About Us

UNESCO and Japan

Japan was admitted to UNESCO in 1951, five years before it became a member state of the United Nations. At the 6th UNESCO General Conference which admitted Japan, Japan's chief representative, Mr. Tamon Maeda, stated, “The spirit of UNESCO is the guiding principle for Japan, which is on the path of rebuilding itself as a peace-loving and democratic state.”

Japan's admission to UNESCO, the only pipeline between the country and the international community before signing of the San Francisco Peace Treaty, had its roots in the spontaneous rise of non-governmental UNESCO activities in the country soon after the war.

At that time there were already over 100 “UNESCO Co-operative Associations” (now UNESCO Associations) active throughout the country, as well as nearly 100 UNESCO Clubs at high schools and universities.

This non-governmental UNESCO movement gained the attention of UNESCO Headquarters and major UNESCO members, who judged that though Japan was one of the countries which provoked World War II, the Japanese themselves were a peace-loving people. The non-governmental UNESCO movement which first started in Japan has now spread to 3,500 UNESCO clubs in more than 70 nations throughout the world.

▶ Booklet PDF

Asia and NFUAJ

National Federation of UNESCO Associations in Japan (NFUAJ) was the central figure in creating the international non-governmental UNESCO organization. It has dispatched missions throughout the world on several occasions since the beginning of the 1960s, and in 1974, upon the recommendation of UNESCO Headquarters, contributed to the creation of the Asian Pacific Federation of UNESCO Clubs and Associations (AFUCA※).

※The Asian Pacific Federation of UNESCO Clubs and Associations (AFUCA)

The Asian Pacific Federation of UNESCO Clubs and Associations (AFUCA) was established in 1974, with an aim to promote collaboration among UNESCO Clubs and Associations, and to encourage growth and establishment of UNESCO Clubs and Associations in Asia-Pacific region.

In order to achieve the objective, the Federation carries out exchange of information or personnel, and organization of study groups, conferences, workshops and exhibitions.

▶ Newsletter PDF

NFUAJ and the World

After the formation of AFUCA, NFUAJ played a leading role in establishing a worldwide organization of non-governmental UNESCO associations. These efforts bore fruit in July 1981, when representatives of non-governmental UNESCO organizations from 70 nations met at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris and founded the World Federation of UNESCO Clubs, Centres and Associations (WFUCA).

Kiyoshi Kazuno, then President of NFUAJ, was elected as the first WFUCA president. At the strong urging of member nations, the First WFUCA World Congress was held in Japan, the birthplace of the non-governmental UNESCO movement, in July 1984. This Congress strengthened the non-governmental UNESCO network.

In 1987, WFUCA was recognized as a Category A consultative organization (NGO), and now has Formal Associate Relations to UNESCO. The WFUCA secretariat is located within UNESCO Headquarters.

Date of Foundation

  • 1945.11.16

    Adoption of the UNESCO Constitution

  • 1946.11.4

    Enactment of the UNESCO Constitution

  • 1947.7.19

    Birth of the Sendai UNESCO Association, the first UNESCO Association in the world

  • 1947.11.27

    First National Convention of UNESCO Movement in Japan held in Tokyo

  • 1948.5.1

    Foundation of the National Federation of UNESCO Co-operative Associations in Japan

  • 1951.7.2

    Japan admitted to UNESCO

  • 1951.8.14

    Name changed to the National Federation of UNESCO Associations in Japan(NFUAJ)

  • 1952.4.9

    Certified a "corporation" by the Ministries of Education and Foreign Affairs

  • 1952.6.21

    Proclamation of a Japanese law concerning UNESCO activities

  • 1956.12.18

    Japan admitted to the United Nations

  • 1974.7.15

    Foundation of the Asian Pacific Federation of UNESCO Clubs and Associations

  • 1981.6.16

    Foundation of the World Federation of UNESCO Clubs, Centres and Associations

  • 1983.3.25

    Certified a “Juridical Person for Experimental and Research Activities”by the Ministries of Education and Foreign Affairs


To promote activities among the Japanese people based on international solidarity and cooperation in the spirit of the UNESCO Constitution.

Organizational Chart of UNESCO Activities


1.Constituent Members:
Local UNESCO Associations, youth groups and their regional liaison councils (278 organizations, 15,157 registered members). Membership fees for local UNESCO Associations vary, but are about 5,000 yen per year.
2.Associate Members:
Nationwide organizations in the field of education, science and culture, and national committees of UNESCO and United Nations NGOs (19 organizations)
3.Individual Members:
Persons who can make important contributions to UNESCO activities. The membership fee is 12,000 yen per year. (254 persons)
4.Supporting Members:
Individuals and organizations willing to give financial support to UNESCO activities. The membership fee is 120,000 yen per year. (131 organizations)
(The above figures are as of June, 2019)

President,Vice-Presidents and Director-General(as of June 2019)

President:Yoshiki Sato

Vice-President:Tamotsu Aoki,Vice-President:Rumiko Hikichi,Director-General:Yuji Suzuki

Successive Presidents

Yoshio Nishina(1948-1951)

Ryuhei Takashima(1992-1994)

Aiichiro Fujiyama(1951-1957)

Takuma Yamamoto(1994-2000)

Kiichiro Sato(1957-1967)

Masashi Kojima(2000-2006)

Kanjiro Okada(1967-1970)

Masatake Matsuda(2006-2017)

Kiyoshi Kazuno(1970-1989)

Yoji Ohashi(2017-2019)

Tetsuo Fujimori(1989-1992)


Board of Directors

The board of Directors consists of 24 members - 18 selected from the CouncilMeeting,3 members appointed by the President-,and 3 auditors.