The Japan Foundation
Performing Arts Network Japan
The Nippon Foundation
The Nippon Foundation

The Nippon Zaidan Building 1-2-2 Akasaka, Minato-ku Tokyo 107-8404, Japan
Phone: +81-(0)3-6229-5111
Fax: +81-(0)3-6229-5110
Arts Organization of the Month Arts Organization of the Month
Dec. 27, 2013
The Nippon Foundation 
The Nippon Foundation is a non-profit philanthropic organization that has been active for 50 years funded by profits from motorboat racing. Its predecessor is the Japan Shipbuilding Industry Foundation founded in 1962 by Ryoichi Sasagawa based on Japan’s Motorboat Racing Law. In 1995, following the death of the founding chairman Sasagawa, the author Ayako Sono became chairperson and since 2005 the chairman is Yohei Sasagawa. In 2011 the name The Nippon Foundation that the organization had been commonly known by was made the foundation’s official name and it attained a public interest incorporated foundation status.
The foundation is funded by the allotted portion of earnings of motorboat racing, a government-controlled competitive sport. This budget is used to fund grant programs in a wide range of fields, as well as projects initiated by The Nippon Foundation. The foundation’s mission is to connect organizations, personnel, know-how and funding to expand the circle of social betterment to help create a society where all the people support each other.
The Grant Programs provide grants to incorporated foundations, corporations, social welfare organizations, NPOs, volunteer organizations, etc., in Japan, and grant applications are accepted once a year in the two categories (1) programs related to sea-going shipping and (2) social welfare, culture and education programs. According to the foundation’s program report for 2012, a total of 15.7 billion yen in grants were given to 2,456 projects. There is also an “Overseas Cooperation Grant Program” for humanitarian activities and human resources development programs open to applications at all times.
In the field of arts and culture, the success of the highly praised Art Brut Japonais exhibition (2010-11) in Paris displaying works of people with disabilities, etc., an Art Brut support program was established, and it now provides grants for the collection and preservation of art works, participation in exhibitions and provision and planning of museum created by renovation of old homes or storehouses. Also, a “Read Japan” program was launched in 2008 with the aim of promoting understanding of contemporary Japan through three programs for donating books about Japan, another for the translation and publishing of outstanding Japanese literature and a program for the nurturing of young translators, and in March of 2013 the foundation organized the “Tokyo International Literary Festival” as Japan’s first full-fledged book fair.
Also, in order to promote a culture of donation in Japan, the foundation organized a fundraising program involving 20 foundations. One of the resulting programs was “ROAD Project” ( initiated as the “Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Support Fund” created in response to the earthquake and tsunami disaster of March 11, 2011. This project takes a mid- to long-term perspective to the provision of support of NPOs and the like dedicated to relief and recovery in the stricken areas.