Papers of BAS. Humanities and Social Sciences

Vol. 7, 2020, No. 1

Comparing Japan’s public diplomacy in Europe:

The Japan Foundation in Bulgaria and France

Nadejda Gadjeva

Abstract. The study focuses on one of Japan’s main public diplomacy actors - the Japan Foundation and its cultural activities for increasing Japan’s cultural presence in Europe. The discussion puts emphasis on two European countries: France - a country where the Japan Foundation’s office has been established, and Bulgaria - where an office of the Japan Foundation does not exist, but the Japanese Embassy has been facilitating programs of the Foundation.

The paper examines the Japan Foundation’s initiatives in Bulgaria and France from the 1970s to 2018. It compares the Foundation’s projects in the two countries, highlighting both the strong and the insufficient points in terms of its cultural promotion activity. On the basis of the findings, the study provides a framework of suggestions with regard to the future projects of the Japan Foundation for further increase of Japan’s cultural presence in the areas.

Keywords: the Japan Foundation in Europe, Japanese public diplomacy, cultural promotion, cultural presence