The Japan Foundation aspires to the role of catalyst for international exchange throughout the world, presenting valuable and appealing aspects of Japanese culture to other countries and promoting mutual understanding with peoples around the world.
The Japan Foundation (Kokusai Koryu Kikin) was founded in 1972 as a non-profit, special legal entity by special legislation in the Japanese Diet. On October 1, 2003 a new era began as The Japan Foundation legally transformed into an Independent Administrative Institution under the "Independent Administrative Institution Japan Foundation Law."
Together with the legal transition, The Japan Foundation undertook structural reform, reorganising its wide-range of programs into three main categories:
- Arts and Cultural Exchange
- Japanese-Language Education
- Japanese Studies and Intellectual Exchange
In May 2004, the Information and Resource Center was established to provide information on international exchange.
The Japan Foundation coordinates its programs through its headquarters in Tokyo, as well as an office in Kyoto, Japanese-Language Institutes in Urawa and Kansai, and 23 overseas offices (designated as Japan Cultural Institutes, Japan Cultural Centres, Language Centre and liaison offices) in 21 countries worldwide.
To contribute to the improvement of a good international environment and the maintenance and development of harmonious foreign relationships with Japan by:
- deepening understanding of Japan
- promoting better mutual understanding among nations
- encouraging friendship and goodwill among the peoples of the world
- contributing to the world through the efficient and comprehensive implementation of various activities that promote international cultural exchange
The dynamic butterfly-shaped logo, which incorporates the initials "j" and "f", represents openness, freedom and accessibility in the renewed mandate of these principles within the Foundation.