UNESCO has enjoyed a long-standing and solid cooperation with the Government of Japan. The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan (MEXT) deposited its first Funds-in-Trust in 1969 and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs followed in 1989. Japanese Funds-in-Trust (JFIT) is covering all the fields of UNESCO as education, natural sciences, social and human sciences, culture as well as communication and information, helping UNESCO to fulfil its mandate “Building peace in the minds of men and women”.

In Asia and the Pacific Region, JFIT has been serving to provide assistance to the implementation of activities in the field of natural sciences, with special attention to activities relating to water resources, their associated ecosystems, and marine sciences, as well as to human resources development in the field. Namely “Scientific Programmes on Global Challenges in Asia and the Pacific Region”, managed by UNESCO Office in Jakarta taking its role as the Regional Sciences Bureau, has supported important activities in these areas and in UNESCO’s science programmes, including Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme, International Hydrological Programme (IHP) and Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC). Through the continuous and comprehensive support from the Government of Japan and its stakeholders, JFIT Science has been benefitting the whole Asia and the Pacific Region, as well as underlining a catalytic role for the member states of UNESCO in the region.