Section 5. Promotion of Mutual Understanding and Cultural Interchange


l. Promotion of Cultural Interchange


The UNESCO Charter declares that "a peace based exclusively upon the political and economic arrangements of governments would not be a peace which could secure the unanimous, lasting and sincere support of the peoples of the world, and that the peace must therefore be founded, if it is not to fail, upon the intellectual and moral solidarity of mankind.

"With the growth of close international relations, it has become increasingly necessary to incorporate this concept into actual policies.

In this context, interchange with foreign countries in culture, education and science is an essential element of Japan's diplomacy, and it is one of the basic tasks of Japan's foreign policy to expand this field further in the future.

In the world today, major countries are trying to increase cultural interchange, and governments or government-affiliated organizations are carrying out activities on a large scale. Needless to say, in addition to such cultural interchange, there are wide-ranging private activities. While the independence and originality of private activities must be respected, there naturally is a limit to what can be done by private persons alone in many cases, including activities that require a considerable amount of funds and highly specialized knowledge. On the basis of the understanding mentioned above, the Government has been providing support, as needed, to private activities and trying to promote cultural interchange through Japanese diplomatic missions abroad or the Japan Foundation.


2. Modes of Cultural Interchange


Cultural interchange has two aspects. One is the aspect of obtaining the understanding of other nations about the way of thinking, the manner of living and the arts of a country through the introduction and diffusion of its own culture. Japan, therefore, has been trying to introduce contemporary and traditional Japanese culture by holding in foreign countries lecture meetings by scholars and intellectual leaders sent from Japan, symposiums, exhibitions, motion picture shows, concerts and other programs. It also provides assistance for the promotion of studies on Japan and the diffusion of the Japanese language in foreign countries and donates publications and audio-visual materials.

The need for cultural and educational cooperation with the developing countries has sharply increased in recent years. Realizing that the developing countries need cooperation from Japan in obtaining an accurate and basic knowledge of Japan and improving further their cultural and educational levels, Japan has been trying to expand interchange in culture, education and science through such activities as accepting students and trainees, exchanging teachers, providing aid in teaching materials and also materials for cultural facilities. Especially, Japan, through UNESCO, the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization, the Cultural and Social Center for the Asia and Pacific Region, and other international organizations, has been offering various forms of cooperation to the Asian countries, such as making contributions, sending experts, accepting fellows, holding conferences and participating in meetings.

The other aspect of cultural interchange is the promotion of a positive understanding and knowledge of the cultures of foreign countries. Japan has been trying to provide its people with as many opportunities as possible to understand foreign cultures through diverse activities, such as inviting intellectual leaders from foreign countries, exchanging scholars and students, sponsoring or supporting exhibitions organized by Government agencies concerned to introduce foreign works of art to Japan and providing support for the translation and publication of excellent foreign literary works and scientific books.


3. Expansion of Interchange through Cultural Exchange Organizations


Realizing that the promotion of mutual understanding with other peoples was a basic task for ,Japan's diplomacy, Japan established the Japan Foundation in October 1972 to carry out cultural interchange in an active and systematic manner to meet the needs of the international community. After more than two years of experience since its establishment, the Foundation's program is now well under way. As an agency specializing in cultural interchange projects undertaken by Japan, much is expected of the Foundation at home and abroad, and the scale of its projects has steadily expanded year after year. Its total capital fund increased to more than \25,000 million as of fiscal 1974. Its activities cover the whole field of cultural interchange, such as the exchange of-persons, including intellectuals, the promotion of studies on Japan abroad by dispatching lecturers to various universities in foreign countries, assistance for the diffusion of the Japanese language in foreign countries by providing teaching materials for Japanese language programs, the holding and support of various kinds of events such as traveling exhibitions and the preparation and distribution of materials. Japan has thus been devoting efforts to introducing Japanese culture abroad and foreign culture to Japan.

Japanese diplomatic missions abroad are also engaged in the effective promotion of cultural interchange suitable to local conditions. They carry out cultural activities centering on the introduction of Japanese culture, such as exhibitions, lecture meetings, concerts, motion picture shows and also participation in international cultural events. Especially, 26 of the Japanese diplomatic missions abroad have information and cultural centers which are actively engaged in introducing Japanese culture and the state of affairs in Japan.

Furthermore, cultural interchange is being conducted by Government agencies other than the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as well. Such interchange includes the exchange of students, exchange programs for young people including the Ship of Youth program, and the exchange of works of art with foreign countries by museums and other organizations.


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