The Japan International MANGA Award, hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, recognizes manga artists who have made a contribution to the spread of manga culture overseas. The Japan Foundation hosted a lecture by Frederik L. Schodt , one of the leading translators of Japanese manga, who was invited to the 10th awards ceremony for the MANGA Award held on February 6, 2017. Schodt has worked as a manga translator for over 40 years, ever since he developed a fascination for Japanese manga, and he also interacted directly with legendary artist Osamu Tezuka. In 2016, the English edition of The Osamu Tezuka Story, translated by Schodt himself, was published by Stone Bridge Press in the U.S. (aided by the Japan Foundation's Support Program for Translation and Publication on Japan). During the lecture, moderated by Yukari Shiina (a translator of U.S. comics, manga researcher, and major fan of Schodt), he spoke of his passion for translating Japanese manga and his love for the works of Osamu Tezuka.
The Japan Foundation dispatched Professor Shuichi Odaira of Tokai University and a specialist in the archaeology of the Andes from September 2 through 15, 2016, to survey the damage caused to cultural heritage from the earthquake in Ecuador that occurred on April 16, 2016. Professor Odaira held a briefing session subsequently on December 16 of the same year at the Tokyo National Museum. In accordance with the request from the Foundation, he has shared with us a report based on his talk, provided here in digest form.