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Global Partnerships

Building Links Around the World

The world today is characterized by enormous challenges as well as growing opportunities. We see ethnic conflicts and environmental problems, at the same time as a deepening interaction between people that transcends language and borders. This series focuses on the autonomous efforts of private and nongovernmental organizations, in both Japan and elsewhere, to bring a complex world closer together.

The Japanese Specialists Helping Modernize Myanmar’s Railways

Japanese rail experts are providing technical support for the modernization of Myanmar’s railways. An all-round approach, including training on proper maintenance of equipment, is essential to the project’s success.

Myanmar Rail Loop Gets an Upgrade

Foreign investment has been pouring into Myanmar since it started democratic reforms in 2011. While this has enlivened the economy, infrastructure lags behind, causing new social problems. With Japanese support, the government is upgrading the run-down central loop line in the country’s largest city Yangon to meet the challenge of traffic congestion.

Japan and British Mine Clearance Organization HALO Trust Working Toward a Mine-Free World

Japan, a leading donor to mine action programs, has helped fund demining projects by internationally known antimine group HALO Trust for the past two decades. Going forward, the British NGO looks to take its relationship with Japan to a new stage as it faces new challenges to rid the world of these indiscriminate weapons.

School Backpacks on a Peace-Building Mission: Recycled “Randoseru” Support Afghan Literacy

Even after six years of hard wear, Japanese elementary school backpacks have a lot left to give, and they are giving it to the children of Afghanistan. Since 2004, the Japanese have donated more than 180,000 used randoseru to needy schoolchildren overseas under a program administered by the Japanese Organization for International Cooperation in Family Planning in partnership with chemicals manufacturer Kuraray.

Beyond Funding: Responsible Execution of US-Japan Exchange ProgramsSharon Stirling /Kazuyo Kato

Strong relations between nations depend on more than just friendly ties at the leadership level. Grassroots exchange is an essential means of forming strong foundations for a lasting relationship. In this essay the authors recommend ways to enhance exchange programs to ensure their impact, value, and success.

Fostering a New Generation of Women Leaders

Japan recently brought into force a new law aimed at closing the gender gap in the nation’s workforce by bringing more women into mid- and upper-management positions. To prepare women for civic and private leadership roles, a program run in cooperation with the US-Japan Council and other partners provides young female college students unique opportunities to learn from prominent leaders in both Japan and the United States.

Learning from Silicon Valley: A Discussion Among US and Japanese Business Staff

The US-Japan Council’s Silicon Valley-Japan Platform is a new initiative aimed at tapping into Japanese innovation by strengthening ties between small- and medium-sized firms and the global-leading resources of Silicon Valley. A panel discussion during the USJC’s annual conference brought together business leaders from both sides of the Pacific to discuss how Japan is looking to the IT capital to bolster entrepreneurialism and elevate firms to the global stage.

Leprosy as a Human Rights Issue

On January 27, a ceremony was held in Tokyo to announce the 2015 Global Appeal to End Stigma and Discrimination against People Affected by Leprosy. Prime Minister Abe Shinzō and other dignitaries pledged their support for the struggle against leprosy-related discrimination.

Japan Pledges ¥10 Billion to Aid Myanmar’s Ethnic Minorities

The Japanese government recently pledged to provide ¥10 billion in aid to support peacebuilding efforts in Myanmar between the central government and armed ethnic minority groups. Food and medicine will be distributed to areas affected by armed conflict.

Japanese Efforts Continue to End Discrimination Against Leprosy

The global campaign to eliminate leprosy has made great progress, but prejudice against those affected by the disease persists. Sasakawa Yōhei, the chairman of the Nippon Foundation, has recently called attention to discriminatory statements and depictions regarding the disease.

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