To advance Australia's engagement with Japan by supporting people-to-people
linkages, promoting a contemporary image of Australia in Japan, and
facilitating informed discussion on key bilateral foreign and trade policy
The objectives of the Australia-Japan Foundation (AJF) are:
to increase awareness and understanding in Japan of shared interests
to increase awareness and understanding in Australia of the importance
of Japan to Australia as an economic and strategic partner; and
to increase recognition in Japan of Australian excellence and
(AJF Orders in Council, 30 November 2006)
To achieve its objectives, the AJF will prioritise high quality programs
particularly, but not exclusively, across any one of the three
cross-cutting themes: youth; gender, diversity and inclusion; and innovation.
Effective 'public diplomacy' plans are an essential element of projects to
maximise the potential of projects to increase mutual understanding and
goodwill between the two countries. Public diplomacy means that projects
have the capacity to reach out to the public and/or decision-makers in such
a way that strengthens Australia's influence and reputation in the
bilateral relationship. Good public diplomacy should generate positive and
effective media coverage and commentary on the Australia-Japan
relationship, and promote a contemporary and positive image of Australia,
and support the Australian Government's international policy goals.
Good public diplomacy should also open doors to new areas and to new and
sustainable networks between individuals and institutions in the bilateral
relationship, and enable partnerships or collaborative activities to emerge
or existing ones to deepen.
Projects must demonstrate collaboration between Japanese and Australian
partners, including through financial and other (eg in-kind) contributions.
Projects will come under the following priority areas (in alphabetical
Communication, Information and Advocacy
Projects will promote an accurate and positive image of Australia in Japan,
highlight the enduring nature of the bilateral relationship and increase
public understanding of the importance of the Australia-Japan relationship
in both countries.
Current project: Inaugural
Australia-Japan Youth Dialogue will bring together 20 dynamic young Australian and Japanese future leaders
(Grantee: David Lang).
Australia-Japan Foundation grant amount: $25,000
Economic Diplomacy and Geopolitics
Projects will facilitate informed discussion among policy-makers, business
groups and academic opinion leaders on the importance and potential of the
Australia-Japan business, economic and geopolitical relationships to each
country. Projects will focus on the following areas:
Promoting closer economic relations arising from the opportunities of
trade agreements and their built-in agendas;
Promoting emerging issues and trends in Australia's trade and
investment relationship with Japan;
Promoting Australian corporate reform capabilities and international
business expertise in areas of interest to Japan (for example in
project management and private-public partnerships);
Promoting understanding and public awareness of Australia and Japan's
shared contribution to promoting peace and stability in the region and
globally; and Australia and Japan's commitment to rules and norms that
promote stability, peace and prosperity.
Education and Australian studies
Projects will focus on two areas:
The promotion of Australia's strong education and training credentials,
for example, through alumni engagement and opportunities to provide
in-country exposure to Australian education and training capabilities.
Support for the teaching of Australian studies in Japan and the
maintenance and expansion of Japanese academic interest and expertise
Australia and Japan both face natural disasters, sometimes with devastating
results. Currently, projects under this
priority are assisting Japanese communities to recover
from the devastation of natural disasters, particularly communities of the
north eastern Tohoku region still recovering from the 2011 Great East Japan
Collaboration between Australian and Japanese artists and participants with a disability to celebrate the official opening of a
train line destroyed in the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami
(Grantee: Crossroad Arts).
Australia-Japan Foundation grant amount: $20,000
Projects will focus on three areas:
Exchanges between potential Australian and Japanese individual and
institutional collaborators and partners in sectors that promote
Australian excellence such as in innovation, science,
health and technology;
The promotion of Australian expertise in scientific research,
technology and innovation, for example, through alumni engagement and
public outreach activities. AJF will not fund science research in
Promotion of Australian excellence in sports medicine and other
sports-related scientific innovation through exchanges.
Society and Culture
Projects under this priority will encourage new social and cultural
exchange and cooperation initiatives between Australian and Japanese
professional, community and other institutions including sport, local
government, youth, community and not-for profit groups which highlight
Australian excellence and expertise in Japan and enhances mutual
understanding, friendship and respect. Projects will promote Australia as a
contemporary, creative, successful, diverse and tolerant nation; and an
attractive place to work, study, visit and live. Projects will also promote
Japan as a highly complementary partner with shared values and interests.
Arts/culture projects would preferably be a collaboration between
Australian and Japanese partners and demonstrate innovative ideas and/or
approaches conceptually or in its delivery. The individual or organisation
must have a proven record of quality and excellence.
Current project: '
Masterpieces of Contemporary Australian Literature' - translation and publication of contemporary Australian novels into
Japanese, author visit, and public conference (Grantee: Gendaikikakushitsu
Australia-Japan Foundation grant amount: $23,000
Opportunities and Challenges
Australia competes for attention with the rest of the world in Japan, not
only in trade but also in higher education, science innovation, tourism,
research collaboration, health, the arts and culture. Much of the AJF’s
efforts will be directed towards increasing the prominence of Australia in
Japan and building the capacity of Australians to establish and maintain
enduring links with their Japanese counterparts.
The Australian Government’s Australia now Festival in Japan in
2018 provides an important, high-profile opportunity to do this. Japan’s
hosting of the Rugby World Cup in 2019 and the Summer Olympics and
Paralympics in 2020 will provide additional opportunities to showcase the
Australia-Japan relationship to decision makers in both countries.
The AJF is one of the Government’s key public diplomacy programs for
strengthening the Australia-Japan relationship. The agenda for this program
continues to expand. Australia and Japan share a strong interest in
innovation which creates concrete opportunities for both countries to work
together for mutually beneficial outcomes. The Japan-Australia Economic
Partnership Agreement (JAEPA), including its built-in agenda, provides an
excellent framework for enhanced two-way trade and investment. Security
cooperation is another fast-growing element of the relationship as well as
working together on global issues.
Increasing understanding and appreciation of the bilateral relationship by
the peoples of our two countries will require close monitoring of trends,
recognition of opportunities and response to challenges. Recent growth in
inbound investment and services trade, driven by education and tourism,
will require greater cultural awareness and understanding including by
Australians. The AJF is ideally placed to lead this charge through
encouraging grassroots exchange, people-to-people and institutional