Section5. Promotion of Mutual Understanding with Foreign Countries


The international community is becoming more and more interdependent each year, and as an information-oriented society continues to evolve, the world is being more closely linked together by a highly organized communication network.

Particularly for Japan, whose international position has risen markedly in recent years, it is becoming very important not only to be fully aware of developments on the world scene, but also to see that other countries are accurately informed about Japan and its circumstances. Through overseas publicity activities, Japan is continuing its efforts to disseminate correct information abroad in order to deepen the knowledge and understanding of Japan among foreign peoples.

Furthermore, to put relations with foreign countries on a long-term and more stable basis, it is essential to deepen mutual understanding and friendship among the nations through the expansion of cultural exchanges.

In this respect, the Japanese government has concluded agreements and arrangements on cultural exchange with up to 29 countries, and during FY1981 held consultations on cultural exchange with five of those countries. Various cultural exchange projects including those to diffuse the Japanese language and to promote studies on Japan, those to hold public performance and exhibition, those to donate books and encourage publishing, and audiovisual projects as well as exchange of people were implemented through the Japan Foundation which is the special juridical person under the purview of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. At the same time, Japan attached importance to cooperation for the promotion of culture and education in developing countries, and provided cultural grant aid to 27 countries (33 cases) in FY1981. Financial cooperation has also been extended to the Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission, the Youth For Understanding (YFU), and the Japan Society of New York. Cooperation was also extended to the international project to preserve historic ruins which has been conducted by UNESCO.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs conducts domestic publicity activities and extends cooperation to the mass media with a view to helping the Japanese people have a deepened and accurate understanding of the international situation and Japan's diplomatic efforts, through providing them with accurate information on these matters.

To win wide support and understanding from the Japanese people and foreign countries with regard to Japan's foreign policy would involve developing the basis for Japan to further promote its diplomacy. As the international community places growing expectations on Japan, the world's interest in this country's future course will inevitably grow. In these circumstances, the role of publicity and cultural exchange activities has increased its importance as an essential part of Japan's diplomacy. Japan will continue to promote various projects in this field.


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