Together with Nikkei Communities

Group photo of Nikkei Scholars (at Boat Race Heiwajima)

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.

Areas of Support

1. Development of welfare, physical education and cultural facilities

Throughout Latin America and North America, there are numerous Japanese associations established mainly by immigrant Japanese to provide mutual support. For nearly 40 years since the 1970s, The Nippon Foundation has been providing support to these associations in areas such as the construction, maintenance and improvement of nursing homes, hospitals, gyms, and cultural centers.
Today, these facilities are trusted by people in the local communities and serve as bridges between Japan and the countries where Nikkei have settled.

Support for the extension of the Japanese Peruvian Centennial Clinic (Clinica Centenario Peruano Japonesa), a hospital in Lima, the capital of Peru, established in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of Japanese immigration to Peru (2009)

2. Support for War-displaced Japanese

The Nippon Foundation has provided support for the restoration of Japanese nationality to displaced Japanese and their families who were left behind in China, Sakhalin and the Philippines after the World War II. They were treated as “stateless persons” and were left in search of information on their relatives and their identities.
For example, from 2006 to 2019, The Nippon Foundation provided support for second-generation displaced Japanese left behind in the Philippines, by collecting evidence documents, filling procedures for registration, and arranging face-to-face meetings with relatives.
As a result, a total of 249 affected persons recovered their Japanese nationality.

Representative of the Philippine Nikkei Jin Kai presents to then Prime Minister Abe a petition with a list of signatures, requesting an early solution (2015)

3. Support for the Next Generation

The Nippon Foundation funds a scholarship program to support young Nikkei leaders to study in Japan with the aim of enabling them to deepen their understanding of Japan and act as bridges between their home countries and Japan. Through the Nippon Foundation Nikkei Scholarship run by the Association of Nikkei & Japanese Abroad, The Nippon Foundation Nikkei Scholarship run by the Association of Nikkei & Japanese Abroad, has been awarded to 139 young Nikkei from 11 countries in Latin America and Asia (as of March 2022) . Today, graduates are actively engaged in wide range of fields such as medicine, education, Japanese art and culture. They are contributing to the development of Nikkei communities in their local regions and beyond.

Nikkei scholars learn about contemporary Japanese society and leadership through seminars held four times a year.

4. Online Platform to Connect Nikkei Around the World

The Nippon Foundation has supported the Discover Nikkei portal site, operated by the Japanese American National Museum (JANM), since its launch in 2005. A global awareness survey of Nikkei, the first of its kind and jointly carried out by JANM and the Foundation in 2019-20, showed that 90% of young Nikkei are interested in building ties with other Nikkei across national and regional borders. At the same time, however, they have few opportunities to connect with other Nikkei outside their own communities. In response to this need in Nikkei society, this online platform facilitates two-way exchanges of information with the aim of creating a stronger network of diverse Nikkei individuals around the world.

Screen shot of the Discover Nikkei portal site
Screen shot of the Discover Nikkei portal site

The Discover Nikkei website (external link) is currently undergoing renovation as a site to facilitate two-way communication that keeps pace with the times. (The site can be accessed during the renovation period.)

For more information, please refer to the attached PDF.

Related links


The Nippon Foundatiton Global Issues Department

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