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Today, Japan and the US enjoy a very close relationship in various fields. In fact, it might be difficult for younger generations to imagine that our two countries fought against each other just several decades ago.

Fortunately, since then, personal and institutional relations have been renewed, enriched and expanded. It might be said that developing and strengthening connections and networks through cultural exchange is the most important mission of the Japan Foundation.

In this light, our Foundation has supported the kinds of fundamental infrastructure that allow these connections to happen and also implemented various programs to foster exchange and build networks. Depending on need, we work on both institutional and individual levels. On an institutional basis, we have partnered with universities, think tanks, museums, Japan-America societies, U.S. JET Alumni Association, the North American Japanese Garden Association, etc. On an individual level, we have worked closely with professionals from a broad spectrum of backgrounds, including academics, practitioners, educators, artists, and curators.

We have recently developed a new initiative to support academic networking among US, Japan and Southeast Asian countries with the goal of encouraging a more closely connected international academic community. This initiative set up an initial framework to connect these academics, while also encouraging the natural development and proliferation of individual relationships moving forward.

So, I look forward to working together with you, our partners and collaborators, both old and new, to build closer and stronger relations between our two countries.

Osamu Honda

Director General, The Japan Foundation, New York

Director, The Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership, New York

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