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French Season in Japan 2021

Foreign professionals / French professionals
The French Season in Japan will take place throughout the Japanese archipelago from April to October 2021. These seven months of programming represent the diversity of French creativity and artistic creation of course, but also scientific, culinary, touristic and entrepreneurial creation. A celebratory, innovative and collaborative programme.

Context of the Season

During President Macron's official visit in June 2019, France and Japan renewed and strengthened the strategic partnership which has linked our two countries since 2013. Based on a community of values, it highlights our joint positions on international policy (peace and security) and on the innovative and digital economy for a necessary transition of energy and responsibility and for culture in the broadest sense, with a view to developing the mobility of students, creators, researchers and athletes.

While Japan is fascinating, as evidenced by the great success of Japonismes 2018 (and its 3 million visitors), and our country projects a strong and positive image of itself there, it is clear that this is somewhat outdated. Without turning our backs on the fundamentals of our representation in the Japanese imagination, at this time when relationships are deep and fulfilling, the real challenge of the Season will be to serve as a platform to renew this imagination by focusing from the outset on contemporary creation and innovation.

In addition, the Season is part of the context for major international events for which our countries will be respectively responsible:

  • Organisation of the G20 in Japan and the G7 in France in 2019 
  • The Rugby World Cup in Japan in 2019 and then in France in 2023
  • The Olympic and Paralympic Games in Japan in 2020 and then in France in 2024

The founding principles: From a shared heritage to a world to build together

The Season will aim to: 

  • celebrate the abundance of creations between our two countries by favouring co-productions between French and Japanese professionals and institutions in order to develop a space for dialogue and exchange between contemporary creators from our two countries; 
  • renew the imagination by showcasing our capacity for innovation, particularly through cultural and creative industries and innovative approaches (scientific research) and societal approaches (corporate social responsibility); 
  • develop new partnerships focused on creativity and innovation in their most contemporary aspects, so that from the outset of projects sustainable perspectives are taken on board. 

The editorial approach of the Season

  • Will reflect all the creative and innovative aspects of contemporary France and will embrace as widely as possible all areas of exchange between our two countries: economics, science, gastronomy, arts and culture – heritage included – education, higher education and research, sport, tourism and art through public events and high-level conferences and meetings; 
  • Will showcase the dynamism and imagination of the creators, companies and institutions that drive the relationship between our countries, favouring Franco-Japanese collaborations and creative platforms for the highlights;
  • Will be celebratory and accessible to all audiences, extending throughout the archipelago and especially aimed at future generations; 
  • Will promote a spirit of dialogue and working together with civil society to deal with a new way of living together that will integrate the necessary technological, societal and environmental changes to together build our common future and the Francophile friendships of tomorrow.


Each project must meet at least one of these criteria. 

Co-creation projects will be encouraged, particularly those involving French artists based in France and Japanese artists. Any diffusion stricto-sensu will not be retained. Particular attention will have to be paid to future generations, civil society and youth and will include a high-visibility section for the general public, including for events of a professional or BtoB nature.



  • By the end of 2019, an initial mapping process of Japanese players and Japanese partner locations wishing to be part of the French Season will have been completed, along with identification of the partners with whom they wish to develop a project.
  • End 2019 early 2020: French operators will indicate the focus of the projects they wish to create with Japanese partners.
  • The Organising Committee will help put partners in contact who do not yet have an identified partner.
  • Early 2020: organisation of first identification missions
  • 24 January 2020: a first draft of the pre-programming will be defined and presented at the patrons' pre-planning meeting.



Every 2-3 months a programming committee will be held, followed by a committee of patrons who will decide on the designation within the framework of the season, which will be designation with or without funding.

General Commissioner for the French Season in Japan: Diane Josse

To contact the French Season in Japan commission: