Public Diplomacy

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe Receives a Courtesy Call from the Members of the Japan Foundation Asia Center Advisory Committee

March 31, 2015

1. On March 31, commencing at 6:20 p.m. for approximately 15 minutes, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe received a courtesy call from 15 members of the Japan Foundation Asia Center advisory committee.

2. At the beginning, Prime Minister Abe stated it had been exactly one year since the Asia Center was established it the Japan Foundation, and Japan-ASEAN ties had definitely deepened through the “WA Project”. Prime Minister Abe also stated that he hoped the members of the advisory committee would continue to provide valuable advice, so that the “WA Project” would develop further after the second year, when it would demonstrate the true value.

3. In response, on behalf of the committee members from the Japanese side, Chairman Masayuki Yamauchi explained the intent of the advisory committee, expressed gratitude that the recommendations of “the Advisory Committee on Cultural Exchanges in Asia” had been realized in the form of the “WA Project”, and stated that the committee had undertaken a general overview of the past year’s projects and held serious discussions on the direction going forward on the same day. On behalf of the committee members from the ASEAN side, committee member Datuk Lat of Malaysia agreed wholeheartedly with Prime Minister Abe’s initiatives for strengthening Asian ties, and stated, he hoped that the Asia Center would implement projects which embody the concept of cultivating coexistence with the people of Asia through two-way exchanges.

Reference: The “WA Project: Toward Interactive Asia through Fusion and Harmony”

1. The “WA Project” was announced by Prime Minister Abe at the ASEAN-Japan Commemorative Summit Meeting in December 2013 as a new Asian cultural exchange policy which implements cultural exchanges with Asian countries, mainly ASEAN member countries.

2. In order to implement this project, in April last year the Asia Center was established within the Japan Foundation. In the run-up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, the Center is carrying out two-way art and cultural exchanges including hosting and supporting people-to-people exchanges and projects in various fields such as performing arts, art and film, as well as Japanese language education assistance, including dispatching NIHONGO Partners.

3. The Japan Foundation Asia Center advisory committee, which consists of 21 cultural figures and experts from Japan and ASEAN member countries, met on March 31 and discussed the progress of projects over the past year, and the direction going forward.