Isao Tomita is a pioneer of synthesized music and a leading Japanese composer. In our top story, we will present an extract from the lecture held to commemorate Mr. Tomita's reception of the 2015 Japan Foundation Award.
The Japan Foundation has started a new initiative to offer different ways to overseas fans to enjoy the works of renowned Japanese writer Haruki Murakami. Titled "Watch", "Listen to" and "Talk about" Haruki Murakami, this program was to provide exposure to Murakami's works in Singapore and South Korea through a play, concert, and panel discussion. Jun-ichi Konuma, the supervisor of the concert, contributed an article about the process of creating this concert, the music in Murakami's works, and international exchanges through this concert.
When my book Raifuku no Ie was translated and published in Taiwan, I was asked the following question in Chinese. "As a person who grew up between Japan and Taiwan, of which do you think as your home?" My immediate and spontaneous response was "Wǒzhùzàirìyǔ,"which means "I live in Japanese."
The Japan Foundation invited a group of young intellectuals, with an interest in social issues in contemporary Japan, from Southeast Asian countries for its program. It aims to promote and deepen exchange between specialists, as well as build and strengthen network, in order to establish joint and cooperative initiatives in Asia toward tackling these issues. In FY 2015, under the theme of "Revitalization of Rural Areas and Creation of New Values," the program seeks to provide a comprehensive introduction to the issues confronting rural society in contemporary Japan, such as depopulation, rapid decline of population, and super-aging society, as well as the actual state of the country that has emerged as a result of these issues. It also provides an opportunity for learning about the initiatives taken by the Japanese central and local governments, civil society, and individuals to resolve these issues. Tans Szue Hann and Dang Thi Viet Phuong, two of the program participants, have written their impressions on the program and how they make use of the experience they gained from it for the future.