Applications in Marine and Maritime Fields


Goals and Objectives of The Nippon Foundation

The Nippon Foundation is an independent, nonprofit, grant-making organization founded in 1962. It was established by legislation for the purpose of carrying out philanthropic activities using revenue from motorboat racing.
The Foundation is providing aid to projects that fall under one of the following four major categories: 1) public welfare in Japan; 2) voluntary programs in Japan; 3) maritime and ship-related projects; and 4) overseas cooperative assistance.
Under the category of Overseas Grants for Maritime and Ship-related Projects, we especially respect cross-border, transnational activities; regional undertakings that may fall outside the reach of the public sector or other donor agencies; and initiatives to tackle pressing issues and long-range or persistent problems that require prompt and systemized care. Please refer to the following section for more detailed information about our grants.

Funding Areas for Maritime and Ship-related Projects

The ocean covers 71% of the Earth’s surface, and both directly and indirectly sustains the richness and diversity of human life. We believe that in order to share the grace and bounty of the ocean with future generations, ocean-related organizations around the world must work together from a global perspective to ensure its preservation by promoting peaceful and sustainable use of the oceans. To that end, it is equally important that not only experts, but people from all walks of life gain a deeper appreciation of the ocean.

From this viewpoint, we provide assistance to ocean-related projects, focusing on the types of initiatives outlined below.

  1. Projects that contribute to the formation of a new international order of the seas, by promoting mutual understanding and multilateral cooperation on ocean issues, and carrying out pioneering initiatives.
  2. International capacity and network building projects that promote cooperation among ocean experts, as well as with experts in other fields, in order to foster a more comprehensive understanding of the ocean, and facilitate discovery/sharing of effective new technologies and knowledge.
  3. Projects that foster sustainable regional development through multilateral cooperation, employing a comprehensive developmental approach that improves regional productivity while preserving the surrounding environment, including the coasts and ocean.
  4. Projects that promote public understanding and appreciation of the ocean through international activities in the fields of social welfare, culture, and sports, with the cooperation/participation of ocean experts and professionals.
  5. Other original and innovative international projects related to the ocean.

Basic Considerations

Due weight will be given to proposals which contain at least one of the following:

  • Pragmatic and realistic approaches to issues and problems
  • Potential for future development and self-sustainability
  • Far-reaching social and regional impact
  • Pioneering significance; creating new visions and acting as catalyst for positive changes and social transformations
  • A diversity of race, gender, ethnicity, social class, cultures and societies


Applicant Eligibility

Applicants for The Nippon Foundation’s Overseas Grants for Maritime and Ship-Related Projects must be nonprofit organizations based outside of Japan. They can be regional or international NGOs/NPOs, and include educational and research institutions. The Foundation does not accept applications from, nor provide grants to, private individuals or for-profit organizations.

Proposal Eligibility

The Nippon Foundation’s Overseas Grants for Maritime and Ship-Related Projects support non-profitable and institutional initiatives. Any program that is already in its operational phase is not eligible for grant consideration. In addition, The Foundation does not accept proposals of the following nature:

  • Profit-making
  • Fundraising for general purposes
  • Financial assistance to individuals, such as through direct scholarships
  • Debt repayment
  • Activities of a religious or political nature

Lower priority is given to projects for which the following features or goals are the main objectives, and not an integral part of a broader program:

  • Construction or physical infrastructure development
  • Acquisition of real estate
  • Asset building
  • General managerial/overhead costs
  • Publications, films, TV or radio programs
  • Basic research
  • In-house training

Eligibility is not contingent on the amount requested. The Foundation generally accepts multiple-year project proposals spanning a period of less than five years, but they must undergo screening every year. In principle, indirect costs should not exceed 10% of direct costs. Resubmission of previously rejected proposals cannot be accepted.


When to Apply

There is no application deadline as such, and applications can be received throughout the year. However, since the screening procedures take two to five months on average, it is strongly recommended that applications be submitted at least half a year before the planned start of the project, or whenever the funding will be needed.

