The Nippon Foundation draws the funds needed to support its many projects from the proceeds of Japanese motorboat racing. Motorboat racing in Japan is a philanthropy-oriented enterprise, having been established in 1951 specifically to aid a maritime shipping industry that had been devastated in World War II. Since its establishment, the Foundation’s operational fields have expanded to encompass a wide range of areas including support for basic human needs, aid to volunteer groups in Japan, and human resource development around the world.
Under this unique system, the majority of the funds taken in by motorboat racing is returned to bettors as winnings. However, a small percentage is earmarked for philanthropic purposes. This money is managed by the Foundation, which then selects projects that show great promise of affecting fundamental change. Though the percentage that passes through the Foundation is small, the amount generated is remarkable, averaging approximately 25 billion yen for the past several years.