About us

The Japan Foundation, Los Angeles (JFLA) promotes international awareness and mutual understanding between Japan and the U.S. through cultural exchange. We administer a wide range of programs and grants aimed at introducing Japanese arts and culture, supporting Japanese Studies and language education, and promoting publications, translations related to Japan.

We are a non-profit organization, funded by an endowment from the Japanese government, annual government subsidies, as well as private sector donations. In addition to our Tokyo headquarters, the Japan Foundation has 22 offices in 21 countries, including our Los Angeles and New York office, as well as two Japanese-language institutes in Japan, and a Kyoto Office.

JFLA (formerly known as The Japan Foundation Los Angeles Office, 1983-1994, and The Japan Foundation Los Angeles Office & Language Center, 1994-2004) first opened its doors in Little Tokyo, Los Angeles, in February 1983. Now located in the Wilshire Courtyard of the Miracle Mile District, JFLA conducts arts and cultural programs for the Western United States. We are also proud to provide comprehensive assistance for Japanese-language education nationwide.

Click the link below to learn more about our history.


Hajimemashite (Nice to see you) and thank you for visiting our website!

I arrive here in Los Angeles during an exciting period for Japanese culture with Mount Fuji recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site and Japanese Food designated as an intangible cultural heritage. Furthermore, Tokyo was selected as the host city for the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic games. With this momentum, we hope to further develop programs to enhance the recognition of Japanese culture in a deeper, wider, and sustainable manner while creating opportunities for mutual understanding and trust.

Based on the 2012 Survey on Japanese-Language Education Aboard, the number of individuals studying the language worldwide increased to 3.98 million and in the United States, the number increased as well to over 150,000 learners. Applicants for the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) has also been steadily increasing since we started offering the test in 1993. Our support for Japanese language learners and teachers has never been stronger with the implementation of our grant programs, the Japanese Language Education Assistant Program (J-LEAP), as well as the massive youth exchange programs like the Kizuna and Kakehashi projects. We believe this will open new opportunities for fresh encounters, interactions and exchanges that were unimaginable in the past. The youth from both our countries have the flexibility, intellectual curiosity and potential to act as Kakehashi, (bridges) between Japan and the United States for both the new and old generations.

Three years have passed since the Great East Japan Earthquake and I want to take this opportunity to express my gratitude for all our friends across the United States who provided their encouragement and support. We will continue to organize events that bring to light the current status of the Tohoku area and its cultural strengths. This includes the JET Memorial Invitation Program (JET-MIP), which commemorates two American teachers who lost their lives during the disaster. This year, we will again invite 32 U.S. high school students to Japan with a focus on the Tohoku region. The experiences during the past three years of this program brought home to me the significance of direct ties between people, the power and potential of culture, and the preciousness of long-term friendship.

Along with our continued efforts to connect with our local community, our goal is to enhance not only the friendship shared by our two great nations, but also to promote mutual understanding worldwide by working together to achieve a common global agenda. We have been engaged in this path of cooperation for many decades now and hope to continue our activities during my time here and for many decades to come.

Naomi Takasu, Director


The Japan Foundation, Los Angeles is located in the Miracle Mile District of Los Angeles, and situated in the Wilshire Courtyard between S Masselin Avenue and Courtyard Place.

The Japan Foundation, Los Angeles
5700 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 100
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Tel. (323) 761-7510
Fax. (323) 761-7517

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