About ACCU

About ACCU

What is ACCU?

The Asia-Pacific Cultural Centre for UNESCO (ACCU) was established in 1971 through the cooperation of the Japanese government and private sectors, led by the publishing industry, upon request from the United Nations Educational, Cultural, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) to establish a core center to promote cultural exchange in the Asia-Pacific region.
Since its establishment, ACCU has implemented activities based on the UNESCO principle, “Peace must be founded upon the intellectual and moral solidarity of mankind.” ACCU has cooperated with international organisations, government education agencies, industry and local communities to promote many activities reflecting local needs in educational cooperation, human resource development, and mutual understanding to contribute toward the realisation of a sustainable society.

ACCU’s Core Values

“We want to provide high quality books and learning materials to children in Asia” –ACCU has implemented activities under the “joint programme scheme” since its founding to collaborate with experts of various countries in book development.
In this scheme developed with experts in and outside Japan, participating countries collaborate on equal terms, and experts work together to plan and develop the book. The contents are provided by experts from participating countries, leading to mutual understanding of one another’s cultures in the production process.
The three effects created by the “joint programme scheme”“shared awareness,” “reflection of actual situations,” and “mutual understanding of cultures” – are core values for ACCU, which connects people, countries and regions. ACCU’s core values are reflected in ACCU’s posture to “value localness,” “collaborate,” and “respect and understand one another’s cultures.”

History of ACCU

50th anniversary of ACCU
New website (Japanese) released.
New pamphlet published. Agreement with UNESCO Asia-Pacific Centre of Education for International Understanding (APCEIU) concluded.
MEXT International Exchange Programme for Primary and Secondary Teachers launched. ACCU moves to Kandajinbocho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
Activities as a UNESCO GAP partner started.
High School Model UN programme launched.
Tokyo office reorganised into three divisions (General Affairs, International Exchange, Education Cooperation) under two departments (General Affairs and Programme).
UNESCO Associated School support programme launched.
Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) programme launched.
Protection of Intellectual Property programme launched.
Tokyo office reorganised into two departments (General Affairs and Programme) and four divisions (General Affairs, Planning, Culture, Education). ACCU Invitation Programme for International Education Exchange of Teachers and Professionals launched. United Nations University (UNU) International Education Exchange Programme launched.
Ceremony to celebrate ACCU’s 30th anniversary held.
Planning Section established in General Affairs Division. International Exchange Programme for Promotion of International Cooperation and Mutual Understanding launched. Training Courses on Cultural Heritage Protection launched.
Cultural Heritage Protection Cooperation Office (Nara) opened.
Data Bank on Traditional/Folk Performing Arts in Asia and the Pacific launched.
ACCU programmes expanded to Central Asia. Package Learning Materials for Environment (PLANET) launched.
Capacity Building Workshop of LRCs launched.
Literacy Promotion Division established within the Book Development Department. ACCU World Photo Contest held.
Literacy Resource Centre for Girls and Women (LRC) programme launched.
UNESCO/ACCU World Photo Contest held at UNESCO Headquarters. Mobile Teams of Experts for the Documentation and Promotion of Intangible Cultural Heritage programme launched.
Cooperation in UNESCO APPREB Network Activities started.
Ceremony to commemorate ACCU’s 20th anniversary held. Animation Co-production Programme launched.
Campaign for Safeguarding of Cultural Heritage of Mankind Located in the Region started. Sub-Regional Workshop on the Development of Basic Literacy Learning Materials launched.
International Literacy Year Picture Book published.
Noma International Literacy Fund established.
ACCU Exhibition organised by UNESCO at UNESCO general conference in Paris. Dissemination Scheme of Local Versions of AJP Materials started.
ACCU Literacy Prizes for Fully Illustrated Literacy Follow-up Materials established.
Programme of Sending of an International Experts Team to National Literacy Workshops in the Member States started.
Regional Workshop for Literacy/NFE Personnel in Rural Areas in Asia and the Pacific launched.
Ceremony to commemorate ACCU’s 10th anniversary held. Asian/Pacific Joint Production Programme of Materials for Neo-literates in Rural Areas (AJP) launched.
ACCU programmes expanded to the Pacific region.
Library established. Regional Training Seminars for Cultural Personnel started. Noma Concours for Picture Book Illustrations started.
Co-production of Audio-Visual Materials (AVCP) launched.
Photo Contest and Travelling Exhibitions launched. Group Visits by Japanese UNESCO leaders launched.
Photo Travelling Exhibition in Asia project started.
Music Materials Co-production Programme (MCP) launched.
Mobile Teams of Experts for Book Production Training Courses launched.
1st Experts Meeting on Regional Co-operation in UNESCO Cultural Activities held. Periodicals published in English and Japanese. Asian/Pacific Copublication Programme (ACP) launched.
ACCU established on 26 April. Publicity Programme for the Safeguarding of Cultural Heritage launched.

