Linking Japan and the World

about KIZUNA

Welcome to KIZUNA, the official magazine of the Government of Japan.
This bold work of calligraphy is 絆 ( kizuna ) written in Japanese. Kizuna means the enduring bonds between people—close relationships forged through mutual trust and support.
Originally describing the rope used to tether domestic animals such as horses and dogs, the meaning of kizuna has evolved over the years. A passage in The Tale of the Heike, compiled in the 13th century, uses the term to refer to the bonds of love between a father and his children. More recently, kizuna has gone beyond bonds tying together family and close acquaintances; it is now used in a broader sense of human ties and connections. Of particular note is the kizuna born among people during natural calamities, which fosters feelings of solidarity and serves as the underlying strength to overcome hardships.
Similarly, the kizuna cultivated among the countries of the world has the power to deepen cooperation for a better future. By reporting on a wide variety of topics concerning Japan, we hope that this magazine will provide opportunities for Japan and the rest of the world to connect and build strong kizuna.


Calligraphy Artist

Born in Tokyo in 1985, she started learning calligraphy from her mother when she was five years old. One of the notable young calligraphers of today, her solo exhibitions have been held throughout the world, in cities such as New York, Singapore, and Prague. She has been selected as one of the Tokyo 2020 official poster artists.





KIZUNA Summer 2023

KIZUNA Spring 2024

The 2024 Spring issue opens with articles on Prime Minister Kishida’s vision for Japan’s unique contribution to Ukraine and the outcomes of the 50th anniversary of ASEAN-Japan friendship and cooperation. Also introduced are the Asian Zero Emission Community (AZEC); Japan-ROK cooperation on advanced technologies; and the development of quantum-centric supercomputing, promoted by Japan and the US.
Other highlights include an expert’s take on the appeal of Japan’s rising financial markets; the newly established support base for startups in Silicon Valley; a world-first microwave technology leading the Green Transformation; the production of green steel using hydrogen; and the challenge of mass-producing next-generation semiconductor chips. The world’s first international framework for inclusive governance on advanced AI systems and the potential of generative AI in manga and anime creation are also featured. Additionally, the issue looks at an age-old sake brewery in Ishikawa Prefecture striving to overcome the effects of the 2024 Noto Peninsula Earthquake.

KIZUNA Summer 2023

KIZUNA Winter 2023

The special feature of the 2023 Winter issue commemorates 50 years of ASEAN-Japan friendship and cooperation. Included are Prime Minister Kishida’s speeches on Japan’s new visions and initiatives for further cooperation; experts’ views on the outlook for Japan-ASEAN relations; people-to-people exchanges in various fields; and efforts to improve maritime safety. Also covered are a digital finance platform using blockchain technology; smart agriculture for smallholder farmers; and AI-based digital tools for tackling urban poverty—Japanese technologies that could drive further development in ASEAN countries.
This issue also features Japan as a leading asset management center, as well as the international countermeasures against disinformation that the country is promoting. Also in focus is the Tohoku region, nearly 13 years since the Great East Japan Earthquake. Related topics include the discharge of ALPS treated water at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station; the “Hope Tourism” endeavor; sustainable blue tourism; and revitalization initiatives with the popular game Pokémon.

KIZUNA Summer 2023

KIZUNA Autumn 2023

The Fall 2023 issue focuses on the various efforts to realize a sustainable future by leveraging Japan's advanced technologies. In the environmental field, introduced are space-based solar power and next-generation flexible solar cells that fully harness the sun’s power—the nation’s long-planned photovoltaics; local production of a carbon-free fuel, ammonia; a startup working on fusion power; and the farming of sea urchins to help restore the ocean.
Additionally featured are Japan’s future space vision; the development of microsatellites; a Japan-U.S. partnership to foster diverse talent for the semiconductor industry; a high-speed railway project in India that adopts Japan’s bullet-train system; and initiatives toward Ukraine’s reconstruction making use of Japan’s disaster experience. Other highlights include the efforts regarding nuclear disarmament and the country’s fall scenery, resplendent in autumn leaves.

