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    Following the initial confirmation of cases in China in December 2019, the new coronavirus has spread around the world.
    With the number of infected persons in Japan increasing and concerns of a crisis that could cause the medical system to collapse, the Japanese government declared a state of emergency on April 7.

  • Having received a large number of inquiries regarding cooperation with our activities in response to the spread of the new coronavirus, The Nippon Foundation has begun accepting donations to support its response. 

    The entire amount of donations received will be used to support the activities of doctors, nurses, and volunteers in response to the new coronavirus at a facility being established by The Nippon Foundation at the Museum of Maritime Science in Odaiba, Tokyo, and other locations.

    We ask for your cooperation as we work to overcome this difficult situation. 

  • In response to the spread of the new coronavirus, The Nippon Foundation has implemented telework for all head-office employees from Tuesday, March 17, 2020, until further notice.

    All departments will continue to respond to telephone calls and emails as usual, but some telephone calls may not go through.

    If your telephone call does not go through properly, please contact the Call Center as shown below.

    Also please note that the Call Center will be operating with reduced hours during this time.

    • Email: cc@ps.nippon-foundation.or.jp

    We apologize for this temporary inconvenience and ask for your understanding.

  • Working Together to Give Children Opportunities and Possibilities

    Thinking, supporting, and rearing together. 
    These are the goals of The Nippon Foundation’s Kids Support Project. 
    We are working to connect people, knowledge, and activity, 
    to create a society in which “everyone helps to raise everyone’s children.”

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    Yashuhiro Yamauchi discusses the qualities of manga

    Some people might say you are too old to still be reading manga

    There has long been a genre of “educational manga” that are written as aids to help students with their school studies, but general manga (Japanese comic books) are mostly read as entertainment. Among general manga, however, there are many works that are full of wisdom and knowledge, and that can spur further study into a wide range of fields.

  • The 24th installment of the Awareness Survey of 18-Year-Olds, launched by The Nippon Foundation in October 2018, was carried out in mid-March on the theme of “Children and Family.” The survey found that roughly 90% of respondents felt that there was somewhere, either their home or somewhere else, where they felt “at home,” while close to 10% did not. Close to two-thirds did not approve of corporal punishment as a form of discipline, with the main reasons being that pain and suffering do not resolve anything, and that no form of violence is acceptable. In addition, 80% of respondents were aware of the growing issue of child abuse across Japan, while only one in four were aware of legal revisions aiming to reduce child abuse set to take effect from April, and only one in six of all respondents felt the legal changes would reduce child abuse.

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    Opening ceremony of the 1st Olympic Games at the Panathenaic Stadium in Athens, Greece, in 1896. The 2020 Games are the first ever to be postponed.

    With no signs of the spread of new coronavirus infections being brought under control, the World Health Organization has declared a pandemic. The entire world is currently fighting an “unseen enemy.” In Japan, the welcoming of spring has instead seen the declaration of a state of emergency. With people staying indoors and maintaining social distancing when they do go outside, companies implementing telework, and schools closed, daily lives have completely changed.

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    Daisuke Hakamada has a unique background that includes drinking beer from various countries while traveling around the world

    With a fruity hop aroma, sharp bitterness like coffee, and a crisp, fresh flavor, craft beer offers a world of distinctive styles that are guided by the individual brewer.

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    A scene of flooding caused by Typhoon Hagibis in Nagano City, Nagano Prefecture

    Typhoon Hagibis, the season’s 19th typhoon, struck Japan on October 12-13 and caused major damage in the Tokai, Kanto, Koshinetsu, and Tohoku regions. The Nippon Foundation is dispatching NGOs and volunteer organizations to the affected areas, and is collecting donations to support their recovery activities.

  • The 23rd installment of the Awareness Survey of 18-Year-Olds, launched by The Nippon Foundation in October 2018, was carried out in late February on the theme of “Inequality.” The survey found that more than half of respondents felt a sense of economic inequality in their daily lives, while less than one-fourth believed this inequality could be rectified. In response to the fact that the world’s billionaires possess more wealth than 60% of the global population, roughly one-third considered this unavoidable while slightly more than one-fourth considered this to be a problem.

