest findings of The Nippon Foundation Ocean Acidification Adaptation Project, launched in April 2020 for the purpose of identifying the situation regarding the increasing acidification of the ocean in Japan’s coastal areas and its effect on the fishing industry. Focusing on farmed oysters, one of Japan’s most important aquaculture products, data was recorded at three locations in Japan (Miyagi, Okayama, and Hiroshima) over 18 months. The press conference was to announce the results of that data analysis, including the actual effect of acidification and future projections under a warming scenario.

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    Mr. Tomohiro Shiota (left) of the UNIQLO Sales Department Store Policy Team and Diversity Promotion Team, and Ms. Masako Okuhira, The Nippon Foundation Working Group
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    The amphibious car-vessel used in the demonstration test

    The world’s first demonstration test of a fully autonomous amphibious vessel was successfully carried out at Yanba Dam in Gunma Prefecture on March 14. The test was part of The Nippon Foundation MEGURI2040 Fully Autonomous Ship Program, which is developing navigation and obstacle avoidance systems and other technologies that are expected to contribute to greater ship safety.

  • Photograph of the container ship SUZAKU
    The container ship SUZAKU

    The fifth demonstration test of The Nippon Foundation MEGURI2040 Fully Autonomous Ship Program, of a fully autonomous container ship and its Fleet Operation Center for emergency monitoring and operation, was successfully carried out between Tokyo Bay and Ise Bay from February 26 to March 1. The test, using the container ship SUZAKU, demonstrated for the first time the use of a comprehensive fully autonomous navigation system (including remote control and land support) for a container ship operating in a congested sea area.

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    The Mikage

    The third and fourth demonstration tests of The Nippon Foundation MEGURI2040 Fully Autonomous Ship Program, launched by The Nippon Foundation in February 2020 through support for five consortia, were successfully carried out in late January and early February. Fully autonomous navigation is expected to help address numerous maritime issues including crew shortages and accident prevention, and also holds potential as a “future industry” that can demonstrate to the world Japan’s advanced technologies in areas like artificial intelligence, information and communications technology, and image analysis.

  • The 44th installment of the Awareness Survey of 18-Year-Olds, launched by The Nippon Foundation in October 2018, was carried out from December 10 to 15, 2021, on the subject of “Menstrual Issues.” The survey was intended to examine young men and women’s level of understanding of inconveniences in daily life and economic effects of menstruation. The survey found that many young people feel the subject is not sufficiently understood, with only 40% of women and 18% of men feeling that they had sufficient knowledge themselves, and 74% of women and 61% of men replying that men need to know more about menstruation. Roughly half of both men and women replied that classes in school were their main source of information on the subject, but less than 30% of all respondents were satisfied with the amount and content of those classes. The top replies for what they wanted schools to teach were menstruation-related medical products (70% of women) and considerations for women while they are menstruating (56% of men).
    Inconveniences in daily life included insufficient sanitary products in public places and wanting to or having to miss or leave school classes or extracurricular activities early. There is also a psychological burden from insufficient understanding or consideration by others, including not being able to tell teachers or other persons in authority that one does not feel well, or having those persons not understand that one does not feel well. In addition, 15% of women replied that they could not purchase sanitary products, or replaced them less frequently or used substitute items, during the past year for economic reasons. Dissatisfaction with the economic burden caused by menstruation was also highlighted, with 72% of women (and 52% of men) replying that sanitary products should be subject to a reduced consumption tax rate and 63% of women replying that sanitary products should be made available for free in places like public restrooms.

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    Figure skater Yuzuru Hanyu (ⒸPHOTO KISHIMOTO)

    Yuzuru Hanyu’s historic run for third consecutive title

    The first athlete to come to mind is figure skater Yuzuru Hanyu. His attempt to win a third consecutive men’s single title has attracted global interest, with many media outlets in Europe and the United States covering him and further raising expectations. Although many people were concerned when he sat out for part of this season because of an ankle injury, he competed in the Japan national championships at the end of last year. His freestyle routine in Beijing is said to include a quad axel (quadruple and a half jump), and if he successfully completes this move and wins gold, he will be only the third person in history and the first in more than 80 years to win three consecutive individual gold medals in figure skating. The previous three-time consecutive gold medalists were Gillis Grafström, who won gold medals for Sweden in the men’s event in 1920 at the Antwerp Summer Olympics, in 1924 at the first Winter Olympics (Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, France), and in 1928 (St. Moritz, Switzerland), and Norwegian women’s singles gold medalist Sonja Henie, who won in 1928, 1932 (Lake Placid, New York), and 1936 (Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany), and went on to become a famous actor. In those early days of the sport, the emphasis was more on skating, while today’s routines are defined more by jumps of increasing difficulty like the quad axel.

    Nathan Chen of the United States is seen as Mr. Hanyu’s main challenger, while the other Japanese men’s figure skaters to watch are 2018 silver medalist Shoma Uno, and Yuma Kagiyama, who has shown remarkable progress this season.

  • The worldwide movement to eliminate leprosy has been enjoying considerable success since MDT was endorsed by the WHO in 1981. The Nippon Foundation has been instrumental in this success, to the point that in 2001 WHO asked Yohei Sasakawa, our chairman, to be its Goodwill Ambassador for Leprosy Elimination.

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    The 1972 Winter Olympics downhill skiing course on Mount Eniwa ⒸPHOTO KISHIMOTO

    Mount Eniwa is a volcanic mountain directly south of the city of Sapporo in Hokkaido, with a peak elevation of 1,320 meters. Overlooking Sapporo from its summit, the mountain attracted the world’s attention in 1972 when Sapporo hosted the Winter Olympics, the first time the Winter Games were held in Asia. As the initially planned Mount Teine did not have a sufficient vertical drop for holding the alpine skiing events, the decision was made to move these events to Mount Eniwa.