KIZUNA Summer 2023

KIZUNA Summer 2023

The opening feature of the Summer 2023 issue is the historical significance of the G7 Hiroshima Summit, held in Japan in May. This issue also focuses on Japan's global health efforts, which garnered much attention at the Summit. Introduced are Nagasaki University, a leader in infectious disease research; a public-private fund fighting infectious diseases; the promotion of "impact investing"; and efforts by Japanese healthcare professionals to promote healthcare services in developing countries. Also covered are a startup using AI and drones to combat malaria; a low-tech but smart water purification system; and a Japanese-style general hospital in India.
Other highlights include Japan's continued support for Ukraine; the "creative restoration" being carried out in Fukushima; global education in Hiroshima with Japanese values; and a sake-brewery hotel in Nagano.

KIZUNA Spring 2023

KIZUNA Spring 2023

The spring issue highlights the Prime Minister Kishida’s visit to five countries ahead of the G7 Hiroshima Summit to be hosted by Japan in May, as well as an interview with the Governor of Hiroshima. The issue’s special focus is the Tohoku region’s ongoing reconstruction, 12 years after the Great East Japan Earthquake. Topics covered include bosai, or Japan’s concept and practice of DRR (Disaster Risk Reduction); Iwate’s unique fishery that has driven the prefecture’s revival; a Ukrainian evacuee conveying the preciousness of life; the drone revolution for sustainable development; and a papier-mâché artist pursuing a new form of folk art.
Introduced under the second theme, “Startups Changing the World,” are: an AI-powered manga translation system; a new technology known as “BodySharing”; Japan’s kosen, education institutions that train creative engineers; and a social entrepreneur tackling homelessness.

KIZUNA Winter 2022

KIZUNA Winter 2022

The 2022 winter issue features “Female Pioneers Advancing Gender Mainstreaming,” in conjunction with World Assembly for Women (WAW!) hosted by the Japanese government in early December. In focus are eight Japanese women paving new pathways in various fields. These include the developer of a workshop for girls aimed at cultivating global STEAM leaders, an evolutionary biologist in Norway, a Paris Observatory researcher exploring the universe, a master brewer at a Hiroshima sake brewery, and a social entrepreneur based across Tokyo and Fukushima.
Also introduced are a WAW! advisor, discussing Japan’s efforts and challenges, and a global company with a 150-year history that is pioneering the promotion of women’s empowerment. In addition to the special feature, this issue also shines a spotlight on a Japanese industrialist who has led his startup to a rare level of success in the US, and the little-known beauty of winter scenery in Japan.

KIZUNA Autumn 2022

KIZUNA Autumn 2022

The theme of the 2022 Autumn issue is “investing in people,” one of the key pillars of the Kishida administration’s “new form of capitalism.” A professor at Harvard Business School explains the qualities needed for human resources to lead in a “VUCA” world and Japan’s possibilities; an actress who entered university in her mid-40s talks of the significance of recurrent education; and a producer from Expo 2025 Osaka examines STEAM education. In addition, the president of one of Japan’s leading private universities and the CEO of an AI startup discuss what it takes to be counted as a world-class research university.
The second special feature of the issue, ahead of the 27th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP27) in November, is solutions to climate change. As well as covering examples of Japan’s technologies for accelerating decarbonization, such as an innovative type of CO2-absorbing concrete, waste-to-energy power generation that turns garbage into clean energy, and the use of hydrogen gas turbines to make existing thermal power plants more eco-friendly, this issue introduces a Japanese musical instrument maker striving to conserve forests in Tanzania.

KIZUNA Summer 2022

KIZUNA Summer 2022

The special feature of the 2022 Summer Issue is “Japan and Africa”, marking the occasion of the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD), which will be held for the eighth time this summer. Articles include a singer, who has served as Honorary Ambassador at TICAD; an entrepreneur supporting organic agriculture in Uganda; a bio-resource technology park in Tunisia, the host of this year’s TICAD, opened with Japan’s support; and a visually impaired Sudanese man living in Japan to help those similarly impaired.
The second special feature focuses on science, technology, and innovation. Highlighting the annual strategy aimed at realizing Society 5.0, this issue also introduces the views of a researcher who paved the way to the practical use of quantum computers; the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology, a world-class research center; and the Tokyo startup that is working to release the world’s first-ever man-made shooting stars.