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    Caroline Casey participated in a public seminar in Tokyo in February 2020

    There is an elephant in the room

    In the many business situations involving competition among companies, be they large are small, there are often at least one or two “elephants in the room” – issues that everyone realizes are present but no one will discuss. One particularly significant issue is the employment of persons with disabilities. A public seminar titled “Disability and Business” was held in Tokyo in February 2020 to show how inclusiveness can increase corporate value and to consider possibilities for persons with disabilities and businesses. The keynote presentation was given by social entrepreneur Caroline Casey, who is working to shed light on the importance of hiring persons with disabilities for the creation of an inclusive society, and calling on CEOs of major companies around the world to play a role. We asked her about the hidden potential for companies and society when persons with disabilities are able to participate actively.

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    Chandra Kumar, who spoke at Global Appeal 2020 with a call to end leprosy-related discrimination

    In 2018, India detected 120,334 new cases of leprosy, accounting for roughly 60% of the global total. Although the country has achieved the World Health Organization’s target set in 2005 for the elimination of leprosy as a public health problem – a prevalence rate below one in 10,000 population – there are still areas where the disease exists, and persons affected by leprosy continue to face firmly rooted discrimination both in terms of laws and customs. Chandra Prakash Kumar is a young Indian who is working to eliminate this discrimination.

  • The 21st installment of the Awareness Survey of 18-Year-Olds, launched by The Nippon Foundation in October 2018, was carried out in December 2019 at the time of the UN Climate Change Conference in Madrid (COP25), on the theme of “Climate Change.” The survey showed that more than 60% of respondents believed the rise in carbon dioxide omissions is due to human activity, while fewer than 10 % believed it is part of a natural cycle. When asked if Japan, asthe world’s No. 5 carbon dioxide emitter, should reduce its omissions, roughly two-thirds replied “yes,” while roughly 13% believed Japan’s emissions are unavoidable for social activity.

    The 22nd installment was carried out in mid-January 2020 on the theme of “Food Loss.” The survey showed that close to 30% or respondents leave food uneaten for reasons including “the portion was too large” and “it was something I don’t like.” In addition, roughly 85% of respondents knew the difference between the labels “use by” (generally used for fresh foods) and “best by” (generally used for processed foods), with roughly two-thirds replying that they would still eat food for which the “best by” date had expired.

  • A scene from the video "How to prepare Japanese sea bream." The Japanese subtitle says, "Place the knife at an angle so that the pectoral fin and pelvic fin will stay attached to the head, and cut the backbone."
    A scene from the video “How to prepare Japanese sea bream” on the Nippon Sabakeru Project’s “Sabakeru Channel”

    The number of registered subscribers to the YouTube “Sabakeru Channel” (Japanese-Style Fish Preparation Channel), which is operated by the Nippon Sabakeru Project as part of The Nippon Foundation’s Umi-to-Nippon Project (The Ocean and Japan Project), has surpassed 150,000 and the channel has received the YouTube Silver Creator Award.

  • The Nippon Foundation, with the endorsement of the International Paralympic Committee, held a ceremony on Monday, January 27, in Tokyo to launch the 15th Global Appeal to end stigma and discrimination against persons affected by leprosy. The Global Appeal has been held each year since 2006 to coincide with World Leprosy Day, observed on the last Sunday in January, and has been made with the endorsement of world leaders in a variety of fields including government, business, academia, and religion. In addition to IPC Vice President Duane Kale, this year’s ceremony was attended by Japan’s Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare Katsunobu Kato, former prime minister and President of the Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (Tokyo 2020) Yoshiro Mori, and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

  • 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.

  • A ceremony was held on December 27, 2019, to mark the opening of The Nippon Foundation Disaster Recovery Support Center in the town of Marumori in Miyagi Prefecture. The center, opened in Marumori’s volunteer center, will support recovery work being done by Marumori residents who experienced major damage from Typhoon Hagibis, which caused widespread flooding and other damage across a large section of central and northeastern Japan in October 2019.

