Mr. Akinori Matsunaga, Program Officer of the Sumitomo Foundation, was invited by the Center for Research and Communication to UA&P on July 3, 2015. Mr. Matsunaga encouraged researchers to submit research proposals on Japan-related topics in the social sciences and humanities. Participants included faculty and staff from the UA&P School of Law and Governance, School of Sciences and Engineering, School of Economics, School of Management, and College of Arts and Sciences, as well as guests from Colegio de San Juan de Letran—Calamba.

Mr. Akinori Matsunaga, Program Officer, The Sumitomo Foundation[/caption] The Sumitomo Foundation traces its origins to the Sumitomo Corporation, which started in 1691 when then family head Tomoyoshi Sumitomo opened the Besshi Copper Mine in Ehime Prefecture, Japan.

Throughout the 20th century, the corporation expanded into chemicals, finance, electronics, construction, and forestry, and counts IT giant NEC among its firms. In 1991, on the 300th anniversary of the Besshi Copper mine, the 20 companies of the Sumitomo Group created the Sumitomo Foundation as a non-profit organization “to contribute to the betterment of human society through conducting . . . grant programs.”

Mr. Akinori Matsunaga talked about the Grant for Japan-Related Research Projects for researchers from East and Southeast Asia. The program aims at enhancing mutual understanding between Asian countries and Japan through promoting research projects in any field including the social sciences or humanities that is related to Japan. More information is available on the Sumitomo Foundation website: