Aims of AISF
Recent development in transportation and communication technology have allowed greater numbers of people to travel the world over, to become familiar with other cultures and people,and to keep themselves informed up to the minute with events around the globe.
More and more, people see themselves not only as citizens of one nation, but as members of an international community as well. Japan too has been a part of this transformation, but despite its tremendous economic success it has been pointed out that Japan could do more. Mainly, to more effectively define her own goals, aspirations, and role on an international scale.
The Atsumi International Scholarship Foundation was established to help promote a greater sense of Japan's role in the process of internationalization. Its goal is to provide financial assistance to any foreign student with superior academic skills to further their studies at graduate schools in Japan. The hope is that by coming to Japan and experiencing its diverse culture for themselves, the students will not only develop a deeper academic knowledge of Japan but cultivate a greater appreciation for its social richness as well.
The Fund was established at the behest of Takeo Atsumi, the former President and Chairman of Kajima Corporation, one of the largest construction and engineering concerns in the world. Mr. Atsumi, who passed away on October 14, 1993, had an unflagging interest in international exchange and chaired various international organizations that included: The International Far East and West Pacific Contractors' Association (IFAWPCA); the Confederation of International Contractors' Association (CIAC); and the Children's International Summer Villages (CISV). He worked privately for CISV, which operates summer camps in various countries for children from around the world. It was established in America in 1951 with the guiding principle that "it is important to give children a chance to realize through experience that they are the same, despite differences in nationality, race and language." In 1993, Mr.and Mrs. Atsumi also endowed a Professorship of Japanese Art at Columbia University in New York.
It is hoped that the creation of the Atsumi International Scholarship Foundation will continue the charitable work of Mr. Atsumi in accordance with his interests and principles. He believed that by helping young people to understand the world in which they live, there was a greater chance that the future would bring peace to all nations and sympathy in the hearts of all people.