Sophia University

News Press Release

Sophia School Corporation and International Food Culture Exchange Association to conclude partnership agreement

Offering society opportunities for international friendship and cultural exchange based on the themes "language," "food" and "cross-culture"
Fr.Tsutomu Sakuma,S.J., Chancellor of Sophia School Corporation(left) and Mr. Kiyomi Mikuni, President of International Food Culture Exchange Association

Sophia School Corporation, which runs Sophia University and other educational institutions, and the International Food Culture Exchange Association (President Kiyomi Mikuni, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo) will conclude a partnership agreement on May 8, 2018. This will be the first agreement for the International Food Culture Exchange Association to enter into between an educational institution.

Sophia School Corporation and the International Food Culture Exchange Association have both been actively involved in efforts associated with the Rugby World Cup 2019 and 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The two organizations have welcomed the hosting of the two international sports events in Tokyo and twelve cities across Japan as momentum.

In addition to contributing to the historical success of the events, our principal aim is to join forces in promoting international exchange and cross-cultural understanding with a focus on "food-oriented" learning through activities to communicate Japanese food culture to the world.

The partnership agreement will offer students studying at institutions of Sophia School Corporation opportunities to experientially learn about Japanese food culture as well as to address and learn about poverty, environment, economy, health and other issues challenging the global society from a new perspective - "food."

We will harness the International Food Culture Exchange Association’s networks to hold lectures and offer collaborative courses as well as explore ways to cooperate in developing food and nutrition programs. We seek to fully build on our collective resources to create and provide to the wide public opportunities for international friendship and cultural exchange, particularly on the themes of "language," "food" and "cross-culture."

Background of partnership agreement

Based on its educational spirit of "Men and Women for Others, with Others," Sophia School Corporation launched the Sophia Olympic Paralympic Project in 2016 with an aim not only to contribute to the 2020 Tokyo Games but also to provide opportunities to pursue the achievement of borderless and inclusive societies.

To date, the Corporation has offered training courses for language volunteers, sent delegations to the Rio and Pyeong Chang Paralympics to conduct surveys, offered courses on inclusive societies and the Olympic and Paralympic Games, and performed a study on barrier-free transportation. With a view to the Rugby World Cup 2019, the Corporation sends student interns to the Japan Rugby Football Union and also plans to support the event by arranging volunteer participation.

The International Food Culture Exchange Association is engaged in activities to communicate Japanese food culture to the world and thus contribute to the development of the food industry in a broad sense as well as food culture.

President of the Association and one of Japan’s top chefs, Kiyomi Mikuni serves as advisor to the Organizing Committees for the Rugby World Cup 2019 and the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games. He was inspired by the undertakings of Sophia School Corporation and this led to the conclusion of the partnership agreement.