Prizes and Honours

Japan Book Publishers Association President’s Prize
UNESCO International Literacy Prize
Letter of appreciation from National Federation of UNESCO Associations in Japan
UNESCO 50th Anniversary Commendation by the Minister of Education; Translation Publishing Award
UNESCO Picasso Medal, Jan Amos Comenius Medal
International Book Prize
Foreign Minister’s Commendation
World Communications Year Commemorative Award; Japan Foundation Special Prize
Translation Publishing Award
International Children’s Year Commemorative Andersen Prize
Translation Publishing Award
Commendation by the Minister of Education

About the organization

  • Date of establishment

    April 26, 1971

  • Purpose of establishment

    ACCU was established to implement programmes to promote human resource development and mutual exchange in the field of education and culture with countries in the Asia-Pacific, to contribute to cultural promotion and mutual understanding between Japan and countries in the region.

  • What is a public interest
    incorporated foundation?

    A public interest incorporated foundation is approved by the Public Interest Commission of the Cabinet Office as an organisation that conducts activities in the public interest.

  • Executive Board

    Representative Director, Chairman CHO Fujio
    Former Senior Adviser to the board, Toyota Motor Corporation
    Representative Director, Director General TAMURA Tetsuo
    Director General, Shibuya Senior and Junior High School

Directors (10 members)

  • ADACHI NaokiSpecial Adviser, Toppan Printing Co., Ltd.
  • OIKAWA ShoichiRepresentative Director, Chairman of the Board, Senior Deputy Editor-in-Chief
  • KASAI ToshiyukiChairperson Emeritus, Central Japan Railway Company
  • KANEMARU Tokuo Executive Vice President and Board Member, Kodansha Ltd.
  • KISO IsaoPresident, Chiba Institute of Science and Former Ambassador, Permanent Delegate of Japan to UNESCO
  • SUGIE KazuoDirector General, Central Council for the Promoting of Industrial Education
  • KOHSAKA SetsuzoChairperson and Director General, The Japan Kanji Aptitude Testing Foundation
  • MIKI ShigemitsuHonorary Adviser, MUFJ Bank, Ltd.
  • MOGI YusaburoHonorary Chief Executive Officer and Chairperson of the Board of Directors, Kikkoman Corporation
  • MORIMOTO SusumuDirector, Cultural Heritage Promotion Cooperation Office, ACCU

Auditors (3 members)

  • OGA MasahiroPresident and Chief Executive Officer, Shogakukan Inc.
  • KOHMURA MasaoCertified Public Accountant
  • TAMURA ToshiakiDeputy Director, Aoba Gakuen

Councilors (7 members)

  • IIJIMA MasaoSecretary General, National Council of Prefectural Boards of Education
  • KURODA KazuoDean and Professor, Graduate School of Asia-Pacific Studies, Waseda University
  • TAKAGIWA ItsukoVice Principal, Shibuya Senior and Junior High School
  • HIGUCHI SeiichiExecutive Director, Japan Book Publishers Association
  • FUKUSHIMA YasushiSecretary General, Japan Private High School Foundation
  • MIKAMI KazuyukiFormer President, Miyagi University of Education
  • WATANABE RyoProfessor Emeritus, National Institute for Educational Policy Research

Advisers (Honorary position, 10 members)

  • ISHIHARA KunioCounselor, Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance Co., Ltd.
  • INOUE MasayukiPresident, Japan Educational Exchanges and Services
  • SASAKI MasamineAdviser, National Museum of Nature and Science
  • SATO TeiichiHonorary Director, Tokyo National Museum
  • SHINO MitsukoDirector General for Cultural Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • SUZUKI YujiDirector-General, National Federation of UNESCO Associations in Japan
  • NAKANO RyokoActress and Director, Will International Culture Exchange Center
  • NOGUCHI NoboruAdvisor, National Federation of UNESCO Associations in Japan
  • HAYASHI AzusaFormer Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to the Kingdom of Belgium
  • MATSUURA KoichiroFormer Director-General, UNESCO

