When Asian Students Cultural Association was established, our objective was to provide a place where scholars and students from other parts of Asia and young Japanese students could live together like a multi-cultural family in a healthy, sincere atmosphere where mutual understanding could be deepened and friendships nurtured. At the same time, we aimed to implement various plans and cultural activities that would be necessary to make this possible.

Underlying this goal was our regret for prewar Japan's actions with respect to Asia and an earnest desire to contribute to the true independence and development of the nations newly emerging in Asia and elsewhere.

With Shinsei Gakuryo Dormitory, a private student dormitory founded and headed by the late Hozumi Goichi, the Association received broad-based social support and, in 1960, built Asia Bunka Kaikan. The basic principle of communal life at ABK was that all peoples and all individuals are independent and equal, and ABK residents and staff all made a sincere effort to achieve the Association's ideals.

Throughout nearly 40 years since then, ABK has, at any given time, been home to well over 100 students from more than 20 Asian countries and Japan. Eventually, students who had returned to their home countries spontaneously began to set up ABK alumni organizations.

In line with Japan's plan to accept 100,000 foreign students which started in 1983, the number of foreign students seemed to be growing steadily, but after peaking in 1995, it began to fall and, it is feared, will continue declining in the future. Both in terms of their role in society and from the standpoint of academic work and the tasks facing all of civilization, foreign students are being looked to shoulder more complex and heavier duties than ever before. There has never been a time when it was more important, for the sake of Japan and of Asia, for government and the private sector to unite in efforts to make it possible for more foreign students to come to Japan.

We at the Association, while reawakening ourselves to the initial spirit in which the Association was founded, want to continue seeking ways in which Japan and the countries of Asia can live together. This can be accomplished only through the broad-based understanding and cooperation of people who concur in the objectives of the Association's programs.

I sincerely request your further support and encouragement.

Ogiso Yu
Asian Students Cultural Association