The Japan Foundation Japanese-Language Institute, Kansai (hereafter the Institute) was established in 1997 as a Japanese language training facility for the Japan Foundation on the compounds of Rinku Town, located directly across from the Kansai International Airport
Since its establishment, the Institute has offered Japanese language education support projects with a focus on Japanese- language programs for learners coming to Japan, deepening ties between Japan and the world. More specifically, by inviting Japanese language learners, Japanese language teachers, cultural and academic experts, diplomats, and government officials for Japanese-language programs, strengthening the Japan Foundation support network (the Sakura Network) overseas, and developing websites for Japanese language education and developing a website (eLearning) for learning and promoting the Japanese language through the internet, we have actively promoted various businesses and contributed to the development of Japanese language education in the world.
Needless to say, language is extremely important software that supports the foundation of international exchange. It would not be an exaggeration to say that the understanding and dissemination of Japanese culture all begin with the Japanese language. Without the Japanese language, it would be impossible to truly convey the subtle nuances of Japanese culture.
The Institute plays an important role in spreading the circle of interest in the Japanese language across the globe, promoting the understanding of Japan, and in turn, creating mutual understanding. As globalization advances today, the value of Japan's diplomacy is being questioned. However, I would say that the most important strategy of Japanese diplomacy in the 21st century is likely to strengthen the Japanese language fan base overseas. Concealed within the Japanese language is the hidden charm of Japanese culture. I am convinced that its power as a software is superior to anything when it comes to diplomatic strength.
Moreover, the Institute receives a great deal of support from people in the community, mostly in Southern Osaka. By directly interacting with them, program participants are able to absorb the Japanese language and Japan as something that has become part of them. I am especially pleased to know that we are contributing to internationalization within the region, when we receive positive comments from the community about how they have gained friends through these exchanges.
We will continue to promote mutual understanding through international exchanges of culture based on the Japanese language, contributing to Japan and the world, as we look forward to your continued support.
Osamu Akagi, Executive Director
The Japan Foundation Japanese-Language Institute, Kansai