My first introduction to the Canon Foundation in Europe was on the occasion of its 10th anniversary, in November 1997, hosted by
Mr. Richard Burke, President and CEO of the Canon Foundation from 1987 to 1998. Listening to the Fellows’ accounts of their lives and work in Europe and Japan, I was reminded that the best way to understand a culture, is to observe it through the eyes of another culture.
The fact that, in its selection process, the Canon Foundation does not distinguish between research subject, whether it be humanities, natural sciences or engineering sciences, adds to the wide ranging influence the Canon Foundation has had in improving mutual understanding between Europe and Japan. In my present official status as Honorary Chairman, I feel privileged to have access to this wealth of knowledge and experience first hand.
The activities of the Canon Foundation stretch further than simply granting Fellowships. The real value consists of building and maintaining a growing worldwide network of people dedicated to Japanese-European relations, informal ambassadors in international relations. Even in this day and age, when time and distance become more and more easy to overcome, in depth studies by scholars and scientists carried out in another culture will continue to deepen the mutual understanding, to the benefit of all.
Canon Europa established the Canon Foundation in pursuit of its corporate goal of ‘living and working together for the common good’.
I sincerely hope that you can be part of this.
Andreas van Agt