Principles of the Matsumae International Foundation
The goal of the Matsumae International Foundation (MIF) is to provide overseas researchers who possess excellent academic ability, regardless of race, sex, religion, or ideology, with opportunities to carry out research activities in Japan, thereby contributing to academic development in Japan as well as international friendship and goodwill.
Principles behind the Establishment
The MIF was established in 1979 with the goals of inviting promising young researchers to Japanese research institutions to nurture abilities that will enable them to solve issues facing their countries and of supporting activities that build bridges between Japan and their countries. The MIF is modelled on the Alexander van Humboldt Foundation in Germany and as a private entity, the MIF carries out activities to invite overseas researchers to Japan, regardless of their nationality, religion, or the political system they come from, and provide them with opportunities to pursue research completely free from obligation.
The MIF has its roots in the strong, sincere desire of its founder, Dr. Shigeyoshi MATSUMAE (1901–1991), to realize a world that is truly peaceful and safe.
‘The most pressing topic for mankind in the twentieth century is how to avoid nuclear war, how to get rid of nuclear weapons as quickly as possible and establish a truly peaceful and secure world. As a first step towards achieving this goal, it is necessary for all the nations of the world to strengthen friendship and mutual understanding through scientific and cultural exchanges. This is the principal reason why I have made what efforts I could, small though my contribution may have been, to help expand and develop exchanges of this kind.’ (The Life and Struggles of a Fighter for Peace)
Dr. MATSUMAE was active in a wide range of fields. As a telecommunications engineer, he was the pioneer of the non-loaded cable, and as a technical official in the Ministry of Communications and a Diet member, he devoted himself to the advancement of science and technology in Japan. Additionally, as an educator, he founded Tokai University on the principles of bettering Japan through education and realizing peace, and as a judoka, he served as president of the International Judo Federation.
One of his biggest focuses was realizing world peace through personal and cultural exchange. He advocated the principle that bringing people together and building trust between them will build a peaceful world and from the 1960’s onward, he put his full energy into working with governments and organizations of other countries to develop robust exchange activities, including the mutual dispatching of scientists and students, and exchange between organisations and the nurturing of leaders in sports. The MIF was established based on his passionate belief that ‘Promoting cultural and academic exchange creates opportunities for friendship and goodwill, which is the first step on the path to realizing relationships of friendship and goodwill 20 or 30 years into the future.’ (Tokai magazine, Issue 47)
The main purpose of the MIF is to provide young researchers who are passionate about contributing to solving the various issues facing their home countries with opportunities to learn from the scientific and technological knowledge that has been cultivated in Japan. We also hope that their time in Japan will deepen their understanding of Japanese culture so that in the future, they can become prominent researchers who can act as bridges between their own countries and Japan. In order to achieve our founder purpose of building links between Japan and the world through the nurturing of researchers, each year we invite young researchers from around the globe to Japan.