ACCU Nara (Cultural Heritage Protection Cooperation Office)

  • ACCU Nara collaborates with international organisations such as UNESCO, International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM), and Japanese institutions such as the National
  • Institutes for Cultural Heritage to conduct training for personnel in cultural heritage preservation and disseminating information on cultural heritage preservation.
  • ACCU Nara website

Our Programme

International Teacher Exchange

ACCU contributes to the dissemination of UNESCO spirit, “through educational, scientific and cultural relations of the peoples of the world, to contribute to international peace and common welfare of mankind,” by implementing since 2001 international exchange programmes for teachers and education experts who nurture children to shoulder the world’s future. Through cooperation of Japanese and overseas educational and cultural organisations, ACCU develops educational exchange programmes to build a sustainable future with Asia-Pacific countries, and promotes intercultural understanding and improvement of educational quality through exchange.

Activities: Two-country exchange (Japan and South Korea, China, Thailand, or India); Multi-country exchange (Expert Meeting, Learning for Empathy, Ministry of Foreign Affairs programme for Islamic school teachers from Indonesia and Malaysia)

International Youth Exchange

ACCU promotes understanding of mutual relationships and reliance, and issues facing communities, countries, and the world by implementing projects in which youth with various backgrounds from Asia-Pacific countries and regions gather, interact, and learn together. ACCU aims to nurture people who will be responsible for a peaceful and sustainable world by learning about diversity and each other’s differences.

High School Model United Nations

To realise a peaceful and sustainable society, ACCU promotes the High School Model United Nations since 2012 to train youth who will actively contribute to global and local communities. ACCU provides high school students across Japan an opportunity to learn about the world’s various issues though Model United Nations (MUN) activities which simulates a United Nations conference. We acknowledge that it is important to develop the capacity to create new values and overcome conflict by seeing issues objectively and logically, and communicating in a multicultural environment.

Activities: Sending Japanese representative teams to the Global Classrooms International Model United Nations High School conference, organisation and management of the All Japan High School Model United Nations, support for capacity building of local high school students.

Promotion of ESD in Formal Education

Japan’s proposal for “Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)” was adopted internationally in 2002. Since then, ACCU has implemented various programmes in the international framework in close collaboration with UNESCO and MEXT in and outside Japan: “United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (UNDESD), 2005-2014,” “Global Action Programme on ESD (GAP), 2015-2019,” and “Education for Sustainable Development: Toward achieving the SDGs: ESD for 2030, 2020-2030.” ACCU has played a big role in promoting ESD in formal education since 2008 as the secretariat for UNESCO ASPnet. UNESCO ASPnet schools are focal points in Japan to promote ESD.

Activities: Support of UNESCO ASPnet schools, curriculum and learning materials development for teachers to nurture youth who will shoulder a sustainable future, Happy School Project.

Community Development through ESD

ACCU implemented joint ESD promotion programmes during the 1990s in the framework of the UNDESD and existing ESD programmes such as the UNESCO ASPnet. ACCU conducts collaborative programmes with lifelong learning facilities, such as Kominkan and overseas community learning organisations, toward a sustainable society at community level. ACCU supports the achievement of SDGs through learning, in context of each community.

Supporting the promotion of basic education

Since the early 1980s, ACCU has implemented programmes to promote literacy education in the Asia-Pacific in cooperation with UNESCO. “Basic education” is often seen as the same as primary and lower secondary education. In fact, it is a right of all peoples. In the context of the world’s various educational situation and issues, non-formal and adult literacy education are opportunities to obtain basic knowledge and skills which all generations need in their daily lives.

Activities: SMILE Asia Project


Asia-Pacific Cultural Centre for UNESCO(ACCU)

Corporate name
Asia-Pacific Cultural Centre for UNESCO(ACCU)
Date of establishment
April 26, 1971
  • 【Tokyo】

    1-32-7F Publishers Club Bldg,
    Kanda Jimbocho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, 101-0051 JAPAN
    Phone: +81-3-5577-2851FAX: +81-3-5577-2854

  • 【Nara】

    Nara Prefectural General Office 1F
    757. Horen-cho, Nara 630-8113 Japan
    Phone: +81-742-20-5001FAX: +81-742-20-5701