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    From left: Duane Kale (IPC), Miki Matheson (TNF Paralympic Support Center), Yukinobu Ike (Japanese Wheelchair Rugby Team), Manami Ito (Violinist), Koshi Kishita (Singer-songwriter), and Mr. Kumar (Family of person affected by leprosy in India)

    Since 2006, The Nippon Foundation has issued an annual Global Appeal to end stigma and discrimination against persons affected by leprosy, joined each year by influential individuals and organizations in conjunction with World Leprosy Day in January. Via the launch ceremony, we aim to foster a correct understanding of leprosy throughout the world and bring an end to the discrimination associated with the disease.

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    Narumi Takashi and Natsumi Yamada of i stand welcome the attendees

    One of the sessions at The Nippon Foundation Social Innovation Forum 2019, held in Tokyo from November 29 to December 1, was titled Yume Jitsugen Taikai (Rally to Achieve Dreams). The program was organized by “i stand,” a group of students at Hiro Gakuen Senior High School in Tokyo who are working to bring about social change with an emphasis on individual initiative. The session featured a keynote address by Takeshi Okada, former manager of the Japan national soccer team, a panel discussion with four junior and senior high school students who are involved in social activities, and a presentation by members of i stand.

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    Panel discussion

    The Nippon Foundation Social Innovation Forum 2019 was held from November 29 to December 1 in Tokyo. The event included a keynote address by Minister of the Environment Shinjiro Koizumi, 12 “Future Session” programs dealing with issues related to family, society, and the global community, 9 special sessions with presentations on social innovation activities around Japan, and The Nippon Foundation Social Innovation Awards.

  • The 19th installment of the Awareness Survey of 18-Year-Olds, launched by The Nippon Foundation in October 2018, was carried out in mid-September on the theme of “Media.” The survey showed that the information deemed most important for daily life was weather and disaster-related information, followed closely by entertainment and music, and then government, economic, and society. Television was the most popular source of information, followed by social media, news websites, video distribution and sharing sites, and friends and family. More than 80% of respondents have felt that information available on the internet is false, and more than 65% have confirmed the accuracy of information they saw on social media.

    The 20th installment was an “Awareness Survey of Society and Country,” and for this installment the survey covered 17- to 19-year-olds in nine countries: China, Germany, India, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Vietnam, with the results announced on November 30 at The Nippon Foundation Social Innovation Forum 2019. The survey showed that in a number of areas, young people in Japan ranked last compared with their peers in other countries in terms of considering themselves to be adults, having dreams for the future, and believing that they can change society or their country.

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    The Nippon Foundation Chairman Yohei Sasakawa (left) and BRAC Bangladesh Executive Director Asif Saleh (right)

    The Nippon Foundation and the Bangladesh-headquartered, international NGO BRAC held a joint press conference at the BRAC Centre in Dhaka, Bangladesh, on December 11 (local time) to announce an agreement under which the Foundation will provide roughly US$2 million in support to BRAC for the construction of 50 steel 2-story structures, to be used as learning centers in refugee camps in the Cox’s Bazar district of Bangladesh.

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    Group photo of representatives of 84 institutions from 75 countries

    The 2nd Coast Guard Global Summit, bringing together top officials involved in ocean safety from around the world, was held in Tokyo on November 20-21. Roughly 200 people representing 84 institutions from 75 countries attended the event, which was jointly organized by The Nippon Foundation and the Japan Coast Guard, to discuss the future direction of ocean policies. Attendance was more than double that of the first summit, held in 2017.

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    Professional lifesaver Seiji Iinuma gives a demonstration of how to perform CPR

    The Nippon Foundation’s HEROs project, which promotes activities by athletes that contribute to society, held an event in cooperation with the NGO Snowbank on November 9-10 at Yoyogi Park in Tokyo. “Tokyo Snow Festival x HEROs FESTA 2019” featured a number of top-level athletes who serve as “HEROs ambassadors,” who gave talks and demonstrations and interacted with children, using sports as a way to instill a desire to pursue challenges. Under sunny autumn skies, many young people and families with young children visited the event, which was held with a theme of “On your marks.”