KIZUNA Summer 2022 Special Issue

KIZUNA Summer 2022 Special Issue

The focus of the Summer 2022 special issue is “diplomacy and security” and the “new form of capitalism,” as set out in the Kishida administration’s key policies. This issue highlights Kishida’s remarks on the Japan-Australia-India-U.S. (Quad) leaders’ meeting and the four countries’ vision of a Free and Open Indo-Pacific. Also introduced are an excerpt from his recent speech advocating the need for a new international order originating from Asia, and Japan’s public-private-academic support of Ukrainian evacuees, with an example from a university.
In relation to the “new form of capitalism,” an excerpt of the prime minister’s speech calling for people to “Invest in Kishida,” and outlining the four pillars of his economic policy, is included. Also featured in regards to one of these pillars, investment in the green and digital transformation, is the “Clean Energy Strategy,” which seeks to set up a stable and affordable energy supply and to achieve economic growth toward the realization of carbon neutrality by 2050.

KIZUNA Spring 2022

KIZUNA Spring 2022

The Spring 2022 issue focuses on two themes. The main theme is the key policies of the Kishida administration. Alongside an excerpt of Kishida’s policy speech in January is his Vision for a Digital Garden City Nation, with a leading case study of the digital transformation of regional cities, and more.
The second theme is new Japanese innovations and initiatives contributing to the future of medical care and wellness. Included are the development of the world’s first 8K endoscope; the concept of ikigai, a Japanese word that has garnered worldwide attention recently for its health benefits, and more.

KIZUNA Early Spring 2022 Special Issue

KIZUNA Early Spring 2022 Special Issue

The focus of the Early Spring 2022 special issue is the development of the priority policies of the Kishida administration, which assumed office in October 2021. Articles include an excerpt of Kishida’s policy speech at the Diet in January; the speech he gave at the World Economic Forum’s Davos Agenda 2022 focusing on his conception of a “New Form of Capitalism”; and lessons from the “father of Japanese capitalism” who helped build the country’s modern economic system.
Additionally featured is Kishida’s Vision for a Digital Garden City Nation, alongside regional efforts to tackle local challenges through digital transformation. Moreover, the issue highlights beautiful photographs of Japanese spring cuisine, heralding the change of season.

 KIZUNA New Year 2022 Special Issue

KIZUNA New Year 2022 Special Issue

The focus of the New Year 2022 special issue is the policies of the Kishida administration, which assumed office in October 2021. Articles include an excerpt of Kishida’s policy speech at the Diet in December; a timeline of Kishida’s personal background and political career; the speech he gave at COP26 concerning Japan’s firm determination to address climate change; an outline of the emergency proposal for the realization of a “New Form of Capitalism”; and the outline of economic measures to overcome COVID-19 and pinoneer a new era. In addition, the issue also introduces beautiful photographs of the country’s magical winter scenery.

KIZUNA Winter 2021

KIZUNA Winter 2021

The main theme of the winter 2021 issue is the policies of the Kishida administration, which assumed office in October. Articles include an excerpt of Kishida’s first policy speech regarding the new administration’s economic measures and approach to tackling the COVID-19 pandemic; a timeline of Kishida’s personal background and political career; the speech he gave at COP26 concerning Japan’s firm determination to address climate change; and an emergency proposal for the realization of a “New Form of Capitalism.”
To complement the Tokyo Nutrition for Growth Summit, which will be held in December, the second theme of the winter issue is Japan’s approach to combatting the global problem of nutrition. In addition to Japan’s leading role at the summit, articles introduce the country’s promotion of children’s healthy growth and their motivation to learn through the provision of school lunches; Japan’s support of farmers in Pakistan whose agricultural land has fallen victim to swarms of locusts; and the work of a Japanese NPO dedicated to reducing the world’s food imbalance.

