Ultimately, it is the Japanese taxpayers who are supporting the Japanese government’s contributions to the Global Fund, so it is important that they understand both the urgency of the challenge of communicable diseases and the lifesaving role that the Global Fund plays in fighting their spread and impact.

FGFJ educates the Japanese public by providing information in Japanese about communicable diseases and about the Global Fund on its website and Facebook page. We also organize awareness-raising events that are meant to appeal to a diverse domestic audience.

Tokyo Production of “La Bohème” by South African Opera Company


South Africa’s Isango Ensemble moved the setting for Puccini’s famous opera from Paris in the 1830s to a present-day South African township, where tuberculosis, the disease from which Puccini’s heroine dies and one of the target diseases of the Global Fund, remains a public health threat today. FGFJ worked closely with the Global Fund and the Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre to organize the ensemble’s Asia premiere of “La Bohème Abanaxhxi.” A reception on the opening night featured remarks by Princess Kiko Akishino, patroness of the Japan Anti-Tuberculosis Association, and First Lady Akie Abe. Over the production’s four-day run, more than 2,500 people attended performances. The work was a musical triumph as well as a timely reminder that tuberculosis is not a disease of the past but very much a modern-day reality that continues to devastate much of the developing world, causing widespread suffering and death.

First Lady Akie Abe with members of the Isango Ensemble

Access to Life Photo Exhibition

FGFJ, the Global Fund, Magnum Photos, and Asahi Shimbun organized an exhibition in Tokyo of photographs by a team of Magnum photographers that follow 33 people living with HIV/AIDS and their families from nine countries around the world as their lives are transformed by antiretroviral treatment, the drugs that have transformed AIDS from a death sentence into a chronic disease. The exhibition portrayed a powerful message about the life-saving role of treatment, which, thanks in part to the Global Fund and its donors, is now available to people in developing countries who depend on the drugs for their survival. FGFJ organized a panel discussion prior to the opening of the exhibition featuring then Prime Minister Naoto Kan, then Global Fund Executive Director Michel Kazatchkine, and UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé.

Viewing the photo exhibition are (from left, front row) Michel Sidibé, Michel Kazatchkine, Naoto Kan, and then JCIE President and FGFJ Director Tadashi Yamamoto