The Foundation for the Welfare and Education of Asian People (FWEAP) was founded in December of 1969. At that time, the Vietnam War was ongoing and there were a huge number of orphans throughout Southern Vietnam who had lost parents to the war. In contrast to this, Japan had bounced back from the defeat of the war and had started to achieve miraculous economic development.
Our Founders thought, “When we achieve our prosperity, we must give our attention to people in Asia and the rest of the world, otherwise we will not be trusted by the international community. Co-operation does not mean just sharing economic interests. More importantly it is having an attitude of sharing the hardships of other countries.” Based on this philosophy and with the co-operation of the governments of Japan and Southern Vietnam, we built and started a vocational training school for the orphans of war in Bien Hoa, a suburb an city of Saigon (now Ho Chi Minh City).
Continuing with the spirit of the founders, we started two programs; to invite leaders of Asian countries to Japan, and to assist and support the settlement of refugees from within Asia, including Indochina. In this way, the foundation constantly strives to cultivate relationships of mutual trust through exchange programs, with the aim of contributing to the stability of Asia as a whole. Internationally, overseas business is expanding in search of economic interests and the number of foreign workers and immigrants is exploding. Consequently, there is a diversification of values in many countries/regions and serious conflicts arise among traditions and religions within each country. As a result, extreme nationalism and isolationism are growing throughout the world.
If we are to look towards stability in Asia, we must find compatibility between the traditional spirit of our own country and the differing spirits of other countries. What leads to solutions when different, subjective views collide is the mutual acknowledgement of the diversity of values and cultures. For that, we believe we ought to have compassion for those people. Based on the “Heart of Compassion”, the immutable spirit in Asia, we truly hope to be of service in the stabilization and mutual understanding of the Asian region.