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    Symposium speakers and participants

    The Nippon Foundation and the General Bathymetric Chart of the Oceans (GEBCO) Guiding Committee jointly launched The Nippon Foundation – Gebco Seabed 2030 Project in 2017 with the goal of mapping 100% of the ocean floor by 2030. An event to report on the project’s progress to date and plans going forward, under the title “From Vision to Action,” was held at the Royal Society in London on October 22, with roughly 100 researchers and members of the media attending.

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    Child YouTuber Ryan Kaji (center) and his parents

    The Nippon Foundation has received a $100,000 (roughly 10.8 million yen) donation from Ryan Kaji and his family, who operate the popular YouTube channel “Ryan ToysReview,” to support the Foundation’s relief and recovery activities in response to Typhoon Hagibis, which struck Japan on October 12-13. The donation will be used primarily to support children in areas that incurred damage.

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    Representatives of the GEBCO-Nippon Foundation Alumni Team pay a call on Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (center right) together with The Nippon Foundation Chairman Yohei Sasakawa (center left)

    Members of the GEBCO-Nippon Foundation Alumni Team, led by alumni of The Nippon Foundation / GEBCO Ocean Bathymetry training program at the Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping of University of New Hampshire, visited Japan recently to report on their winning of the Shell Ocean Discovery XPRIZE, an international competition in underwater mapping technologies. On September 18 team representatives briefed Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at his official residence, and held a briefing for field professionals in Japan at Toranomon Hills in Tokyo.

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    The Field Cast HANDBOOK

    Training for the “field cast” volunteers who will assist with the operation of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games began on October 4 at the National Olympics Memorial Youth Center in Yoyogi, Tokyo. A total of roughly 550 persons attended one of the two three-hour sessions, held in the morning and afternoon, and learned about the rules and mental preparation expected of volunteers, along with Olympic and Paralympic history. The training will be held at 13 locations in 11 prefectures through the end of March 2020. The Bureau of Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 Preparation also held a similar training program on the same day for “city cast” volunteers who will assist visitors outside the Games venues.

  • In cooperation with Salzburg Global Seminar, The Nippon Foundation is delighted to announce the “Call for applications for the Asia Peace Innovators Forum.”

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    True Colors Festival logo

    The Tokyo portion of the True Colors Festival, which exhibits the diverse abilities of artists with disabilities, begins this month and will last through July 2020, to coincide with the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. The first event was held in November 2006 in Vientiane, Laos, as a festival for artists with disabilities. Since then, it has grown in terms of both size and content, and for the upcoming series the term “disability” has been removed from the name. Under the banner of “True Colors,” the arts festival will emphasize the goal of an inclusive society in which everyone can participate, regardless of whether or not they have a disability, or their sexual orientation or gender identity, age, language, or nationality.

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    ImpacTech founders Yoav Elgrichi (left) and Kineret Karin (right) with The Nippon Foundation’s Hayato Hanaoka (center)

    ImpacTech is a startup accelerator founded in 2015 and based in Singapore, with additional operations in Thailand, Hong Kong, and Japan. Together with The Nippon Foundation, it recently held The Nippon Foundation Social Change Makers, a four-month program for Japanese startups looking to make a social impact. Founders Kineret Karin and Yoav Elgrichi recently sat down with Hayato Hanaoka of The Nippon Foundation to discuss the program and social startups in Japan.

  • The 17th installment of the Awareness Survey of 18-Year-Olds, launched by The Nippon Foundation in October 2018, was carried out in late July on the theme of the “Consumption Tax.” Japan’s consumption tax (similar to other countries’ sales tax or value-added tax) rate rose to 10% from 8% for most items effective October 1 (with the 8% rate remaining in place for certain designated items). The results, announced on August 29, showed that more than one-fourth of respondents felt the 10% rate was appropriate or that the rate should be higher, while close to half of the respondents felt the rate should be kept at 8% or lower, and roughly 10% thought the consumption tax should be eliminated entirely.

    The results of the 18th installment, on the theme of “Work,” were announced on September 17 and showed that more than half of respondents have decided on a field in which they want to work, with the top choices being civil servant, company employee, and IT-related. The survey also showed that roughly one-fourth of respondents want to work in a major city in Japan, roughly one-fourth want to work in a regional city in Japan, and slightly less than 5% want to work overseas. In addition, slightly more than half of respondents intend to give priority to their personal life over their work, and slightly more than one-third want to spend their entire career at the same company.

