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Message from the Chairman

For goodwill with Asia and world peace through Akimoto Tatsunoko Scholarship students

I am pleased to announce that the Public Interest Incorporated Foundation Akimoto International Scholarship Foundation has been renamed Tatsunoko Foundation. Ever since its establishment authorized by then administrative authority Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology on April 26, 2007, the Foundation enjoyed extensive support from contributors - something that is rare for a scholarship foundation. In view of this favorable environment surrounding the Foundation, I have decided to remove my name from its title, feeling it inappropriate for a public interest Incorporated foundation to bear the name of an individual.

Ever since its inception, we had received invaluable information and advice regarding international contribution and administration and management of the Foundation from a large number of interested parties, I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincerest gratitude to these supporters.

In the spirit of the objective of the Foundation's establishment - that is, to train human resources in the drive to build friendly relations with Japan's neighbors, to promote international understanding and harmony for contribution to international friendship and goodwill in the true sense and ultimately to contribute, however small, to world peace - the Foundation has granted scholarship to more than 200 privately financed students from various Asian nations and provided them opportunities to gain first-hand experience of our traditional culture. Quite naturally, since our objective is human resources development, our activities do not directly produce results, unlike business activities of the past. Notwithstanding, we are certain that our effort will lead to international friendship and goodwill and ultimately to world peace, by working toward these goals for the next 50 years or even the next 100 years.

At the same time, we plan to expand the scope of our activities beyond "promotion of international exchange" and extend into "betterment of child welfare," including support of children's homes and facilities for the disabled. Presently, Japan provides services to facilities for children, etc., who are unable to live with their families for various reasons (homes for children, infants, mothers and children, etc.), child care services at childcare centers, services for disabled children in the home or at facilities, etc., under the Child Welfare Act. Measures are also being implemented under the Act on Advancement of Measures to Support Raising Next-Generation Children and the Child Abuse Prevention Act in the effort to address new problems such as child abuse that is spreading with the decline of Japan's birthrate.

The scope of child welfare protection has shifted from a scheme that is limited to protection and relief for children who urgently require protection to framework aimed at assuring the sound development of all children. In the future, the legislative framework requires enrichment from the perspective of providing child rearing support of the entire society, in view of the changes in our society and economy, diversification of values, etc. It is necessary to promote measures that include coordination with labor-related measures, etc. Although what we can do may be small, we plan to engage in activities that will lead, however little, to the advancement of welfare for the children.

In the future, the young people of Asia and the children of Japan will grow by interacting dynamically and working hand-in-hand through direct exchange under our Foundation. We believe that direct interaction will foster international exchange and ultimately lead to world peace.

The trustees and employees of the Foundation will continue to work in concert for "promotion of international exchange" and "betterment of child welfare" by pouring the support we receive from you into the efforts in full and without the slightest deviation from the philosophy underlying the establishment of the Foundation.

We sincerely look forward to your undivided and continuing support.

Tatsuya Akimoto, Chairman, Tatsunoko Foundation

Tatsuya Akimoto
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