What is MUA?

What is UNESCO?
UNESCO stands for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. It was established in 1946 and is headquartered in Paris, France. Toward the end of WWII, member nations of the U. N. discussed how to prevent eternally the occurrence of another atrocious war. They arrived at the conclusion that the best way to ensure international peace and security would be for all the people in the world to promote in-depth mutual understanding, eradicate prejudice, and share respect for justice, legal governance and basic human rights, through educational, scientific, cultural and communication activities

As a concrete extension of the said shared recognition, UNESCO was established in 1946. UNESCO's mission and its spirit are clearly expressed in its constitution, which begins with the well known phrase - "Since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defenses of peace must be constructed."

Japan joined UNESCO as the 60th member in July 1951.
What are the grass-roots UNESCO activities?
Japan is the first country where the grass-roots UNESCO movements started. In 1947 the world’s first grass-roots cooperative organization for UNESCO was born in Sendai, Miyagi. The founders were those who endorsed UNESCO’s ideal - to deepen our mutual understanding and promote world peace and universal human welfare, through educational, scientific, cultural and communication activities. This movement spread all over Japan. Ever since, volunteer citizens, who became members of local UNESCO associations organized in different regions of Japan, have maintained their peace building efforts.

The grass-roots UNESCO movements, originated in Japan, also spread overseas - first to Asia and later to other parts of the world. This resulted in the establishment in 1981 of the World Federation of UNESCO Clubs, Centers and Associations (WFUCA). Today there are a total of 5,300 UNESCO clubs, centers and associations in over 100 countries. In Japan, there are currently 279 UNESCO associations, which are members of the National Federation of UNESCO Associations in Japan (NFUAJ). Community-based enthusiastic activities are promoted by local UNESCans of these organizations.
Profile of the Minato UNESCO Association (MUA)
MUA was established in October 1981 as a Minato City-based volunteer organization engaged in UNESCO activities. Dr. Kenzo Tange, first president, and other enthusiastic founding members, kicked off the operation of MUA with the support of Mr.Yukio Kawahara, then mayor, Dr. Michio Nagai, former Minister of Education, and Mr. Shigeharu Matsumoto, founder of the International House of Japan, among others.

Minato City in Tokyo was a birthplace & accumulation center of Japan’s modern civilization since the door-opening of Japan at the end of the Tokugawa shogunate. Today it boasts a high concentration of diplomatic offices of foreign countries. Capitalizing on the characteristics which the community offers, MUA has maintained a wide variety of activities at the forefront of the times, realizing its goals based on members’ self-initiated ideas while also addressing both the local and the world audience.

Major activities include different symposiums, lectures to promote cross-cultural understanding, diplomat lectures inviting Tokyo-based ambassadors and diplomats, world cooking workshops, traditional Japanese culture series, English conversation courses, visits to embassies in Tokyo, participation in Minato Citizens’ Festival, and quarterly publications of Japanese and English bulletins.

Please feel free to visit us at MUA and see our programs in action. Your participation would be welcome at any time. Our members include those who live or work either in Minato City or elsewhere in the Tokyo metropolitan area.