KIZUNA Winter 2021 Special Issue

KIZUNA Winter 2021 Special Issue

The focus of the winter 2021 special issue is the policies of the Kishida administration, which assumed office in October. Articles include an excerpt of Kishida’s first policy speech regarding the new administration’s economic measures and approach to tackling the COVID-19 pandemic; a timeline of Kishida’s personal background and political career; the speech he gave at COP26 concerning Japan’s firm determination to address climate change; and an outline of the emergency proposal for the realization of a “New Form of Capitalism.” In addition, the issue also introduces beautiful photographs of the country’s magical winter scenery.

KIZUNA Autumn 2021

KIZUNA Autumn 2021

The special feature of the 2021 autumn issue is carbon neutrality. Starting with Japan’s Green Growth Strategy for a virtuous circle of economy and environment, this issue presents the country’s various initiatives to achieving net zero, including its globally pioneering hydrogen use, its “zero-carbon cities” promoting decarbonization from a local level, and its support in introducing renewable energy to Pacific Island countries.
Additionally featured is a new Digital Agency established in September for the inclusive digitalization, and the physician who helped realize the 1964 Paralympic Games while promoting social inclusivity. Moreover, a Japanese startup making affordable 3D-printed prosthetic legs in the Philippines and a world-renowned blind pianist, TSUJII Nobuyuki, are introduced alongside beautiful photographs of the country’s elegant autumn scenery.

 KIZUNA Summer 2021

KIZUNA Summer 2021

The summer 2021 issue focuses on the Tokyo 2020 Games. The opening article introduces innovative technologies and projects that represent the Games’ sustainability concept, including the ecological stadium designed by world-renowned architect KUMA Kengo and medals made from recycled “urban mine” materials. Accompanying these is an article detailing Japan’s cutting-edge technology used for the light-weight Olympic Torch that has been travelling throughout the country in the lead up to the opening ceremony. This issue also conveys the international “kizuna” Japan has cultivated through sports—peacebuilding efforts at a South Sudan sports festival, and the 20-year friendship between Tokamachi City and Croatia born at the 2002 FIFA World Cup.
Additionally featured is Prime Minister Suga’s diplomacy speech during his April visit to the United States, as well as cross-ministerial efforts to advance Japan’s status as an International Financial Center. Further highlights include individuals conveying Japan’s charms from different angles—farm and fishery producers promoting delicious food of the region hit by the Great East Japan Earthquake, and a British YouTuber introducing the various sides of Japan unknown even to Japanese people. Also, as a visual feature, the coolness of summer, made possible through ancestral Japanese wisdom, is presented in the form of vivid photographs.

KIZUNA Spring 2021

KIZUNA Spring 2021

The spring 2021 issue, released following the ten-year anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake, focuses on the disaster-affected area as it is today. The cover image depicts countless carp streamers fluttering in the Tohoku sky, while the opening article introduces photographs of sakura in the area, heralding the advent of spring. The featured articles that follow describe Tohoku’s gratitude for international support, and the various ways in which the affected cities are progressing towards reconstruction.
The other main feature of this issue is Japanese women playing active roles in various fields. Included are: the proprietress of a Japanese inn promoting business reforms through digitalization; the president of a company manufacturing sushi robots to spread rice culture all over the world; and a woman who is creating employment opportunities for Lao people with disabilities. Furthermore, this issue shines a spotlight on the exceptional mission the asteroid explorer “Hayabusa2” has achieved, and the American brewers pursuing a new variety of sake that is loved by Japanese people and foreigners alike.

KIZUNA Early Spring 2021

KIZUNA Early Spring 2021



The first issue of KIZUNA focuses on the policy agenda of the Suga Administration, which was inaugurated in September 2020. It includes: Japan’s unique approach to fighting new-coronavirus infections (avoiding the “Three Cs”); digital transformation, particularly in government services, aiming to realize an inclusive digital society; R&D efforts in next-generation solar cells to achieve a carbon-neutral society by 2050; and regional revitalization through encouraging specialty Japanese agricultural exports.
In addition, ten years after the Great East Japan Earthquake, the issue introduces the current state of Fukushima, which is making strong progress toward reconstruction. Also featured is the beautiful scenery of Japan, woven through with the changes of the four seasons.