How to Apply

Applications must be submitted by mail; we do not accept applications by fax or e-mail. All materials should be typed in English and sent to:

Overseas Program Section
Department of Maritime Affairs
The Nippon Foundation
1-2-2, Akasaka
Minato-ku, Tokyo 107-8404

When applying for The Nippon Foundation’s Overseas Grant for Maritime and Ship-Related Projects, please make sure that all data are typed, and send one set of the following documents: 1. A cover letter, 2. An application to The Nippon Foundation’s Overseas Grants, and 3. An application summary.
If available, attach the following additional information:

  • The organization’s most recent annual report and audited financial statements
  • Public information pamphlets
  • Printed materials/literature about applicant, collaborators and project
  • A copy of official documents certifying the organization’s legal status

If you are not sure whether or not your proposal fits within The Nippon Foundation’s guidelines, please send us an inquiry letter with the completed application summary to the above address.

The Cover letter

The cover letter should be addressed to:

Mr. Yohei Sasakawa
c/o Department of Maritime Affairs
The Nippon Foundation
1-2-2 Akasaka
Minato-ku, Tokyo 107-8404

1.The Application

When writing out the application, be sure to include the information listed below. Items that are not applicable to your organization or its activities may be omitted. If you are using currency other than US$ or Euro on the application form, please be sure to indicate the most recent conversion rate to either US$ or Euro. For multiple-year projects, a detailed account is required for each year in the section on project activity and income.

a. Applicant information
  • Name of organization
  • Name and title of representative
  • Name and title of project director
  • Address (including country)
  • Telephone number and fax number
  • E-mail address of project director
  • Web site URL
  • Date of establishment
  • Type of organization and institutional setting (including legal status)
  • Objectives of organization
  • Main activities and major achievements
  • Current activity priority
  • Size of staff
  • Total annual income and breakdown with description of sources of income
  • Total annual expenditures and breakdown (including operational and general costs)
  • Previous Nippon Foundation’s Overseas Grants
b. Project information
  • Title of project
  • Project site
  • Objectives and beneficiaries / target group
  • Description of project (background, methodology, operation, operational procedures, activities, etc.)
  • Significance of project
  • Characteristics of project (originality, innovativeness, features that distinguish this from other similar initiatives, etc.)
  • Expected outcome and long-term effects
  • Time frame (implementation schedule, e.g. preparation, phase 1, phase 2)
  • Qualifications of the organization to undertake the project 
    (organization’s strength in the field, experience of personnel, financial capacity, etc.)
  • Others ( project history, future plan, sustainability of project, etc. )

If this is a joint-project with other organizations:

  • The applicant role(s) and operational structure
  • Collaborating organization(s): brief description, names of contact persons
  • Collaborating person(s): Brief description
c. Finance information

(In the case of a multiple-year project, provide details for each year.)

  • 4 Total budget of project
  • 4 Amount of grant being requested to The Nippon Foundation
  • 4 The conversion rate to US$ or Euro (Refer to previous explanation.)
  • 4 Income breakdown (See *1 & *2.)

Expenditure breakdown (Detailed itemized budget of total project cost.)
(*1) If any funding is to come from other resources, please indicate the current status and its sources.
(*2) If any portion of the income, including grants from The Nippon Foundation, has been/should be earmarked for specific purposes, please indicate what they are.

2.The Application Summary

You may type out the requested information on separate sheets of paper rather than filling in the application form provided by us as long as you follow the same format on standard letter size or A4-size papers (21cm x 29.5 cm).


Grants are made under the terms and conditions laid out in the document, Terms and Conditions for Nippon Foundation’s Overseas Grants, which spell out the obligations which the Grantee is expected to assume. Grant funds will be remitted after the Grantee has agreed to the document, and may be paid in advance of the project, in hard currency. We require cooperation from the grantee in publicizing the project outcome on The Foundation’s home page.

All documents and questions should be sent to the Department of Maritime Affairs, Overseas Program Section.

Application Form

Applications may be downloaded in either MS Word or Adobe Acrobat format. Again, however, please note that we do not accept electronic submissions. After filling out the application form, we ask that you please print it out and mail it to us.