Memorandum of Agreement

ASEC-The Nippon Foundation 27 June 2008
Memorandum of Agreement -Areas of Cooperation

1. Maritime Civilian Safety

To ensure safety in the Straits of Malacca, TNF has been supporting measures for navigational safety in the Straits since 1968, including installing navigational aids such as lighthouses and buoys and conducting hydrographic surveys. TNF’s cumulative aid to the Straits totals 13.8 billion yen. In 2001, TNF donated the 900 gross-tons Pedman, a ship for laying and maintaining navigational aids, to Malaysia. In 2002, it gave a similar ship, Jadayat (860 gross-tons) to Indonesia. TNF also collaborates with other bodies throughout the world in measures against piracy, which is regarded as a serious problem around the Straits of Malacca. TNF funded an international conference for measures against piracy held in Tokyo in 2001 as well as top-level meetings of Asian maritime security agencies held in 2004 and 2006.

2. Leprosy and Human Dignity

TNF’s fight with leprosy has spanned more than a quarter century. Two generations of TNF’s leaders have played prime roles in the fight against leprosy. For five crucial years, TNF donated enough money so that every affected person in every country of the world could receive multi-drug therapy (MDT) for free. The worldwide movement to eliminate leprosy has been enjoying considerable success since MDT was endorsed by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1981. TNF has been instrumental in this success, to the point that in 2001 WHO asked Yohei Sasakawa, chairman of TNF, to be its Goodwill Ambassador for Leprosy Elimination.

In recent years, TNF has devoted a large amount of time and effort to promoting the human rights of people who are affected by leprosy. One facet of this effort has been the annual delivery of a Global Appeal to End Stigma and Discrimination against People Affected by Leprosy. This appeal is an attempt to raise public awareness through the media and to mobilize the support of world leaders, representatives of people affected by leprosy, and organizations concerned with human rights in general

3. Human Resource Networking and Development

TNF and its affiliates, including the Sasakawa Peace Foundation and the Tokyo Foundation, have implemented/supported a variety of personnel exchange and human resources development projects over the past several decades. The nearly 30,000 beneficiaries of these projects represent a vast and diverse reservoir of talent that spans the globe. Some of these projects and programs supported by TNF Group include the following:

The Ryoichi Sasakawa Young Leaders Fellowship Fund (SYLFF) enables outstanding students to pursue graduate level study in the social sciences and humanities. Scholarships are given to students who have demonstrated a high potential for leadership and commitment to exercising leadership in local, national, regional and international affairs, in public as well as in private endeavors. SYLFF’s final goal is to nurture future leaders who will transcend geopolitical, religious, ethnic, and cultural boundaries and who will contribute to the peace and the well-being of humankind. At present, there are 68 universities and consortia (a total of 88 institutions of higher learning) in 44 countries that have received SYLFF endowments and more than 9,000 SYLFF fellows (recipients of SYLFF fellowships).

The “Nippon Foundation Fellowships for Asian Public Intellectuals” program is designed to help build a community of Asians who can work in the public sphere. The program has been implemented in five Asian countries. Public intellectuals from Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and Japan are given opportunities for research and professional activities in other participating countries. By promoting mutual understanding and shared learning among Asian public intellectuals, the API Fellowships aim to contribute to the growth of public spaces where effective responses to regional needs can be generated.

In 2006, TNF initiated a retreat program — “Building a Better Asia: Future Leaders’ Dialogue” . The objective of this retreat program is two-fold: firstly, to strengthen existing ties and create new ones between the beneficiaries of past projects/programs in Asia through personnel exchange and human resources development projects implemented in Asian countries; secondly, to provide a platform for retreat participants to continue their interactions and relationships so that new ideas can be put forward for a shared commitment to engaging issues of their mutual concern, such as political transition, development governance, political transition, civil society, innovation and technology, and media. Overall, the ultimate goal of “Building a Better Asia: Future Leaders’ Dialogue” is to nurture future Asian leaders from this vast and diverse pool of human resources generated from the past projects of TNF Group.

4. Promotion of Traditional and Alternative Medicine for Primary Health Care

Traditional medicine has always been popular throughout the world, particularly in Asia, as it allows citizens living at the grassroots level to benefit from relatively inexpensive health care. TNF, being a supporter of traditional medicine, and believing that traditional medicine should always be close to those who need it most, now employs a system, first developed in Japan, to distribute portable and affordable “medicine kits”, containing traditional remedies, to Mongolian families.

In August 2007 TNF and the World Health Organization (WHO) sponsored an Inter-regional Workshop on the Use of Traditional Medicine in Primary Health Care in Ulan Bator, Mongolia. Participants included representatives from four international organizations, including the WHO and UNICEF, as well as 13 nations, primarily from Asia.

At the workshop, TNF’s program to distribute traditional remedy-based home medicine kits garnered praise for the effect it has had on pastoral Mongolian families, who otherwise find it difficult to obtain medical services on a daily basis. The government of Mongolia expressed its enthusiasm for the project. “We wish to communicate the success of this pioneering initiative in applying traditional medicines to the whole world,” said an official of the Mongolian Ministry of Health.

Inspired by the successful trial in Mongolia, a few countries that attended the workshop in Mongolia want to replicate the program with financial support from TNF. Myanmar has already started a pilot program in 450 villages in 3 provinces. Thailand is following this lead and plans to distribute 1,200 medicine kits among 12 townships.

The WHO, which called for use of traditional medicine in the Alma Ata declaration of 1978, is closely monitoring this strengthening of community medical services, and has plans to organize an international conference in Beijing in November 2008 to contribute to expanded use of traditional medicine.

5. Providing Equal Opportunities and Capacity Building for the Disabled in ASEAN

Support for the disabled has always played a central role in the support programs of TNF. TNF firmly believes people with disability are in fact people with ability in wait for the appropriate circumstances in which they can display their talents, and TNF feels it is its duty to make these circumstances a reality. In an effort to create these circumstances, projects related to the provision of, and training for, prosthetics and orthotics are currently being conducted by TNF in Cambodia, Thailand, and Sri Lanka, and will soon be started in Indonesia.

Programs to assist the visually impaired are now underway in Cambodia, Indonesia, Vietnam, and other countries to promote the use of assistive technology for blind and low vision persons in Southeast Asia to help increase their educational access and expand employment opportunities.

TNF currently conducts a dynamic self-help program designed to support the aurally impaired in Southeast Asia in conjunction with the Chinese University of Hong Kong. This project has two essential stages: 1) publication of practical dictionaries of Asian sign languages, and 2) the establishment of an Asian sign language research and training center as the central focus for spreading deaf empowerment.

In late 2006, TNF initiated an international performing art festival in Vientiane by inviting both able-bodied and disabled artists from the region. The objectives of the event were to break down discrimination among the general public against people with disabilities and to encourage people with disabilities who are facing prejudice and find it difficult to be integrated into the society. After the success of a one-day event in Laos, in February this year TNF organized a week-long inclusive art festival in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. More than 200 artists from 7 countries danced and performed.