Profile of Yohei Sasakawa

Yohei Sasakawa, born in Tokyo on January 8, 1939, is Chairman of The Nippon Foundation, a private, non-profit foundation established in 1962 for the purpose of carrying out philanthropic activities, using revenue from motorboat racing.

After 20 years in the business sector, Sasakawa joined The Nippon Foundation in 1981. Sasakawa is known for bringing an entrepreneurial spirit to his work with entities from the political, governmental, academic, and private sectors in addressing issues in such diverse areas as health, education, food security, and maritime safety.

Photo of Yohei Sasakawa

His global fight against leprosy and its accompanying stigma and social discrimination is an issue to which he has remained highly committed for more than 40 years.

Professional Experience

  • 2005 – Present:Chairman, The Nippon Foundation
  • 1989 – 2005:President, The Nippon Foundation
  • 1988 – 1989:Acting President, The Nippon Foundation
  • 1981 – 1988:Trustee, The Nippon Foundation

Official Appointments

Special Envoy of the Government of Japan for National Reconciliation in Myanmar [2013 – Present]
Goodwill Ambassador for the Welfare of the National Races in Myanmar
(Appointed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Japan) [2012 – Present]
Goodwill Ambassador for the Human Rights of Persons Affected by Leprosy
(Appointed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Japan) [2007 – Present]
World Health Organization Goodwill Ambassador for Leprosy Elimination [2001 – Present]

As of May 2020

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