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This wonderful film was created to commemorate the U.S.-Japan Conference on Cultural and Educational Interchange (CULCON) 50th anniversary in 2012. The film looks back at CULCON’s history, its past and current accomplishments and plans for the future in maintaining and expanding the U.S.-Japan relationship in cultural and educational areas. Produced by Regge Life. Narrated by George Takei. Click on the image to watch it.
CULCON Mission Statement
The US-Japan Conference on Cultural and Educational Interchange (CULCON) is a binational advisory panel that serves to elevate and strengthen the vital cultural and educational foundations of the US-Japan relationship, and to strengthen connections between US and Japan leadership in those fields. It works to ensure that the best of new ideas for cultural, educational and intellectual activity and exchange are implemented as operational programs.
What is CULCON?
CULCON (US-Japan Conference on Cultural and Educational Interchange), a binational advisory panel to both governments, serves to focus official and public attention in both the United States and Japan on the vital cultural and educational underpinnings of the binational relationship.
CULCON originated in a series of discussions between President Kennedy and Prime Minister Ikeda in 1962 as a high-level, informal advisory panel to the two governments for educational and cultural exchanges. This informal arrangement was formalized by an exchange of memoranda between the two governments in 1968 that established standing subcommittees to generate agendas for biannual plenary sessions.
In March, 1991, the US and Japanese CULCON panels met in Tokyoand agreed upon specific steps toward the restructuring of CULCON. Major structural changes included the abolition of the 1968 system of standing committees in favor of ad hoc task forces to address specific issues identified jointly by the two panels, and the establishment of permanent US and Japanese CULCON secretariats. TheUS secretariat was to be funded by USIA under the direction of the Japan-US Friendship Commission.
In May, 1991 a Memorandum of Understanding between USIA and the Japan-US Friendship Commission allocated funds for the establishment of the US panel secretariat and activities of one task force. With the funds transferred from the USIA for that purpose, the Japan-US Friendship Commission successfully established the secretariat for the US CULCON panel in July, 1991.
Since 1991 US CULCON has become a high-level, proactive organization, emphasizing the implementation of recommendations. This has been possible only with the funding from the US Department of State that provides the infrastructure necessary for constant attention to the issues at hand. CULCON has taken advantage of its unique mix of official and private representation to make inroads where organizations with homogeneous membership have failed.