  • Share the pain. Share the hope. Share the future.

    Our mission is social innovation.

    Through this innovation we aim to achieve a society where all people support one another, reducing the burdens and challenges they face together.

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    Signing the MOC with JICA (from left): Shinichi Kitaoka, President of JICA, Hiroshi Kato, Senior Vice President of JICA, Ruth Oniang’o, Chairperson of SAA, and Yohei Sasakawa, Chairman of The Nippon Foundation

    The Seventh Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD), an international conference led by the Japanese government to support economic development in Africa, was held on August 28-30 at Pacifico Yokohama in Yokohama. As an official side event, the Sasakawa Africa Association (SAA), which is supported by The Nippon Foundation, held a symposium titled “Sasakawa in Africa – Building on the past, looking to the future; Africa’s youth and entrepreneurship in agriculture” on August 28. The symposium focused on the serious problem of growing youth unemployment in Africa, and the possibilities now offered by agriculture.

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    Fukushi Gakudan’s Koisuru-Buta Laboratory is surrounded by nature. In the foreground is a field of sweet potatoes planted by the Laboratory

    Established in 2001, Fukushi Gakudan (Social Welfare Orchestra) operates nursing homes (legally designated as “intensive care homes for the elderly”) and centers providing daytime services in Chiba and Saitama prefectures. Daisuke Iida, Fukushi Gakudan’s managing director, originally had no interest in social welfare.

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    Group photo of athletes who participated in HEROs PARA-SPORTS DAY 2019 at The Nippon Foundation Para Arena

    With roughly one year to go until the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, HEROs PARA-SPORTS DAY 2019 was held on July 8 at The Nippon Foundation Para Arena in Tokyo. The event was part of The Nippon Foundation’s “HEROs Sportsmanship for the future” project, which seeks to bring together currently active and retired athletes to build a framework for creating social bonds across Japan.

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    The Nippon Foundation Chairman Yohei Sasakawa (standing, fourth from right) with cosplayers of various nationalities

    In recent years, cosplay has spread beyond Japan to become an activity that is popular around the world. On June 8, cosplayers from Japan and other countries gathered at Tokyo Tower in central Tokyo, dressed as characters from anime (Japanese-style animation), manga (Japanese-style comics), and video games to participate in the “Nationwide Cleanup Campaign by domestic and foreign cosplayers at Tokyo Tower,” as part of The Nippon Foundation’s Change for the Blue program. A total of 430 cosplayers, including representatives of countries including Italy, Mexico, and Taiwan, collected roughly 90 bags (2,700 liters) of trash in the area around Tokyo Tower.

  • The 15th installment of the Awareness Survey of 18-Year-Olds, launched by The Nippon Foundation in October 2018, was carried out in late May and early June with a theme of “National Elections.” The results, announced on June 27, showed that roughly half of respondents of voting age planned to vote in the July 21 House of Councillors (the upper house of Japan’s national legislature) election, and of those who planned to vote, roughly 60% said they would cast their vote based on the candidates’ policies, while roughly 20% would vote based on political party.

    The results of the 16th installment, on the theme of the “Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games,” announced on July 22, showed that close to 70% of respondents are looking forward to the Olympics, Paralympics, or both. The events in which respondents were most interested were aquatics, followed by the opening ceremony and athletics for the Olympics, and wheelchair basketball, followed by the opening ceremony and wheelchair tennis for the Paralympics.

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    Entrance to the LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE exhibition

    The LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE exhibition, with a theme of “To Love is To Create,” was held at the Tokyo Midtown complex in central Tokyo from July 14 to 16. This was a preliminary event to promote the LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE Exhibition being planned for the summer of 2020, to coincide with the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

  • The Nippon Foundation will hold a ceremony in Tatkone Sanpra Baptist Church relocation camp to mark the completion of shelters for IDPs in Myitkyina, Kachin state. 32 households currently living in a temporary camp will be located to a commodious land and will receive vocational training.